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Tips for Revitalizing Your Onboarding Training to Engage New Employees

Tips for Revitalizing Your Onboarding Training to Engage New Employees

You have a new employee joining your team. They seem like a great fit and you are excited about getting them up and running as soon as possible. How will they integrate into your work culture without disrupting the business or frustrating the rest of your team? How much time and energy do you spend with them, and how do you avoid the blind risk associated with throwing them right into the job?

Most organizations have an orientation program that includes information about the organization. Some managers tend to think this takes care of everything and the job is done! "Orientation" is only the beginning of the onboarding process. What happens after that is well within your control to make your new employee more successful. New employees have lots of potential, but often require more initial time, training and coaching that some people don't always have the patience to accommodate, nor have factored into their plans. However, if organizations start to think of onboarding as a training program rather than a liability, it becomes clearly evident that all new employees require more than just orientation. The best way to get your new employee integrated is to think of the process just as you would any other training requirement and create an onboarding program.

Seven Elements of a Great Onboarding Program

1. Strategic Onboarding - Strategically link organizational objectives, goals and cultural norms to the goals of the onboarding program. The more strategic the training, the more invested both the employee and the organization will be in the employee's success, and the more quickly they can get up to speed.

2. Schedule Their Time - Taking them for lunch on the first day sends a great message. This eliminates first day jitters of "Where do I go? What do I do?". But that is not all you need to schedule. The best onboarding programs are typically 90 days, with short and long-term benchmarks built into the employee's role and work schedule.

3. Create Learning Objectives - Design all required onboarding knowledge, skills and abilities into formal learning objectives, with set conditions, timelines and performance standards. Also consider "what" information needs to be learned "when." Overloading them with everything they need to know in one day or less will not only overwhelm them but will take up more time when the learning needs to reoccur at the "right time" again anyway. Inform the employee that their role is to learn, and set them on the right path to success. Get employees excited about their new role by setting SMART goals for them.

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