Many companies are on the move to fill critical positions. And when new employees are brought on board, the expectation is to have them up and running, fast.
To make this happen, most modern businesses already have a well-thought-out new hire training plan in place, but it’s something that should always be re-evaluated and improved to ensure its lasting efficacy. The first 30-60-90 days are a critical period of time that can make or break the long-term success of an employee.
Effective training practices during this onboarding period can help new team members integrate into company culture more seamlessly and kickstart productivity. At the same time, those first few months are an ideal time to get new hires thinking about their career trajectory with the company and design a long-term employee development plan from the get-go.
Let’s talk about how your business can elevate your training plan to support new hires throughout onboarding and lay a solid foundation for long-term success.
How to evaluate your existing new hire training plan
How you make improvements to your new hire training plan will depend on the effectiveness of your current strategy.
So, step one is for your team to evaluate the existing onboarding program based on a series of both qualitative (including anecdotal insights from interviews) and quantitative (data-oriented metrics such as post-hire surveys) information. Combined, this will help you gauge how the current method is working, and where there are opportunities for improvement.
Performance indicators to look at can include:
- Training completion rate: Are new employees fully completing their training curriculum? How long does it take them?
- Ongoing knowledge assessments: Are new employees retaining information gained from their training? Are skilled employees consistently and effectively updating their competencies?
- Application of new/updated skills: Are new employees using their training in the day-to-day operations of their role? Is the training offered supporting employees in the completion of their work?
- Employee engagement and experience: Do new employees feel supported by the training resources available to them? Are these training opportunities helping them to feel more engaged at work and more effective in their position?
- Completion of individual and departmental goals: Are current training tactics enabling employees and their greater teams or departments to achieve set objectives?
The foundational components of a new employee training plan
Setting up new employees for success within their position at your organization is largely dependent on the effectiveness of your training strategy. While new hire training will always vary from one business to the next, these three components are core foundational pillars for a strong program:
- Organizational orientation
Every new hire training plan starts with the basics. This includes an introduction to company procedures, laws and policies, team members, supervisors and company mission, history and values.
- Alignment on roles and responsibilities
There should be a clear alignment between a new hire and their manager on the responsibilities of the role and what success looks like. This can be achieved through basic goal-setting, where new employees collaborate with their managers to set objectives related to their position, as well as any professional development goals.
If there’s a specific goal-setting framework or performance management tool that your organization uses, be sure to include that as part of the training plan.
- Path to growth: Ongoing investment in your people
Once you’ve covered the basics and set role-based goals, the next priority is to think about how long-term development and skill building fits into each new employee’s training plan. Although the formal onboarding period comes to an end, workplace learning and training is an ongoing process that extends beyond the first few months on the job.Integrating this into your new employee training plan allows new hires to think about their desired career path from the get-go and be aware of what resources they may want to leverage to maintain or build upon their existing skills. This can include planning for future training courses, certifications or degree programs.
4 effective ways to reshape your new employee training plan
Here are a few tactics you can leverage to uplevel your new employee training plan even more:
- Expand learning and development (L&D) practices to go beyond training
As mentioned, training isn’t a one-and-done item that can be marked off of an onboarding to-do list. Instead, consider training as just one part of a larger continuous employee learning and development strategy.
Beyond what’s already in place, a more strategic approach to L&D can include a workforce education program that offers short- and long-term learning opportunities to earn credentials, certifications and academic degrees.
- Modernize your training practices
It’s important to keep in mind that the most effective training methods are those which are personalized. Avoid outdated, “one-size-fits-all” training tactics that don’t serve the individual needs of every unique employee. Instead, make them individualized so they can best support a variety of learning styles and needs.
There is some training applicable to a large group of people, however, be sure there are specific options available that match a new hire’s specific role requirements.
- Implement a mentorship “buddy” program
Whether with a more senior employee or a peer that’s long-standing at the company, a one-on-one relationship to orient and train a new employee is a valuable resource that can make the onboarding and ramp-up process significantly easier for a new employee.
For instance, new hires can turn to their “buddy” to ask questions, get help during onboarding/orientation and seek advice about other company programs. This type of mentorship program is popular because it also helps to foster friendships among colleagues and promotes company culture.
- Invite conversation and solicit feedback
As with any people strategy, seeking feedback is key. Consult current employees to explore what could have made their new employee training experience better. This can include asking what might be missing from the program, and what aspects may have felt erroneous. Then, weave this feedback into your new employee training approach to further refine the process.
Overall, encouraging feedback enables employee empowerment and delivers benefits both now and in the future.
Setting up new hires for success from the start
The benefits of a robust employee onboarding program range from boosting productivity and reducing ramp time, to improving employee engagement and satisfaction. In summary, a well-rounded, modern approach to new employee training results in a better bottom line for the company. So set up your employees for success right from the beginning.
Struggling to attract qualified talent? Download this guide to learn how to enhance your employer brand and attract more qualified job candidates through workforce education.