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Don’t Make This Management Mistake

If I had a dollar for every time an experienced professional told me they never received formal training at a new job, I could have retired by now. Many companies have a plug-and-play mentality when it comes to onboarding, which often proves to be a costly mistake.

According to PwC, the cost of losing a new hire equates to 3x the employee’s salary (1). And research from Middlesex University for Work Based Learning shows that 74% of employees feel they have not reached their full potential due to a lack of training1. At Talentfoot, one of the key reasons we hear of professionals leaving their positions is because they feel their skills are not being fully utilized and they have a desire to do more with their career.

Therefore, it’s critical that employers have a structured training system in place, tailored to each new hire, based on their strengths and weaknesses. This will ensure the new hire is indeed maximizing their abilities and fully embracing all aspects of the role and organization. This in turn will greatly improve employee retention and overall morale. Onboarding and training is crucial beginning day one as 1 in 3 employees leave their company within the first six months1, and 7 out of 10 people say that training has an impact on whether they stay1.Bottom line? Companies need to invest more time and resources in training. An organization could be losing up to millions per year if they don’t have a strong training program in place, depending on their size and number of employees.

A structured training program should include these eight components:

1. Company Information

History: The first part of your onboarding program should provide new hires information regarding your company’s history, what you stand for, the challenges you face, and your future vision for the department and organization.

Strengths/Weaknesses: Highlight key successes and challenges to give your new hire a clear idea of how your company is excelling and how they can impact the organization’s growth.

Transparency: Presenting both the positives and negatives shows the new hire they are entering a transparent environment – refreshing for anyone!

2. Department Details: Your New Hire’s Part of the PuzzleGone are the days when you could simply give orders. Top performers are most inspired and effective when they understand why they’re doing something and the exact impact it’ll have when done properly. No manager wants a robot, anyway. Explaining the big picture and your “why” creates a win-win situation, and this is an absolute requirement among the next generation of hiring.

After your new hire gets the rundown on the company as a whole, it’s time to dive into departmental nuts and bolts. Review the organizational chart and how they fit into it. You should also walk them through who they’ll be working with on their initiatives.

3. Play Tour Guide Beyond the First Day

Walk your new hire around to meet everyone they will be interacting with. Create a checklist for yourself, especially if your company is a large matrix-like organization. Hiring managers often do this the first day and then assume the tour is over. Regularly walk your new hire through the office the first month or two and make a point to schedule team lunches or collaborative brainstorming sessions to further interaction with the new hire and colleagues. Wherever possible, find the common ground between your new hire and the team members they’ll be working with, just like you would if you were introducing two friends at a party.

4. Build in Shadow Time: Desk Organization

Each person on your team organizes their desk in a unique way, and their systems could be helpful for your new hire. Have your new employee observe each team member for 15-20 minutes to learn their methods for being successful at the organization. The best time to do this is within the first two weeks on the job.

5. Teach Hard Skills Rigorously: 30/60/90

Build an outline of what you expect your new hire to learn and accomplish within the first 30, 60, and 90 days (and beyond). There are multiple online resources that use videos, audios, and PDFs to teach technical skills – or you can find a live trainer. There are even SaaS companies, like LearnCore, to assist in building a scalable training program.

6. On-The-Job Training

This is the most common and obvious style of training: Throwing your new hire into the mix, giving them tasks, and course-correcting as you go. After their first 3-5 days of work, once they’ve acclimated a bit, give your new employee 1-3 projects per day to tackle. Clearly communicate each task and your expectations on delivery.

7. Encourage the Development of Soft Skills.

The earlier you communicate how crucial specific soft skills are to progress in the organization, the better. Too often I see loyal employees who have been with their employer for 8+ years and still haven’t reached Director level because they simply don’t possess the required soft skills. If many of these professionals had been made aware of the importance of these skills upon being hired, their chances of progressing would have increased.Many organizations hire an executive coach to provide direct feedback on soft skills to help high-potentials reach their goals. This is a great approach since it eliminates any awkwardness a manager might feel about giving a direct report honest feedback on their personality. An outside coach’s feedback often comes across more objective and impersonal. If you need resources, leave a comment below and let me know, or email me at cfetter@talentfoot.com, Subject Line: Seeking Executive Coach.

8. Check-In RegularlyBook 30-minute 1:1 meetings with your new hire once a week for at least six months when they first start off. As they progress you can decrease your check-ins to 10-15 minutes.This will give you time to regularly review where they are excelling and where they can improve. Make sure you leave time for them to voice their challenges and questions.

This baseline training structure will foolproof your onboarding process, save you time and money and ultimately increase your retention rate.

Do you have any questions about this outline? Would you like more resources? Email us at info@talentfoot.com;we’d love to support you in making your training process seamless and effective.

Sources1) 110 Statistics on Corporate Training and What They Mean for Your Company’s Future