Not only are learning and development (L&D) leaders responsible for finding the right people to join their team, but they must also help new employees navigate the onboarding process and understand how they will fit into the larger organization.
New hire training can help form the initial foundation to enable an organization’s continuous L&D initiatives. With a solid training and coaching plan in effect, businesses in any industry have the power to continuously develop their workers and the work itself. Let’s evaluate how to create a new hire training program that helps foster a culture of continuous development.
What Makes a Good New Hire Training Program?
A new hire training program is a process designed to acclimate new employees to an organization. New hire training programs provide new employees with practical information such as role responsibilities, company policies and management structures, as well as more abstract concepts like company culture and values.
New hire training, also referred to as onboarding, involves getting new employees up-to-speed on work processes and teaching them the practical skills of the job — but it doesn’t end there. The next step is to provide continuous L&D opportunities, like coaching and mentorship, so that employees can keep growing new skills and improving their workflow. An effective new hire training program includes an adaptive blend of initial training and continuous learning in the flow of work.
Best Practices for Effective Onboarding
When developing a new hire training program, the key is to help new employees feel settled in their role and become active contributors to the organization’s success. Let’s take a look at best practices to creating an effective new hire training program.
A smooth onboarding process starts with preparation for the new hire’s first day. Be sure to have the new employee’s workstation organized and ready when they walk in the door. Make sure that the employee has access to anything they will need — this could include setting up their email account, providing important software login information or making any equipment they need to perform their job readily available.
Provide Training Packets
Training packets should include an overview of the onboarding objectives along with an outline of the training schedule. New hires should be able to refer to their training packet during the initial training until they have a grasp of typical workplace processes.
Involve Current Employees
The entire team should be made aware of a new hire’s first day so that they are equipped and prepared to show them the ropes and answer any questions. It can also be beneficial to schedule a team lunch for new employees on their first day so they can gain a sense of the company culture.
Schedule time for your new employees to sit down and meet with their fellow team members during their first day or week on the job. Team introductions can help new hires learn more about the people they will be working with in their team and other departments, what they do and where they can find them — plus it’s always nice to have a name to match a face.
Check In Frequently
The onboarding process extends beyond a new hire’s first week or two. Employers and training leaders should schedule regular check-ins with new employees to ensure that the transition is going smoothly. This gives employers and team leads a chance to catch something before it escalates and the new employees leaves the company or makes a mistake on the job.
These check-ins might initially be as frequent as once per week but can eventually transition to monthly or quarterly as the new employee gains more confidence and competence in their role. If an organization takes an incremental improvement approach (sometimes called “kata”), these meetings can be considered part of an ongoing coaching process.
Preparing new hires for their first day on the job begins well before day one. To ensure that your new hire training program is successful, it’s important to make sure that new hires feel ready to go. Have training packets ready and make sure to introduce new hires to their new team. This can ensure that your new hire onboarding starts off on the right foot.
In How to Create an Effective New Hire Training Program: Part 2, we will discuss actionable L&D initiatives you can implement in your new hire training program.