Be Explicit with Your Expectations on New Hire Ramp-Up Time

There’s always a mix of excitement and anxiety of starting a new job, despite all of the very positive signals that you’ve gotten in and through the interview process.

I can remember many-a-time where I would think to myself in that first week or so:

I mean, clearly, this is a great company and I’m excited about getting started on the work that we’ve agreed that I’d be doing—I wouldn’t have said “Yes” if I thought differently (duh)!

And then I’d show up and reality would smack me squarely in the face: This isn’t entirely what I expected it was going to be.

And regardless of how amazing I’ve made the onboarding experience and how masterful my communication might have been up and down the process, I still grossly underestimate how much time is truly necessary for adequate and comprehensive onboarding, especially in the context of an early-stage startup.

I liken it to trying to jump onto a train that’s moving 100mph — if you’ve been adequately given the time to create velocity and momentum then a jump from a moving platform that’s going 95mph isn’t nearly as dangerous as trying to grab it from stand-still.

I mean, you’d have your fucking arm ripped off and you’d die, that’s what.

And that, my friend, is what it’s like onboarding employees into an early-stage company! You have to give them time and clearly outline, explicitly, the expectations that they will not be producing at maximal capacity for at least 60 to 90 days!

In other words, if you’ve lost your breath in the first few weeks, that’s entirely okay and expected. Hell, you’ve been asked to sprint from a cold-start to catch that moving train so we’re expecting it’ll take time to gain speed (and we’re here to help you ramp-up).

And at YEN, we’re not going to burn you out either — we’re building a calm company and we ask our employees to work a smart (and aggressive!) 40-hours a week.

Cool, right? Yup.

But, you have to be kind to yourself, too. When I say that I literally don’t expect my employees to be fully “ramped up” for at least 2-3 months, I’m actually not kidding.

Why? Because it takes time to build community. It takes time to build any meaningful relationship. It’s not really even about the actual “work” — it’s about learning how we work.

Things to think about.