In the previous article we touched on the Sixth S Staff, and proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’. In this article we are looking at the Seventh S – Systems.
In a new employee’s first three months, it is critical that they get up to speed quickly with the systems an employer uses. The systems that new employees find on the job might not be in line with their personal preferences. But, that doesn’t matter.
Because what does matter in the first three months is that any employer expects new employees to fit in, function and perform well as quickly as possible using those very systems, including software platforms, email systems, phones, the intranet, CRM, all IT, the way meetings are recorded, task and project workflows, and more.
This is why the recommended seventh (and final) alignment choice is:
- To learn how things work to support delivery
In his book The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman helps people understand that if one follows the right process, anyone can become proficient at any new skill in just under 20 hours, or 40 minutes every day for a month.
According to Kaufman, accelerated learning, or “rapid skill acquisition” does not require memorising the minutiae and it’s important to approach it differently to academic learning. Instead, you should aim to immerse yourself in the central aspects so you can add that skill to your skillset permanently.
To put it in perspective, think for a moment about learned skills that anyone has been able to transfer (at least in part) from one job to the next. This is entirely different from the ‘cramming’ one did at school to just pass your exams – only to promptly forget most of what they’d learned.
Here’s the thing. In a new job and especially in those first three months, no one expects a new employee to be a world-class expert in one of their systems. Where it’s at – if they are to impress their new employer – is reaching a sufficient level of skill for using all of their systems.
According to Kaufman, the process is:
- Define what you want to learn
- Break down the skill into its basic components
- Identify the critical sub-skills involved in reaching your goal
- Eliminate any obstacles to practising
- Commit to at least 20 hours of deliberate, focused practice
Want to find out more about becoming a lifelong learner so you can develop a sustainable career? Have a read of my book Career Success: how to succeed in your new job.