We’ve all been through new employee training. Many of us know the pains of the bad and ease of the good. It’s important to remember that this is a new employee’s introduction to how a company works, but it’s also easy to forget what it’s like to go through the process if you’ve been with a company for several years.
Here are some easy tips and training tools that can ease the transition.
- Videos. Watching a long training video can kill an upbeat attitude if there is a lack of context. You may not have time in your schedule to explain everything in the video, so make sure the content is tailored in a way that makes sense to someone who is coming in cold.
- Company Culture. New employees are walking into a foreign environment. Friendliness is a great start to establishing your positive culture, but knowing what the goals and missions are can make people feel like a new team member, not just a number.
- Test Drive the Training Material. It’s easy to be so familiar with the ins and outs of the material that you skip steps. But if newcomers don’t learn the basics, they can get lost. Enlist a long-term employee to help you review the training material and presentation quarterly.
- Be Familiar With the Training Material. HR and Trainers may be old hat with the basics, but they may not know about the rest of the company. Running an employee through the course quarterly can make sure everything is up-to-date, relevant and not an unnecessary time waste.
- Training and/or Onboarding is an Investment. Training should never be viewed as an expense. Employees new and old will take ownership if they feel the company is willing to invest in them. Companies grow with people and vice versa.
- Pacing. Acknowledge that a wealth of new information can overwhelm someone who is just coming in. She will have questions and may feel too self-conscious to ask. Make opportunities for questions and breaks.
- Give a Tour. It’s important to know where the bathrooms and lunch room are, but it’s just as important to know the location of the security office, the mailroom and the best coffee!
- Be Available. This is the best way to support a new employee. If employees feel abandoned, or that you don’t have their back, they’ll be looking for an escape hatch soon!
- Provide Important Information. A 3-ring binder with important information (how to log into email, maps of the building, emergency exits, contact information, etc) is cheap and easy to produce. If it has the company logo on it, put it in a bag for your new family member. Everyone loves SWAG.
- Give Them a Buddy. We all have coworkers that are friends, but this can produce cliques. If someone in the new hire’s department is available to help him learn the ropes, it can cut down on him feeling excluded.
- Digital tour. Some companies may not have the manpower to spare for everything mentioned here. A good alternative is to dedicate a computer to onboarding, with an interactive course or website that lets people learn at their own pace. This can also serve as an excellent refresher for employees that have been around a while.
- Feedback. Give new folks a chance to offer their thoughts after 30 days. They’ll have the best perspective on your training/onboarding program—they just went through it!