When companies hire new employees they have to make sure they have all required paperwork and that everything is compliant with regulations. They have to provide training on the inner workings of the company and the job tasks of different roles.
But the most difficult aspect of new talent training is helping them be as productive as possible, as soon as possible. In most companies, it takes a new employee about 8 months to reach full productivity.
Many companies are turning to integration and acculturation training to help new talent reach full productivity faster.
Effective training methods
There are many methods that companies use to integrate and retain new talent. These practices have a direct impact on business success, as 69% of new employees are likely to stay with a company for at least three years if they have a great onboarding experience.
They can also help employees be 50% more productive, compared with new employees at companies without standard onboarding programs.
In an effort to engage employees in the onboarding process and help them acculturate, many companies are now implementing immersive experiences. Etsy, for example, has new employees rotate through various departments when they first start so that they can form relationships with as many employees as possible.
Other companies have their new employees play board games about corporate structures and regulations, participate in scavenger hunts, and go on outdoor adventure retreats.
All of these immersive experiences are meant to help employees form bonds while learning about company culture in a fun and interactive way.
Company mentoring programs are also used to help integrate new talent. Many programs match new employees with executives and senior management. Some offer buddies for the first two months of employment.
Mentorship helps new employees develop relationships in the company. When employees feel they have strong relationships with coworkers they will be more likely to stay with a company and be more productive.
Culture of integration
MailChimp has woven integration into their company culture by creating job positions such as Chief Culture Officer and New Hire Ambassador.
These employees work with departments and managers to ensure that new employees have what they need to integrate successfully. They arrange lunches and different activities to help employees feel a part of the company. After onboarding, the New Hire Ambassador collects feedback so that the next set of new employees can have an even better experience.
Companies with online learning platforms increase new employee integration as they make learning more accessible, more relevant, more current, and more personalized.
This makes learning a continuous process from when an employee first joins the company and throughout their employment.
Not everyone learns in the same way. In order to train people and help them integrate more effectively, it is important to organize them based on how they learn. After organizing people based on how they learn, leaders need to create training materials and methods that match that learning style.
Variety is also important. Even when leaders match employees by style, there can still be variety within that learning framework. For employees with a visual learning style, for example, they can watch videos, read documents, examine diagrams, or look at infographics. Auditory learners can listen to songs, presentations, and speeches in order to help them learn.
Leaders and managers lead most, if not all, new hire training sessions. This can be an effective way to relay information but, for some new employees, it can be intimidating.
Some companies invite senior employees to training sessions so new hires can meet and learn from employees who have been working at the company for a long time. This interaction often leaves new employees more at ease and allows them to build relationships with coworkers.
Negativity is never helpful to the processes of integration and learning. No one likes working for a company or with coworkers who are negative or seem to be in a bad mood all the time.
When training new employees, leaders need to create an environment that builds confidence and offers encouragement. Relaxation, patience, and allowing for mistakes are key in helping new employees have a great first experience. These feelings will help with retention, integration, productivity, and engagement.
ResourcesNew employees need resources. They need to know who they can go to for help and where they can find information when they need it. Part of training needs to cover these topics in order to help employees have some autonomy when they are doing the job more independently.
Google found a quick and very effective way to improve new hire training. They found that when managers were alerted that they had to train new employees that day, the new employees were productive 25% faster.
Now, Google just sends a reminder about 5 things: discuss roles and responsibilities, find a mentor for the new employee, help new employees create a social network, set up a check-in schedule, and speak openly.
When managers are primed for training, they seem to do it in a way that makes new employees integrate faster.
Task learningDuring and after the learning process, it is good to have hands on activities which help employees make better use of the information. Leaders can give employees tasks to complete that reflect what was learned during the day so that they will integrate all the information better.
Fun, fun, and more fun
Training that is boring, is not only really boring, but it prevents people from learning. It is important to include breaks and times to socialize when creating a training.
Some companies organize team lunches, sporting activities, or other games that help employees socialize and have fun.
Never stop learning
Helping people adapt to changes, learn new skills, and feel like a part of the community and culture of the office is one of the best ways to keep them productive.
Training does not have to end at a certain point. There is no set time limit for onboarding. In fact, longer onboarding programs are often more effective. Even though new employees reach full productivity 34% faster with longer onboarding programs, only 37% of companies have onboarding programs that last longer than a month.
Providing innovative training opportunities for your team shows how much you value them. Modern workers don’t want to stay long in a position that offers no opportunities for growth.
For companies looking for integration and productivity, a little planning, support, and fun can go a long way. Gone are the days when onboarding was a one-week process of meetings and orientation videos.
New onboarding practices use technology, immersion, and fun to create long-term learning and acculturation opportunities that add to the productivity and efficiency of your business.