Complete Guide to New Hire Training Programs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated April 27, 2022

Published March 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Whenever you start at a new company, you'll undergo some form of training. New hire training programs exist to help new team members quickly acclimate to a new professional environment. Whether you're starting a new job and want to know what to look for in your new hire training or want to improve training practices at your current employer, learning about new hire training practices can be beneficial to your workplace success.

In this article, we provide a guide to the different types of new hire training programs and how they function in the workplace.

What is a new hire training program?

A new hire training program is a collection of educational materials and activities designed to help incoming employees learn more about their roles and responsibilities at their new employer. Companies can have multiple types of new hire training programs in place to ensure that all new hires understand the expectations for each part of their job. New hire training programs have clearly defined steps that all new hires go through, guiding them through important information like company structure and organizational policies.

Related: What Are the Different Types of Workplace Training?

Why are new hire training programs important?

New hire training is a critical tool for building a cohesive team and a successful workforce. Employees rely on new hire training to adjust to a new environment and gain confidence in their role. Employers use new hire training as a way to share important internal information with their team. Good new hire training programs provide a structured opportunity for all employees to learn core information and practice their professional skills in the workplace. Benefits of new hire training include:

Setting expectations

New hire training clearly shows new employees what their employer expects out of their workplace behaviors. Training programs can establish expectations for productivity, performance, team involvement, compensation and professional growth. By attending new hire training programs, employees can start planning their work commitments and ensure that they appropriately fulfill their new role.

Creating relationships

New hire training is one of the best opportunities for integrating a new hire into the company culture and team. During new hire training, existing employees have the opportunity to make new team members feel welcome and comfortable. As new hires learn about company policies and organizational roles, they can begin supportive professional relationships with their peers and managers.

Standardizing company procedures

Having a new hire training program in place creates a record of what the organization teaches all incoming employees. This establishes a record of best practices for the business and develops a guide for what existing employees already know. A new hire training program can be an excellent basis for building additional training programs for experienced employees. New hire training also creates an individual record for what each incoming employee has learned so far.

Establishing records

New hire training is when incoming employees fill out all of their paperwork, sign forms and create accounts. New hire training is essential for establishing records for each employee and tracking their progress within the company.

Developing institutional knowledge

New hire training programs are a great way for companies to develop a more skilled workforce. As new employee training programs develop, employers can integrate new skills, update technology and keep their company current with best practices in their field. New hire training can guide the direction of the company by teaching employees new skills that they can then implement and teach to existing employees.

Providing support

New employee training provides employees with a support system that they can access as they start their new job. Incoming employees use new hire training to ask questions and learn about the resources they can use for support. This can improve employee retention and make new employees more efficient and productive within a short amount of time.

Training methods for new hires

New hires can complete their training information through several methods. Depending on the company, new hire training could involve multiple types of training methods and interfaces. Some of the popular formats for new hire training include:

In-person

In-person training programs include any type of training where the employees have to spend time in the workplace with their team members. Companies can conduct in-person new hire training one-on-one or with groups of new employees. In-person new hire training is essential for showing employees around their new workplace and demonstrating any physical equipment they need to use.

Online

Online training enables employees to access training information through the internet. This can be through video conferences, websites, online modules and other interfaces. Some companies have mobile apps that they use to help train their new employees. Online training can involve quizzes, games, webinars and simulations that teach concepts to new employees. This form of training is ideal for remote positions or jobs that don't require much in-person interaction.

Hybrid

New employee training programs can also use a combination of online and in-person learning to teach important onboarding subjects. Hybrid training programs typically involve in-person instruction and virtual follow-up activities where employees can practice their new skills. They give new employees and opportunity to meet their new colleagues face to face while also providing them with the freedom to explore training materials independently. Hybrid training programs are also known as blended learning programs.

Learning modules

Short learning modules that only take a few minutes to complete can help new employees break their training responsibilities into manageable tasks. Also called microlearning courses, these 10-, 20- or 30-minute learning modules focus on one specific subject that trainees must master before they can move on.

Peer learning

Typical training programs involve a company leader, like a manager, sharing information with their new employees but new hires can also learn from their peers. Peer training involves having employees share knowledge with one another and develop their skills as a group.

