Many small businesses go to great lengths during the hiring process, dedicating a significant amount of time and resources to sift through potential candidates. Yet surprisingly, once they have decided on a new hire, many of these same businesses fall short in their orientation programs. Put simply, these businesses are shooting themselves in the foot.
When it comes to bringing a new employee into your business, the more care and effort you invest in the initial training process, the greater will be your return. This goes for all businesses big and small. Business owners should try keep the following idea in mind: The way in which you go about training that new employee will set the tone for his or her future performance and engagement in your company.
Why Good Employee Training is Important
Successfully training a new employee will reduce the amount of time the employee needs to learn the ropes, and reach optimal performance. It gives new hires the sense that you are invested in them and interested in bringing them on board. It is the initial step in building employee engagement so that they stay motivated and involved.
The Relationship Approach to Employee Training
Anyone who has sat through a formal, classroom-style training as part of a new employee orientation, can probably attest to the fact that they are both boring and impersonal. Regardless of the scope of the formal program, individual managers need to focus on a personal orientation initiative as well, one that is tailored to the specific job, team, and department.
As I mentioned above, hiring right is half the battle; helping new hires smoothly and successfully become oriented with different aspects of the business, including it's systems, culture, and work groups is the other half. The best way to go about doing this is through personal, one-on-one contact with the new hire and by creating a space where the new employee can both feel free to ask questions and receive appropriate, timely answers.
Tips to Successfully Train a New Employee
If you want to get your new hires started on the right foot, then consider these 7 tips for successfully training a new employee:
1. Spend time in the planning stage. Make sure that you clearly define the job responsibilities for yourself and your new employees. It may be a good idea to ask current workers for feedback, especially if the position is a new one and your current workers will be working in collaboration with the new hire. You should also get help constructing a solid employee handbook if you have not already done so.
2. Choose quality instructors and materials. Who you select to conduct the training will make a major difference in the success of your efforts, whether it's a professional educator or simply a knowledgeable staff member. Having the right training materials is also important, since these materials can become valuable resources for your new hires even well after they have been brought on board.
3. Slow down! depending on the size of your company or the complexity of the job on hand there will be a lot of new details and ground to cover especially in the first few days. Rome wasn't built in one day as they say. If you want your employee to retain all information coming his or her way, then try to pace out some of the orientation and introductions.
4 Make personal introductions. During those first few days, you should make an effort to personally introduce the employee to all relevant members of the business- with a focus on those who will be directly working with him or her. You should also explain each person's role and how they relate to each other. By making an effort early on to get the new employee introduced to co-workers and management, you open up the initial lines of communication that can significantly help with the orientation.
5. Pay attention to the outcome. To get an idea as to how effective you are being with your training initiatives, you should have several performance measurements in place. Depending on the nature of your business, you could consider, the amount of time it takes the new hire to complete a specific task, the amount of waste or mistakes being made, or how successful the new employee's input is.
6. Ask for feedback from the new hire. One of the most essential measurements of the success of new employee training is direct feedback from the new hire. There are two issues to consider before soliciting feedback: 1. Make sure your timing is right. You can't ask for feedback too soon after hiring, but at the same time don't wait till six months have passed. I recommend asking for feedback one to three months after hiring. 2. Where possible make the questions anonymous, since the new hire may be afraid to speak up. If the survey can't be anonymous, then it's success will depend on how much you as the employer will truly consider and value what the new employee has to say. If your attitude is in the right place then it will positively affect the truthfulness and thoroughness of the response.
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