Your organization is unique, and you don’t have time for fish-out-of-water employees. Taking the time to train someone appropriately for your work is imperative to keep your business flourishing in the long run.
Because we’ve had some of our business owners we insure grow enough to start their own employee new-hiring, we thought we would organize the best procedure to on-job training for you!
Preparing for your New Employee
While this is surely unique to your business and the position, a few things are certain:
- Ensure your new employee does not have access to private information, like the resumes and correspondence of other potential candidates.
- Organize all the documents and supplies they will need.
- Have the office computer or other equipment they’ll use cleaned up and ready for a new user.
- Have important forms and documents updated and ready to go, Including
- The employee handbook
- Standard Operating Procedures
- Make sure your other employees know about this new individual. People who will be working with them in the future should have the resume on hand to see the kinds of skills the new employee already knows. That means you can probably skim those portions of the training.
Day One – Introductions
The first day of training can be the most awkward or more rewarding for a new employee. Let’s aim for the later.
Don’t be afraid to ask your new team member about the skills they’re most or least comfortable with. Ask them if they feel they’ll learn best with verbal, written, or hands-on instructions.
Likewise, don’t hesitate to be up front about the “corporate culture” they’re getting into. What can they expect to see every day on the job? What is your policy on breaks? How does your team do lunch?
Give the tour! Introduce the new employee to everyone around. Show them where everything is, from the equipment they’ll use every day, to the trusty old coffee pot.
Lastly, give your new employee your reasonable expectations. Chances are you have an idea of when you think your training will be comfortable with their daily tasks, and it’s important that you provide your employee that timetable to work with so they can get off on the right foot.
As training continues, the hope is the two of you build a solid professional relationship as your new employee goes from student to vital aid. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you continue your training!
Be flexible: you need to tailor your communication and teaching style to your employee. Depending on the job and the person, the type of information you provide and how you provide that information can vary greatly. Don’t assume the way you trained one employee will work for the next!
Be Direct: When it comes to processes, you may want to explain your little tips and tricks and shortcuts and all that. Don’t. The best way to explain a procedure is the correct, direct way, and then allow the employee to discover what works best for them. This will lead to less confusion down the road and you’ll have an easier time answering questions.
Be By Their Side, Not Over Their Shoulder: You may find yourself ranting on and on about what you need to happen, but ranting is not the same as training. Likewise, you may find yourself wanting to crack the whip: do this do that let me just show you etc.
You and your employee will have a much better time training if you keep things professional but positive. This is a teaching moment for the both of you.
Be sure you allow opportunities to ask each other questions to see how the two of you are doing. Are you going to fast? Did they think of something outside the box? Great!
Let them guess solutions, and be there for them through difficult tasks. Don’t just shove them aside to get the problem over with. This will cause more problems down the line.
Be Patient: Stick to one-on-one training instead of having the group throw everything at the new employee at once. It may seem to take forever, but having one person train one employee at a time leads to better results.
And don’t give the whole process at once either. Start with just the first step, then have the employee repeat it. Once that step is down, then you add step two.
Finally, provide a list of resources and contacts for your employee. Inevitably a problem will arise after training and monitoring is done, and so having this resource and knowing who to go to keeps the business running smoothly as your employee transitions into independence.
Do you have any advice for training an employee? Any training disasters you’ve had to deal with? Let us know in the comments!