New Hire Training 101

There are two core functions to new hire training: what the recruits want to know and what they need to know. Here’s the breakdown.

first day at new hire training

You’ve started your own small business– congratulations! You’ve mastered the hiring process and defined a company culture that’s able to attract top millennial talent. You have several teams all scheduled to start in the next couple weeks… and then it hits you. You have to put together a new hire training for your new team members and you’ve never spent a day working in HR in your life.

Don’t panic. You have a thing or two to learn before everyone starts, but if you not only strive to address the two core functions of new hire training (what your employees need to know and what they want to know) in addition to understanding why adequate training is important in the first place, you’ll do just fine. Read what we’ve outlined below and you’ll be a pro.

Why is good training important?

As Training Today explains, “leading companies know the importance of employee training and that orientation is a great opportunity to introduce employees to the company, its products, its culture and policies—and even to the competition.” Not only is crafting an informative, useful, and engaging new hire training a great way to show your employees that their experience at the company matters, but it also helps you to get the most out of the people you’ve already invested so much of your hiring resources in by giving them the tools they need to succeed in their new position.

What do my new hires want to know?

Think about the last time that you were new to a company. Of course, there’s plenty that you needed to know, but what were all the things that you wished you knew that perhaps didn’t make the training? Probably more ephemeral things like the history and background of the company beyond what’s shared with the public on the company website.

There’s a good chance that you were curious about company culture, too. How are things like time off treated within the company? Is there a flexible work policy and what are its parameters? Think about all the things that you could tell your new hires that can make navigating a new workplace less confusing and make sure you add all of that into your training.

What should I include in new hire training?

In addition to making sure that you hit on everything you that you know (or think) your new employees will want to know about your company, you have to include everything that they need to know in order to be successful in their jobs in your training as well.

One essential thing to include is a sales and product demonstration for all employees. It’s important for every member of your team to understand how your products or services are sold—aka what keeps the company profitable. Even if someone is on an almost unrelated team, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to speak to the basic sales functions of the company. This sets them up to be natural ambassadors anytime they’re out and someone asks them what the company that they work for does. New hires should walk away from your training able to give a succinct elevator pitch of the company.

One element that many onboarding teams don’t think about covering is safety zones in the office. While rare, disasters do happen, and it’s the responsibility of a business to keep their employees prepared and ultimately safe if misfortune should strike. Not only should your company have a workplace safety program—an overview of the policies and procedures that help keep workers and their peers safe on the job—but it should be included in every new hire training that you conduct.

Another piece of info that’s often overlooked is information about your competitors. Giving them detailed histories about other similar companies with helps them understand the field of your business.

The overarching idea about new hire training is that it should be a true and honest reflection of what life inside the company is like and it should contain all of the information and materials necessary to set your employees up for success. What that looks like at each individual company will change, but as long as you focus on those two elements as the goal of your new hire training, you can’t go wrong.

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