New Employee Training: Do’s and Don’ts for Every Manager

New employee training is an important part of the hiring process because it teaches new hires about the company’s values, mission and goals, as well as how to be successful in their individual role. This period of instruction may last up to 90 days or longer, depending on the unique desired outcomes of the company.
 

Taking the time to effectively train new employees can significantly improve how soon they can start making impactful contributions to the company, as well as employee retention rates. There are several components that go into successful new employee training, including ensuring they understand what is expected of them and how their progress will be evaluated.
 

As your company finds new talent to fill much-needed roles, consider how to best implement a new hire training program. Below, you’ll find examples of effective new employee training practices, a few things you should avoid when training new employees and FAQs related to new employee training programs and practices.
 

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Why is it important to train new employees?

According to an Indeed survey, 39% of job seekers who left their job within the first six months said that more effective onboarding and new hire training could have helped them stay longer.*
 

New employees who receive training upon being hired experience many benefits, including increased confidence, familiarity with company policies and procedures and specific insight into their new role. This helps eliminate the uncertainty and low morale that candidates may feel when they’re not adequately supported in their first days and weeks on-the-job.
 

*Indeed survey, n=438
 

What is the difference between onboarding and training?

Although new hire onboarding and training are two separate concepts, they have similar components. Onboarding focuses on integrating new hires into the company culture while providing them with the resources they need to be successful in their roles. Training focuses on the tasks and goals related to the position.
 

Examples of effective new employees training strategies

There are several training practices that can help make new employee training more effective and beneficial for everyone involved. Here are a a few important practices to keep in mind when training new employees:
 

1. Determine new hire training procedures before you begin

Before you can effectively train new employees, you should first establish what you want your new hire to know and how you’re going to train them (online, daily meetings, etc.). Ensure that management is on the same page before training new employees to avoid confusion and lack of structure.
 

It’s also a good idea to consult with your current employees when developing a training process. Not only do they have a unique perspective regarding their training experience and how to improve the experience for future hires, but they also know first-hand how the introduction of a new team member affects their team dynamics. That’s why it’s important to ask for advice on how to make the transition of adding another person to the team easier for all involved.
 

2. Delegate mentors

Help your senior team members feel valued by enlisting their help as mentors. Before the new hire joins your team, arrange for your team to guide this person through certain tasks. This way, everyone has a one-on-one opportunity to get to know the new hire personally.
 

Read more: Creating a Buddy System in the Workplace
 

3. Offer support

If possible, free up some time on your calendar to provide support to new hires. Plan on giving them a tour of the office and introduce them to key members of your team. If time allows, create a cheat sheet that describes each person’s role within the department, including their contact information. Try to take new hires to lunch during the first week so they can get acquainted with you and other team members in a more relaxed environment.
 

4. Check-in with your new employees regularly during their first few weeks

Once you begin training, check in with your new employees several times a week during their first few weeks. This ensures that they’re making the desired progress and allows for quick rerouting if an employee gets off track. Be sure to schedule these check-ins at scheduled times so both you and the new employee can plan and be prepared.
 

5. Don’t forget to educate on company culture

While training new hires on the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks that they’ll be performing is important, you should also take time to educate new employees on your company culture, mission and values. For example, if your organization offers flexible PTO or encourages regular breaks throughout the day, be sure to let them know so they can take advantage of them. Create a training module that covers your company’s mission and values to give your new employees direction and purpose.
 

6. Set achievable goals for new employees

Setting clear and realistic goals can help new employees feel comfortable in their new position as well as know what is expected of them during their first few weeks. Determine each employee’s current skill set and experience and use this as a guide for establishing short-term goals they can accomplish during their initial weeks on the job.
 

7. Provide regular feedback

As new hires become better acquainted with the responsibilities related to their role, schedule time to provide regular feedback. This ensures that team members know what is expected of them and exactly how to improve before they get into the habit of making mistakes often. When providing feedback, keep your dialogue positive and encouraging.
 

