A new hire training program is essential for ensuring that new employees have the tools to succeed in their role and are prepared to fulfill their responsibilities. Not only that, but it’s also learning leaders’ first opportunity to curate a positive onboarding experience that helps new employees feel comfortable, welcomed and valued in a new work setting.

According to Digitate, new hires who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for other career opportunities. And research by Glassdoor found that organizations with an effective onboarding experience can improve employee retention by 82%. This means that building strong, long lasting relationships in the workplace truly starts on day one. When it comes to onboarding, first impressions matter.

Onboarding is a critical step in an employee’s development with a company. An effective onboarding experience should provide new employees with the opportunity to acclimate to their role and the company, as well as learn more about the work itself. Let’s take a look at what learning and development (L&D) initiatives to include in your organization’s new hire training program.

New Hire Coaching

The most effective new hire training program expands beyond onboarding with a transition from new hire training to coaching. One-on-one coaching is an effective training technique that can help new hires develop much-needed skills and achieve business goals. Continuous feedback can help new employees constantly improve their performance, reducing time to proficiency in their role.

Standardized Work

Standardized work defines standards for any given type of work or procedure, so that every worker can learn the most optimal way to accomplish a task. When incorporated into a new hire training program, standardized work can help:

  • Create work stability.
  • Cut down on waste.
  • Increase uptime and efficiency.
  • Improve safety.
  • Increase job satisfaction.
  • Improve communication in the workplace.

It’s important to note that standardized work should never be a list of static, set-in-stone mandates. Instead, these methods should be scalable and adaptable to both internal and external challenges an organization might face.

Job Instruction

Job instruction training serves to build stability in an organization’s processes. The idea is to train employees to break down a particular job and develop an optimal and consistent method to completing tasks. Training new hires to find stability in their workflow can help boost performance and confidence on the job. Other benefits can include increased output, reduced training time and higher job satisfaction.

Health and Safety Training

Health and safety training provides employees with a framework for recognizing and eliminating the chain of events leading to accidents or hazardous situations. It includes learning materials and aids with precautionary procedures to promote employee safety and wellness in the workplace. There are three critical factors to consider when it comes to safety training:

  • Physical safety: relates to  the facility, equipment, workplace floorplan and traffic, lighting, signage, clothing and protective gear.
  • Personal safety: relates to knowledge, skills, abilities, emotions, supervisor/worker relationships, behaviors, routines and personal health.
  • Cultural safety: relates to policies, leadership attitudes, risk management procedures and related organizational behaviors and attitudes

Integrating safety and wellness training into a new hire training program can help prevent jobsite accidents as well as improve workflow between teams and departments.

Teamwork and Communication Skills

Soft skills training can prepare employees to collaborate and innovate in a psychologically safe and respectful environment. This can include training on skills like empathy, resilience and emotional intelligence (EQ). This can be the “secret ingredient” to your L&D programs and a competitive edge for your organization. It can also ensure a culture of care that promotes positive employee interactions.

Soft skills training during onboarding also can give employers the opportunity to coach managers and team leads on conflict management and prevention best practices. Most importantly, soft skills training can help instill a people-centric approach to managing the workplace. This ultimately helps create a company culture built on respect.

Moving Forward

Remember, as with any form of growth, developing a new hire training program is an ongoing process. It should extend beyond the first 90 days as well as be open for continuous growth and improvement. Learning leaders should continuously adapt their onboarding approach to stay ahead of changes and meet modern employee expectations.