Veenman’s Research on Novice Employee Needs

Based on Simon Veenman’s “Classic” 1984 Meta Analysis of 83 Research Studies


The Perceived Needs of Beginning Managers

Perceived Problem Frequency = # out of 83 studies reviewed
Dealing with Subordinate Employee Problems 77 out of 83
Motivating & Rapport with Subordinates 48
Dealing with Individual Differences in Subordinates 43
Evaluation of Subordinates 31
Relationships with Clients/Customers 27
Organizing Work Spaces 27
Insufficient Materials, Supplies and Equipment, Logistical Problems 27
Developmental Supervision 26
Time Demands on Managers 25
Relations with Colleagues 24
Management of People & Work Flow, Effective Task Attainment 22
Effective Use of Different Leadership Styles 20
Awareness of Organizational Policies and Procedures 19
Assigning Tasks Based on Employee Abilities 16
Knowledge Base in the Field 15
Management of Paper Work & Reports 15
Relations with Own Supervisor 15
Inadequate Technology & Technological Support 14
Effective Budget Management and Solving Budget Problems 13
Dealing with Different Employee Cultures or Backgrounds 12
Effective use of the Organizationís Work Process Guides 11
Lack of Spare Time 10
Inadequate Guidance and Support 9
Size of Department to be Managed 8


1. These findings are derived from a huge meta analysis comparing 83 separate research studies done in 1984 by Simon Veenman. The responses in the various studies analyzed included predominately beginning employees at the end of year one, but also included a few supervisors.

2. All the studies were done in settings where beginning employees had no formal system of support. Therefore, it cannot be inferred that this research tells us the benefits of formal mentoring or of induction programs. Many people do not know that about his analysis and, as a result, misuse this research. In other words, these are NOT the priority needs except in that unsupported setting. In other words, new employees STILL have basic survival concerns and a “self” foci, even after a year of employment and experience because they had no collegial support.

3. If you use this research, also keep in mind how much in the world of work has changed since 1984.  Competencies and other forms of standards, technology, so much is different. Add items for these missing topics if you design needs or other assessments from this research.