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Train, train and train some more – onboarding new employees

October 9, 2015
Borderless Leadership

According to recent data from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM); more than 25 percent of the U.S. will experience some type of career transition each year.

Unfortunately, many of these transitions are never successful. Roughly half of all hourly workers leave new jobs in the first four months and most upper level positions fail within 18 months.

There is something wrong with this picture. Every bad hire results in considerable money and time wasted for the organization. The faster new hires feel welcome, prepared and educated for their jobs, the faster they will begin to contribute to the team’s mission. Successfully onboarding a new employee is critical to any business, yet many have not put the appropriate effort into this important time period.

Following are three needs that are essential for new employees that will drastically improve retention rates for organizations.

Be clear and concise: I had the opportunity to have a private dinner with Lee Cockerell (former vice president of operations for Walt Disney World resorts) and I had the opportunity to ask him many questions about management.

I learned a wealth of knowledge that has helped our organization to grow to new levels; the most important being to be clear and concise as to what I expected from employees.

It is essential to not assume new employees understand what is expected of them. Example: When training a new salesperson (assuming they understand the product) it is not enough to ask them to call potential customers and sell the product.

They need to be given a detailed guideline of what to say, notified of how many calls each day need to be made, understand how many confirmed sales are expected each day/week etc.

If metrics are not clearly communicated and enforced, it is nearly impossible for the company to get the results needed and equally, the employee never truly understands what was being expected.

This happens every day in small and large businesses. Both parties lose. The employee either unknowingly fails expectations or quits out of frustration and the employer loses a possible good employee along with wasted money spent training them.

Make Checklists: One of the best ways that I have found that clearly communicates what needs to be completed is to have a checklist. The top performing U.S. companies all use checklists for every process in the organization. Using checklists and having employees utilize them daily will drastically reduce human error on essential details. At the same time, it clearly communicates to new employees exactly what needs to be completed for each task.

This will not only eliminate errors during the training process, but it will extend every day that the employee uses them. Checklists need to be detailed and clearly communicated to anyone in the organization what needs to be done to complete each duty correctly.

Not only is this an excellent tool for onboarding new employees, but it can also be used when a key team member is absent and no one else is trained to perform their job. At the end of the day the most successful companies will be set up so that anyone should be able to step in and complete most duties of the business because a clear and detailed checklist will notify anyone precisely what needs to be done.

It is very easy to get this started in any organization. Simply ask each employee to create a checklist cataloguing the details of their core functions and have someone in the organization responsible for getting them organized and readily accessible to others in your organization.

Never stop training
Most companies and managers plan on and carry out the normal two weeks to one month of training and let the employee take over the responsibilities. After a set amount of time, they are left to mature in the position without much further training. This is a definite mistake.

Any manager should be aware of the true time that it takes to get a new employee 100 percent efficient in a position. It takes years sometimes, but it is definitely not after one month. It is very important to continue intentional training ongoing for every employee or offer training classes for them to develop into the preferred skill-set.

It is best to have an ongoing training plan set up annually so that both the manager and employee knows in advance what to expect and to have a plan in place for it to happen.

Onboarding new employees are essential to retention as well as to their effectiveness once they are within the position.

Most companies do not do an adequate job training their new-hires. Being someone who has run a company when we did not do a good job training employees verses after making the shift to thorough training, there is just no comparison.

By Cory Minter

Source: Tulsa Business

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