Tips for Training New Employees
Operations | Connections Editor | Nov 5 2020
In July, Applied Client Network partner with member Kerrie Koestner, vice president of employee development at FBinsure, to host the webinar "Peer-To-Peer: New Employee Roadmap And Training How-Tos". Today, we're recapping some of best tips and tricks Koestner shared to help you get through any challenges around orientation processes, onboarding, training and assimilating employees into your organization's culture that you may face.
“ The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” —Henry Ford
Tip #1: Create Role-based Training Blueprints
FBinsure uses training blueprints in order to keep track of the level of training needed for each individual role within its agency or brokerage (see figure below). You don't need a fancy program to create but it helps you manage through areas of development, assign training to existing employees and enter goal dates for the completion of training. Proactively building a template like this makes it easy to onboard a new hire at any time.
Tip #2: Develop a New Hire "Starter Pack"
On the flipside to the role-based blueprint, a new hire "starter pack" is something that should be functional for all employees. The idea behind FBinsure's starter pack is to offer course-based training to general technologies used by the full office, company policies, and benefits. Especially in today's virtual world, it's helpful to make these available through pre-recorded webinars and videos so that new hires can access them as needed during their first few weeks.
Tip #3: Build a Welcome Team
FBinsure opened an internal call for volunteers to solicit trainers and mentors for new hires. By allowing employees to volunteer, it really deepened FBinsure's metaphorical bench with engaged staff who wanted to help train new hires. Having a deep bench is especially useful for when more than one new hire joins at one time. Taking this one step further -- because structure is so important for new hires -- consider building a "welcome team" from team members who volunteer. Members of the team can be in charge of:
- Introducing your new hires to the team (inclusive of sending a welcome email as well as setting up virtual meet-and-greets or walking them around in-office to mediate introductions)
- Taking new hires out to lunch at least once during week one
- Checking in on your new hire regularly (at least once per week)
- And so much more!
Tip #4: Design a Unique First Day Experience
First days pretty much always mean the intake of a lot of information. First impressions go both ways and it's important to keep day one light and to set a positive tone that starts the minute a new hire walks through your agency or brokerage doors (phsyically or virtually). One example Koestner shared from FBinsure is a welcome gift that all new employees receive. The gift includes a company-branded fleece, water bottles and more. In addition to fun items like gifts, she suggests making day one focus largely on culture as a way of easing new hires into your environment.
Tip #5: Solicit Feedback
When you think about your training program, make sure that you incorporate check-in meetings. It's important that you think beyond week one and that you continuously engage with and solicit feedback from your new hires. Ask questions often. You don't know what they don't know, and asking questions will help you catch misunderstandings or misinformation early. You should also solicit feedback from your trainers and encourage them to be honest and open so that you can always be improving the process. An additional pro tip that Koestner offers is annual anniversary meetings that are separate from performance reviews and can allow goal setting beyond what may be traditionally addressed by supervisors.
Hear from Koestner in Season 1, Episode 10 of Re:Applied, an Applied Client Network podcast. To access the full "Peer-To-Peer: New Employee Roadmap and Training How-tos" session, check out Webinar Replays on-demand.
Tags: Operations , Webinars , Peer-to-Peer Behavior , Tips , Training