Without regular feedback, employees are more likely to make mistakes and continue to make those same mistakes in the long run. The longer employees perform a task the wrong way, the harder it can be to correct it. Regular feedback ensures your new employees are performing their tasks correctly and are on track to meeting their established goals.
 

8. Implement team-building exercises

Another great strategy that helps new hires feel like part of the company is team-building exercises. Look for ways to get seasoned employees and new hires together through special events like workshops, volunteering, scavenger hunts and building challenges that promote teamwork and camaraderie.
 

9. Reward employees for their progress

Celebrate success. When new employees achieve the goals you have set for them, be sure to recognize these achievements and provide encouragement for their continued success. This can help keep new employees motivated to continue learning and ensure they feel noticed and appreciated at their new place of work.
 

What to avoid in new employee training programs

The following are a few things you should avoid when training new employees:
 

Favoritism

Because training new employees can take time away from the current members of your team, be mindful of other requests throughout the process. Show your existing team members an equal amount of attention when they request your presence. For instance, if your team is in the middle of a big project and needs your approval to maintain their performance levels, make time to step away from training.
 

Information overload

New employees will likely be overwhelmed with a lot of new information during the first few weeks of training. Find ways to slow down learning by breaking it up into chunks. For example, consider spreading out training over the course of a few weeks, allowing them to get started on small projects, meet up with their coworkers for coffee chats and get a feel for the office environment and company culture. Create a training schedule that details the specifics of what they’ll be learning and how long the process will take.
 

One-way conversations

Throughout the new employee training program, make sure you’re giving new hires the time and space to ask questions and provide feedback. Pay attention to the way they respond to your information. If you’re sensing that training has become a one-way conversation, step back and listen to any feedback.
 
Bringing on new employees is also a great opportunity to see your workplace and its functions through a new perspective. Do your best to listen to any ideas or suggestions brought up by new employees and avoid dismissing them due to their inexperience in the organization or position.

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New employee training FAQs

When should new employee training begin?

Some companies designate an employee’s first week to be training. While you can’t begin training your new hires in-depth until they’re actually on the job, you can provide them with basic onboarding information that they can read through before their first day if they like. This can cut down on time spent reviewing fundamental training information and also help new employees feel more comfortable and prepared from the start.

Related: New Employee Welcome Email Examples

How do I know if the new employee training program is effective?

One of the best ways to measure the success of your new hire training program is to perform a pre-training assessment and a post-training assessment or survey and compare the two findings. For example, if an employee knows very little about their position and responsibilities before training but after five weeks on the job they have increased their understanding by 87%, there’s a good chance that your employee training is effective. Each pre- and post-training assessment should be specific to the employee’s position and existing skills and knowledge.

How can I make new employee training more enjoyable?

There are several things you can do to make new employee training more enjoyable for both you and your new employees. Some things to try include taking regular breaks, incorporating interactive games into the training program, encouraging socialization (e.g., coffee chats, ice breakers) and regularly rewarding new employees for their progress.

What are some typical on-the-job training methods?

Some of the most common on-the-job training methods include the following:
 

  • Job rotation: This form of training allows new hires to move from one task to the next helping employees understand other roles and how they relate to theirs.
  • Coaching: Coaching provides one-on-one guidance and valuable feedback.
  • Job instruction: Employees work to complete tasks based on step-by-step guidance with feedback from the trainer.
  • Committee assignments: Sometimes companies train new hires in groups, through hands-on collaboration. New hires build relationships as they work together to solve an organizational problem.
  • Apprenticeship: Considered a formal training method, apprenticeships provide the opportunity for people to learn specific trades like plumbing, electrical and mechanics by job shadowing an individual with higher credentials. The process typically takes three to four years before the apprentice becomes skilled enough to perform work alone.

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*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.

Last updated: Nov 04, 2020