Related: The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees

New hire training topics

New hire training can span several days or even weeks to cover all of the essential topics for new employees. Employers may combine multiple topics into one training or have dedicated sessions for each subject. Some of the important topics necessary for training new hires are:

HR onboarding

The first step in new hire training is typically human resources onboarding, where new employees fill out forms, create accounts and learn about the technical details of their employment. HR onboarding training guides employees through the process of filling out tax forms, creating company email accounts, setting up direct deposit for paychecks, getting a badge, signing up for benefits and other administrative and clerical tasks. During the HR onboarding process, new hires learn how to navigate the basic internal structure of their new employer.

Company overview

Employees also receive training to learn about their new company's mission, goals, community relationships and culture. The main goal of company overview training is to align the new employee's professional goals with the employer's overall purpose and mission. During the company overview, new employees learn about general company policies and best practices for participating in the workplace.

Team introductions

Some businesses incorporate introductions into their new hire training. Team introduction training teaches new hires about who their coworkers are and what they do. They'll meet members of each department, learn the leadership hierarchy and find out who they should talk to in common workplace scenarios. Team introduction training is important for helping new hires understand how to adapt to their new team and how they can best integrate into the group.

Role orientation

New hires also need role-specific training where they learn the specifics of their position at the company. During role orientation training, new hires will learn how to use tools and equipment, establish their daily workflow and set standards for their performance. New hires learn the main responsibilities for their position and discover the best practices for that role within the company. Role-specific training for new hires can involve shadowing other employees, completing professional development classes and completing practice projects.

Safety

Most workplaces have some type of occupational hazard, whether at a construction site or an office. Safety, health, disaster and emergency response training for new hires helps keep new employees safe while on the job. Safety training for new hires can include OSHA basics, general workplace safety and evacuation plans. During safety training, new hires also learn where to find first aid materials, fire extinguishers and emergency support services. New hire safety training protects both new and existing employees from becoming exposed to unnecessary risks.

Data security

Any workplace that uses computers and the internet should train new hires on data security practices. Data security training programs review IT safety basics to protect sensitive company information like usernames and passwords. These programs train new hires about how to avoid phishing and protect their accounts. Data security training programs teach employees about digital compliance rules and best practices for digital safety.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion training establishes a culture of respect, understanding and acceptance in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion training teaches new hires about expectations for handling differences in the workplace related to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, cultur, ability and more. New hires should also learn about topics like workplace harassment and bullying so they can contribute to a welcoming and positive workplace environment and avoid interpersonal issues with their new team.

Elements of a good new hire training program

To be effective, new hire training programs need to include several elements to help incoming employees adjust to their new environment. The goal of a good new hire training program is for all employees to fully understand company policies and expectations after the training. Impactful new hire training programs equip new employees with lasting skills and knowledge that they can use regularly in the workplace. Here are some of the characteristics and features of a good new hire training program:

Training packets

Successful new hire training programs provide trainees with training materials that they can use to guide their learning. Training packets give new hires an outline of what they can expect out of their training experience. They help their team set expectations for training and understand the main objectives for each training module. A good training packet should have:

  • An outline of the schedule

  • Descriptions of main training objectives

  • An employee directory

  • Training worksheets

  • Content summaries

Good training packets should include all essential information without being too long and wordy. Training packets initially act as a supplement to new hire training, then become a reference document that new hires can use if they are unsure about an aspect of their job.

Related: New Hire Packet and Onboarding Tips

Practice tasks

Successful new hire training programs provide trainees with opportunities to apply their new knowledge and skills. Having hands-on tasks improves engagement with the training materials and helps solidify new information. New hires can complete practice tasks through supervised job responsibilities, example scenarios and short quizzes.

Checks for understanding

Employee training programs should have interactive checks for understanding structured into the training program. The trainers should regularly ask open-ended questions to confirm that new hires are properly absorbing the training information. These checks for understanding give new hires opportunities to clarify confusing information or ask additional questions about the training content.

Related: 7-Step Guide for Creating an Effective Training Program

Feedback surveys

Creating an impactful, effective new hire training program involves collecting feedback from the people going through the training. All new hire training programs should conclude with an opportunity for trainees to provide feedback about their experience and make suggestions for how to improve training in the future. Feedback surveys for new hire training programs should include questions about how engaging the content was and how well the instructor explained concepts.

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