New Employee Training and Beyond
Some confuse training with onboarding. Onboarding is getting the new hire situated with the company and their surroundings; then, we move into training. Of course, there is the initial training, but training should be continuous. There should be a mechanism that allows for employees to get as much training as possible for their job, cross-training, and development.
There’s an old proverb concerning training that goes like this:
The CFO asks the CEO “How can we continue to train our employees only to have them leave?’ The CEO replies, ‘Why would we not train them and have them stay?”
Even though a new employee may not have had the same job at a different company, there are probably subtle differences in the flow of information. Where data is found, and the interaction with other employees and departments.
It is well worth the time and effort it takes to provide employees some initial training. Depending upon the company, position, the new hire’s skill level and standardization, the position will determine how long this training should last. It is always strongly suggested that each position has detailed processes, procedures, and flow maps associated with them.
Unless the job is highly repetitive, there may be details that the employee may not remember from the initial instruction. It is also suggested that mentors be assigned to every new employee. This is explained under the “mentor” section. The main reason is that new employee may feel very intimidated by having to continually go to the manager to get instruction or clarification. Having an assigned mentor gives the employee someone to turn to for those pieces of missing information or for confirmation that they are proceeding in the right direction.
With mentors and with trainers, you have to make sure the person is highly skilled as well as approachable. I have personally been seen the damage that can be done from a highly skilled employee that didn’t have that human being component in a training and mentoring position. I can vividly remember the person not giving a trainee all of the relevant information. Later recounting that since he had to learn it the hard way, the new guy should have to as well. Not a good plan. You should be making it as easy and informative on new hires as feasibility possible.
Training and the opportunity for future training shouldn’t end after the initial training. Employees should be encouraged and have training opportunities available to them throughout their career. This is a good opportunity to cross-train for other related positions within the company and train for promotional opportunities.
Programs can be developed using in-house resources in order to hold costs down and train to your exact company needs and processes. You can also check industry associations for training programs, as well as reach out to consultants and trainers who specialize in your needs. Depending upon multiple factors, you can also develop a training course and solicit others outside of your company to participate. This will allow you to charge for the outsiders which helps offset your expenses and maybe even make money. It will also give your company first shot at any emerging talent discovered in these training classes.
No matter how you decided the training is to be delivered, always offer plenty of training opportunities for you employees. You always want employees learning and growing in their positions and for future leadership opportunities.