Your new hire, Chuck, arrives for his first day of work. After reporting to HR and filling out all the standard employment forms, a co-worker shows Chuck to his desk and tells him to “just ask” if he has any questions.
Of course, Chuck knows what his job is and has a general idea of what he’s supposed to be doing, but there’s still a sinking feeling in his stomach that he’s been thrown to the wolves.
What do you think the chances are that Chuck will be successful in his new position?
According to a 2014 survey by BambooHR, 76 percent of employees said on-the-job training was the most important part of their first week at a new job. And if you don’t provide new hires with quality training during the onboarding process, they won’t stick around. The BambooHR survey also found 21 percent of employees who quit a new job did so because of a lack of effective training.
Help your employee retention by making onboarding training material informative, engaging, and customized to each job. Here are five techniques that will make your new hire training more effective:
Customize training for each job position
New hires have a lot of information to process during their first couple of days on the job. If the training they receive isn’t customized to their specific duties, you’re only adding unnecessary information that overwhelms.
Ask current employees which types of training were important and which weren’t when they first started their position. Then look at the training materials you give to each new hire and decide what is most pertinent to each position. Also, consider how up-to-date your training materials are. For some departments, like IT, the information an employee needs to know changes all the time and you need to be sure training keeps up with the newest skills.
Allow employees to learn at their own pace
No employee starts a new job with the perfect qualities and skill levels. Everybody has unique strengths and weaknesses that affect how quickly they can learn different information. By allowing new hires to go through training materials at their own pace, they can spend more time developing skills with which they are less comfortable. [click to tweet]
By incorporating progress checks like quizzes, employees will be aware of how well they are doing with each topic. If they aren’t happy with the results, they can take the time to review the material more thoroughly.
Provide real-world situations to practice skills
For decades, educators have been stressing the importance of hands-on learning, but it’s also how many employees prefer to train. A 2013 survey by Skillsoft found that 33 percent of employees want to learn by experience.
By giving your new hires a simulated environment in which to practice what they’re learning, they can see firsthand how and why skills are important. Have them complete tasks that other veteran employees have already done. This way, they can compare their results to those of an experienced employee.
Make materials available for future review
It happens to all of us: we’re doing something we’ve done before and for some reason our mind blanks on the next step. When new hires inevitably need a refresher on skills and protocols they’re still mastering, it’s important that training material is still available.
A 2015 survey by InterCall found that 39 percent of both new and experienced employees like to be able to review material after training is complete. By giving employees continuous access to the information they learned in training, they’ll always have the answers they need if a problem comes up in the future.
Get feedback after training and onboarding is complete
It’s impossible to know how successful your training program is until an employee has had a few months to process and apply all the information he’s learned. Once new hires are settled in the office, ask them for feedback on the effectiveness of their training. This will show you what aspects are working and which need improvements.
Getting early feedback from a new employee will also help you start employee engagement. Doing so will ensure that new hires feel confident about their ability to do their job and their place in the office.
What other ways can you improve training for new employees?