5 Employee Training Best Practices for Successful New Hire Onboarding
Different companies, roles, and responsibilities demand different types of employee training.
This reality is a challenge at the enterprise level, where training managers must provide personalized, effective training to potentially hundreds of new hires at once.
The question is: How can we provide high-quality, cost-effective training that is tailored to each employee’s needs?
It’s no secret that a workforce of well-trained employees is the foundation for a high-performance company. When employees have all of the resources and support they need to be successful in their role, they will be more engaged and productive in their day-to-day.
The opposite is also true.
Without proper training, employees will become frustrated in their role, make more errors and require more support. Business performance will suffer, and so will your bottom line.
A solid, well-planned training program is fundamental to success. Applying a few employee training best practices to your training model will help your new employees learn the ropes and thrive in their roles.
Five employee training best practices
1. Create an Agenda
An agenda, or employee training plan, is one of the most essential employee training best practices. First, make a list of goals and performance indicators that will help measure the success of the program.
These indicators and goals are based on who is involved and what they need to gain from the training. A customer success manager needs to learn different things than an account executive or an IT person. By clarifying the differences, you can also see which objectives all new employees have in common, regardless of the variance in their responsibilities.
Once you know what your training needs to accomplish, you can create a training timeline. But remember, don’t rush through training. Effective learning requires time, repetition, and reinforcements.
2. Embrace digital tools
Traditional training methods like classroom learning and webinars are not effective for the modern workplace, in which employees need to use multiple enterprise software on a daily basis.
The use of cloud-based technology makes software learning even more challenging. Since updates and new features are rolled out automatically from the cloud, employees are challenged to learn quickly on an ongoing basis.
Digital training tools that enable contextual learning can help improve engagement and retention in your training program.
Contextual learning is more powerful due to its ability to gather context-based information about the learner to inform personalized, real-time guidance.
3. Cater to different learning styles
We already segment training by job title, but on top of that it is important to cater to the different learning styles.
Classically, there are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. Just keeping differences between these styles in mind can help you develop a successful program.
While some employees find a spoken presentation helpful, those who learn through experience (kinaesthetic) may not retain new information until they are able to do on-the-job practice.
Approach the training program in a layered style: include lectures, discussions, case scenarios and case study practice to create a program that accommodates all learning types.
4. Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement goes a long way for motivating employees along the learning path.
Verbal reaffirmation, a certificate, or a digital badge are all effective options.
For example, once an employee finishes a module, they could receive a badge that certifies their completion of the course. Now, they are prepared for further, more advanced training. This not only promotes individual motivation, but also helps you keep track of how far along your employees are in the training timeline (or when they need an extra nudge to keep going).
Reward employees who show progress and help encourage them become continual learners.
5. Solicit employee feedback throughout the training process
Open communication is among the most important employee training best practices.
You don’t have to wait until the training is over to begin soliciting feedback. The best time to get feedback on your training program is during it, while it is still fresh in employees’ minds.
Include check-in meetings in your training timeline and encourage an honest conversation about what employees think is going well or what could change to improve their learning.
Feedback helps drive long-term changes and on-the-spot adjustments that will create an overall more successful training program. Make sure employees feel that their voices are heard and that they are getting what they need out of the program.