I didn’t come up with this new employee common mistakes checklist. A group of department team leaders did. I facilitate bi-weekly leadership development meetings with six team leaders. They’re all involved with training new hires. In our last meeting, we discussed the importance of giving new hires clear objective expectations. One of the discussion points was how to help new hires avoid common mistakes. The team was given the assignment of creating a common mistake checklist to be primarily used with new employees. What they came up with could be used by most organizations. Here are their seven most common mistakes.

New Employee Common Mistakes Checklist   

  1. Not asking questions. If you don’t know or don’t remember, it’s better to ask than to guess.
  2. Not asking for help. Especially if you make a mistake, we can’t help you if we don’t know about it.
  3. Trying to be as fast as experienced teammates. Experienced coworkers may be faster than you at first. Following procedures correctly and limiting mistakes are more important than speed when you’re still learning. You’ll eventually catch up.
  4. Waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Your team leader won’t be standing over you every minute of the day, and you wouldn’t want them to. When you complete a task and are unsure what to do next, ask.
  5. Not following procedures. There’s a reason we do things the way we do them. If you’re not sure why we do it a certain—ask, but don’t try to do it “your way.”
  6. Not being on time. Too many potentially good employees have been lost to “pointing out” don’t be that teammate.
  7. Not following the dress code. We’ve based our dress code on workplace safety and presenting a professional look to customers and other visitors. If you’re not certain about the dress code, we can give you a copy.

What are the Most Common New Employee Mistakes in Your Department? 

A better question may be how many of the seven common mistakes listed above fit your organization? Do new hires ask enough questions? Do they know they can come to you and share when they’ve made a mistake, or are they afraid to approach you? Not sure? Ask yourself this—do new people come to you with questions? If they don’t, it may be time to let them know it’s not only okay. It’s the best strategy. Would it help your training and efficiency to use a common mistake checklist? Feel free to copy this one and use what works for your organization.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

You might also appreciate Why You Should Set Expectations with Trainees from Day One.  

Photo by Rodeo Project Management Softw