A new hire's first 1-3 months are crucial because it's when they develop a work ethic. It's like starting school and being forced to do homework. It's learning how to exercise as a kid and having it ingrained in you. It's learning the routine for success.

There is a reason big companies like people out of the Big Four CPA firms. The Big Four have a rigorous training program. It doesn't mean there aren't great accountants who didn't work there. What it means is there is a methodology of training and establishing habits and routines at the beginning of people's careers that make it "easy" to learn the right ways of doing things. They learn how to do it correctly. They are trained.

When managers don't enforce metrics, they're not giving their people the habits and structure to build on. When they don't emphasize the studying of the training manuals, they aren't instilling the framework.

When managers "go easy" on new hires and don't hold them accountable (for whatever reason), what they are doing is building a house on the sand. It's a flimsy, weak foundation. If an employee wasn't able to find a solution, ask why. Challenge and push them. Then be proud and excited when they get a win. If you don't share the enthusiasm for closing a deal or getting new orders, they won't either.

Managers need to look at their teams and look at new hires coming on board. It's not about being a jerk. It's about accountability to your people. When being promoted into a leadership role, managers make a commitment to help grow and build people. Don't let them down.

A manager's job is to find out how to motivate individuals, as well as the team. Friendly competition internally can be a driver for certain people, and for those who it's not right for, challenge them against themselves.

If managers don't keep reading, learning, challenging and going hard, their people won't be encouraged to do the same. There may be eight weeks until 2018, but 2018 starts now in how managers are grooming and preparing their people. They need to hold themselves and their teams, who look to them for guidance, accountable. Everyone has room to get better. All it takes is learning, asking and challenging. Great managers push themselves and their teams. Managers: be leaders.

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