A Plan for Training Your New Hire

VOM_ Training Your New Hire

Now that your help wanted sign is no longer in the window, you’ll want to get your new employee up and running quickly. A good place to start is by building a plan for training your new hire. Here are some tips to jump-start the process.

Create a Training Checklist

Begin the training process by creating a list of all the things your new employee needs to know and do. Use the position’s job description and your employee manual as a reference to make sure you think of everything.

Then prioritize the list to create a checklist of all topics, knowledge, and skills that must be covered. Ideally, start your checklist with the most basic or general tasks and work from there. That way you’ll stay organized and cover topics as they make the most sense.

Set Goals and a Timeline

After you have your checklist, reflect on how long you want or expect the process to take. For instance, is there a date by which you want or need the training completed? Once you pick a date or define the timeframe, work backward to plan out a training schedule.

For instance, you could lay out a plan like this:

Week 1

  • Read and return signed acknowledgment of employee manual.
  • Complete and return new hire paperwork.
  • Learn open and closing procedures.
  • Receive a copy of store keys and the alarm code.
  • Become competent with the register, credit card machine, and sales procedures.

Week 2

  • Learn how to balance sales, cash, and credit cards at the end of the day.
  • Learn to complete a bank deposit slip.
  • Become familiar with vendors and ordering procedures.

Work Through the Checklist

When it’s time to start training your new hire, work through your checklist and training plan to stay organized. If it’s on the checklist, be sure to cover it. Don’t make assumptions as to what your new employee already knows. A large majority of employee issues come from misunderstandings. You can avoid many future problems by being clear and thorough during training.

Always Be Open to Questions

Graciously answer questions as they come up, even if you’ve already covered the topic. Everyone learns at a different rate and in a different way. Some employees need to try things out before they’re able to master the task. Others will pick concepts and skills up quickly but forget them if they don’t use them often. So remember that it’s a process, and questions are always a good thing.

Provide Regular Feedback

Feedback is essential in employer-employee relationships, but most employers give far too little of it. Set yourself up for success and give feedback often. Feedback helps a new employee gauge their performance and make adjustments as needed.

Feedback can sometimes be difficult to give. Many coaching professionals recommend the Oreo method for giving feedback, which goes as follows:

“You’re doing a great job working with customers. I like how personable you are when answering their questions. Occasionally, I’ve heard you try to guess an answer when you didn’t know it. I’d rather you not do that- just tell the customer you need to ask me for the answer. But I really like how you interact with everyone who comes into the store.”

Wrap Up With Formal Evaluation Plans

Once you’ve covered everything on your list, wrap the training process up with a plan for scheduled, formal evaluations. Use of 30, 60, and 90-day evaluations are a good idea and will help you continue to mentor your new employee. Of course, you’re busy. So the best way to make sure the formal evaluations are completed is to add them to your calendar as soon as you finish your initial training.

The good news is once you create a training checklist and schedule, it can be refined and used again when you hire your next employee. The bulk of the work involved with creating your checklist and training schedule only needs to be done once and then adjusted as you hire different positions.

If your business requires more formal training or employs large numbers of highly skilled employees, consider an advanced training method such as Instructional Systems Design. This methodology and others like it are often used by military services, so you will likely already be familiar with it.

While tackling the tasks of hiring and training quality employees, don’t forget to refer to our podcast for additional guidance and inspiration. Our weekly guests provide valuable insights into leadership and business development.

Joseph Crane

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