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Spring training: Onboard your new hires with ease

Coworkers shaking hands across a table.

Leaving new employees to learn as they go is not the best way to ensure they deliver on your company’s promise—having a structured new-hire training program in place is. Introducing new staff to the company’s mission, processes, and expectations via a structured program are key to higher retention rates, a more cohesive culture, and happier employees overall. While some onboarding tasks will be unique to your company, the following represent general best practices to get you started:

1. Establish new-hire procedures
Make sure your procedures are concrete. This ensures that every new hire is educated in the same way and receives the same information. New-hire procedures help outline the what, why, when and how of what each new employee needs to know to function effectively in your organization. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Identify each task the employee needs to know and break it down into concrete steps.

  • Select the best person to conduct training for each particular task.

  • Allocate the appropriate resources, supplies and time for training.

  • Create a system for training by deciding what types of activities are best for new hires to learn each particular skill. This could be online training, peer-to-peer training or hands-on practice.

  • Test for understanding after you train. Integrate opportunities for new hires to show that they have a solid grasp of the information provided in training.

2. Create a new-hire training checklist
It’s likely that your new-hire training will span several days—or maybe weeks. To keep track of where each employee is within the training process, create a checklist. Here are some practical items to include:

  • Send a welcome email with parking instructions, who to report to, where they will be and the dress code. This allows you to start the onboarding process even before the new hire starts by providing useful information. This can reduce the stress that employees often feel before starting a new position.

  • Make sure new-hire office space is clean, stocked and ready for a new occupant.

  • Establish a mentor for the new employee.

  • Introduce the employee to an individualized training plan.

  • Plan check-in meetings and training tests.

3. Incorporate onboarding best practices into your training
Here are some ideas from the top companies who consistently rank high in employee retention and satisfaction:

  • Create a memorable first day tailored to what the new employee needs to be successful.

  • Use varied learning methods suited to the topic at hand. In other words, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to training.

  • Allow ample time for questions and dialogue instead of just running through information. Make new hires feel comfortable asking questions by building time into the process.

4. Make sure you train on culture, not just work tasks
A new employee can be a great ambassador for your company if they are trained on culture from day one. Be sure to highlight the things that make your company unique and how it impacts the way employees perform their jobs. An extremely effective way to communicate your company culture is to have your CEO address it directly when they meet new employees or via a video message.

5. Incorporate reviews and improvements into training
Many employees won’t settle into a new job for at least six months. So, make sure management is available to new hires to answer questions, check-in on how tasks are being performed, and ensure employees have the resources they need to be successful.

When you consider that 20 percent of U.S. workers leave their jobs after less than 45 days of being hired, you can see why having a solid onboarding process is important. Use these tips to create one for your business and then start your spring training!