One of the most important aspects of managing your small business is making smart decisions in recruiting and hiring, since after all, if you don’t find quality professionals to fill the open positions at your business, you’ll be starting from behind the eight-ball. But once you’ve hired the perfect applicant, the challenge isn’t over yet – what’s almost as important as finding the right new hires is training them well.
If you don’t go the extra mile and offer extensive training courses to your newest employees, you’re putting your company in a potentially harmful position later on. If workers are trained improperly, they’ll develop bad habits early in their employment, and those habits can be very hard to break later on.
A new employee is like a newborn baby – a child has a greater capacity to learn languages in the first two years of his or her life than later on. Similarly, workers should learn good habits within their first two weeks in the office.
Inc. Magazine recently expounded upon the importance of training new hires properly. Ilya Pozin, founder of the digital marketing and creative agency Ciplex, said that although many companies tend to neglect training programs, they can be very important for starting employees off on the right foot.
“I know,” Pozin wrote. “Employee training isn’t cheap. But I also know that the positive impacts are worth every penny. Well-trained employees are happy, engaged, productive – and they will eat, sleep, and breathe your company if you ask them to. Of course, not all training methods work properly for every position, company, or industry.”
Because training is a complicated procedure and the specifics vary across disparate workplaces, it’s difficult to devise a one-size-fits-all battle plan for onboarding workers – but here are a few tips that should undoubtedly help.
Clarify the job description
Of course, if your new employee has already gone to the trouble of applying for, interviewing for and accepting a position at the company, he or she has already read over the description of the new job. But the newcomer will often have a lot of clarifying questions about what the position entails. Be sure to answer all inquiries thoroughly and honestly, and go over the greater context of the position. Be sure to explain how the job fits into the overarching goals of your business, and how the new employee will interact with others and help them grow professionally.
Instill confidence in newcomers
Many recently hired employees, especially when they’re entering new companies, new positions or even entirely new careers, come with a fear of failure that cripples them at the very beginning. Do everything you can to alleviate newcomers’ worries and tell them everything will be OK. First of all, you don’t expect your new workers to be failures – you hired them for a reason, as you find them qualified and fitting. And secondly, remind new workers that a couple of minor hiccups are to expected within the first few weeks at a new job, and small mistakes aren’t the end of the world.
Cross-train for various tasks
You also want to be creative in exactly what tasks you teach your new employees. If your arriving worker is a writer, or a technician, or a customer support agent, or some other specialized role, then you want to focus on teaching them the relevant skills for their specific position, but it also can’t hurt to cross-train them for other responsibilities. It will give you contingency plans for completing jobs when other employees are out sick or on vacation, not to mention helping you explore the skill set of a potentially versatile employee. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit.
Bringing in new employees is always a challenge. If you work hard to train them well, though, your efforts will pay off in the end.
How do you train newcomers?
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