Onboarding is a critical stage for new and transfer hires’ successful performance in the future. In fact, employees’ successes and failures are directly related to the quality of the onboarding process. That’s why it is crucial to provide stellar training, which includes making sure learning is taking place.
Employees who are exiting large corporations these days aren’t doing so because they’re not happy with their salaries. In fact, not being onboarded properly and lacking some of the basic skills to perform their roles with confidence actually tops the list.
But, before we get to the tips on how to make your onboarding training successful, let’s take a look at the ideal onboarding checklist:
- Detail job responsibilities, duties, schedules, and payment information to new hires to avoid negative experiences
- Submit a job requisition document to the managers in charge
- Gather all the forms new employees need to fill out
- Provide all devices and tools for new hires
- Set up all necessary accounts and logins for new hires
- Schedule orientation sessions early on (see below for tips)
Other ideas may come to mind; these are just to get you started.
Now let’s move on to our top picks of tips for successful onboarding training, in no particular order.
1. Set up Standard Operating Procedures
Onboarding training takes time and going through preparations each and every time can be rather troublesome. That’s why you should think of a simple hack: creating standard operating procedures (SOP).
Some examples include training materials (documents), instructional videos, short online courses and onboarding tools that can come in helpful. You can go one step beyond and create a project management checklist (use Asana, for example) so that all trainees can tick off the finished stages.
2. Customize Onboarding Training for Each New Employee
Now, here’s a catch: people are different. Even though you should rely on SOPs, you should also allow for customization.
Basically, this means that generalized organizational orientation should be complemented by a specific onboarding plan for each new employee. People have different expectations and career plans, after all.
This is why many companies have been contemplating when to outsource training, as of late. eLearning has offered so many new opportunities when it comes to providing knowledge and information for your new team members. Plus, many courses can be customized to fit your company’s specific needs. Training can also continue beyond onboarding, as there are seemingly endless topics for consideration.
3. Let New Hires Know What Their Future in the Company Will Look Like
All serious businesses know that building trust and loyalty from day one is the key to preventing troublesome retention rates. That’s why you should make sure to let the new hires know exactly what to expect from the company.
Include a mixture of various aspects, such as facts, employees’ experiences, and tenure.
4. Make Sure to Cover Everything and Assign a Mentor to Each New Hire
This is the usual issue with onboarding training — too often new hires are left to search for additional answers because the training doesn’t cover all aspects as it should. That’s why you should devise an efficient training program that lasts as long as it needs to.
While there are no set rules in this matter, many businesses go for a 90-day plan to be able to include all aspects of the job.
It is also a good idea to assign a partner to each new employee so that they know where to go for answers. For best results, pick an employee who isn’t on the same team as the new hire. This strategy allows for integrating new people.
5. Provide Cross-Cultural Training
This step is not always necessary, but for businesses applying hybrid work models and hiring people from different countries (and sometimes even from different regions of one country), it is highly advisable.
This doesn’t have to be a complicated task; simply provide basic guidelines and create opportunities for future team members to communicate efficiently.
6. Schedule Meetings With Key Staff
It is paramount that new employees integrate into the corporate culture ASAP, so make sure to schedule meetings with key staff early on.
Also, keep in mind that introductions should go both ways on all levels. Don’t leave the introductions to the new hires alone; they have so many things to observe! Rather, encourage team members to introduce themselves to the new hires. This will alleviate the inevitable stress and make the training smoother.
7. Set Clear Goals
Defining goals early on is necessary when setting new hires up for success. Not just any goals will do though. Clear goals need to be set and, in addition, expectations and objectives should also be clearly communicated.
8. Make Sure There’s Plenty of Time for Training
Hectic work environments too often tend to scare new hires off because they immediately throw them into the fire. This is a huge no-go. You should absolutely make sure that onboarding training is not rushed, that goals are clearly set, and that new hires have plenty of time to adjust to expectations.
Also, allow for the possibility that some employees (depending on their respective roles) may need additional training, especially when they need to learn specific processes. Make sure to accommodate this to avoid the hires getting discouraged and demotivated.
9. Include Cultural Transition Into Your Onboarding Training
Similarly, don’t focus only on the technical aspects of training. Transitioning into the cultural norms of your business is also crucial. However, don’t confuse this aspect with cross-cultural training. This is entirely related to company culture as opposed to interpersonal relations.
10. Encourage Communication and Connections
Be creative in discovering innovative ways to help new hires build meaningful connections. For this to be possible, to begin with, make sure to encourage communication (and set up proper communication tools while you’re at it!).
Think about remote new hires. They can’t attend team-building activities, so make sure to come up with creative ideas to help them connect. Think outside the box as literally, anything goes (virtual yoga classes, online cooking lessons, and everything and anything else that suits employees’ preferences).
11. Provide the Tools They Need
Additionally, your team will need the tools required to succeed. When first starting out, this can typically mean apps and software that can handle mundane tasks, so your employees can keep their minds on more relevant ideas and projects.
Think along the lines of time-tracking software and project-management tools. These days, if something can be automated, that’s also a huge plus. Never see AI as a replacement for human work, but more as a helping hand so your team can pay even more attention to difficult projects that always require a human touch.
12. Create People Development Plans
Last but certainly not least, your HR team can help your new hires with People Development Plans. What this means is formulating your employees’ goals to help create a tangible journey for them within the company. This can help them achieve both their current role initiatives, along with more long-term career goals.
Following a customizable template can make this easier for your HR team and your new employees to get started. Just be sure that you occasionally revisit these plans to be sure that you’re employees are motivated and still on track.
Hopefully, these tips will help you brainstorm ideas for your onboarding training. Customize all you want, but keep in mind the essentials. No matter what you do, however, never lose sight of people’s differences. Accommodate personalized career plans and communicate clearly with new hires from day one.