The impact of training on employee productivity is huge. Common sense tells us that someone who understands how to perform their role will have an easier time doing so. But why? And how?
This article will cover the predominate onboarding and training thought leadership that explains the impact of training on employee productivity, how you should create a training plan and how to ensure your organization continues to train employees to be productive.
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Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success
Did you know that businesses lose an estimated $37 billion each year from employees not understanding their roles?
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Foundation published in 2010 the highly influential report titled “Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success”. Through their research and report, SHRM advocates that having a formal onboarding process for new employees greatly increases the likelihood for success within the organization. Of the organizations surveyed for the report, 60% cite effective onboarding to have improved time to productivity.
Why is time to productivity important? Remember that your employees’ productivity level is at zero before they are trained. With some training, they can be somewhat productive. But only at the end of a comprehensive training program are they set up to be truly productive. Neglecting the onboarding process will leave new hires at a disadvantage, which in turn disadvantages the potential that they can contribute to your company.
The report also provides a well-researched model for onboarding employees, depicted in the graphic below. A lot of effort is put into finding and selecting the best candidates for the job. Once chosen, they need to be trained in four key areas to be successfully onboarded in their new position.
If you want to learn about the impact of training on employee productivity, the “Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success” report is a robust source to have a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Reading this report will give you an in-depth understanding of why these fundamentals are crucial for new higher success and productivity.
- Self-Efficacy – understanding where and how to get the resources they need
- Role Clarity – understanding the responsibilities and expectations of the role
- Social Integration – understanding who does what and how it relates to their role
- Knowledge of Culture – understanding company values, expectations, and freedoms
Your Training Plan for New Employees Framework
Once you understand what an onboarding plan should be founded on, the next step is to create a training plan for new employees. Your training plan should be customized to fit the needs of your organization and the specific role of your new hire. There’s no universal training plan. As such, it’s difficult to pin down what every new employee should learn. Rather than recommending steps to include in your training plan for new employees, the following is a framework for how to create a training plan.
1. Start with Identifying Training Objectives
Answer this question: New employees should end their training with what knowledge and skills? Start drafting the answers to this. It’s best to brainstorm anything and everything, put it all on paper, and then decide which items are related and should be covered in the same session.
2. Organize Training Sessions and Hands-On Training
Find the overarching themes from your list of objectives, and create training sessions around each one. Often, there will be several people in the company that hold expertise in what your new hire needs to learn. Find these people, and include them in your process.
It’s important that these training sessions are scheduled for the new employee to understand why before how. For example, explain the company goals, then what is currently being done, and finally how they will contribute to the effort.
3. Open Feedback Loops
Feedback loops during training are a preventative measure to ensure employees are productive after training. Offering time to talk through what is and what is not understood early will give you time to fix issues and fill knowledge gaps.
What Additional Training Would Benefit the Employee?
In the digital workplace, employees engage with online platforms and systems to perform their job. From email, to project management, CRM, ERP and HCM, there are a lot of digital tools to be trained on. What makes this training even more challenging is that each systems changes with regular software updates and upgrades. This means that training will need to be ongoing.
Ongoing software training can be a huge challenge for organizations. After an employee has been onboarded, it is difficult to pull them away from their daily responsibilities for traditional training sessions in classrooms or webinars. Video tutorials and .pdf manuals aren’t much better either.
So what additional training would benefit the employee? Contextual learning.
Mastercard’s VP of Global Talent Development, Brian Gontarski, discussed how he was able improve the company’s software training using the leading contextual learning tool, WalkMe. Contextual learning adds a training layer directly on the software your employees use so that they can be productive while they learn. And contextual learning doesn’t have to start after onboarding. You can add contextual learning to the hands on learning part of your new employee training plan as well.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking training ends after onboarding. Training needs to be ongoing if employees are to evolve with the company and continue to increase their productivity.