Training New Employees for Success

Training New Employees for Success

Smart entrepreneurs understand how crucial their employees are to the success of their businesses. Onboarding new employees the right way can make all the difference. In fact, according to Glassdoor, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. But, there’s more to training new employees than handing them a binder and wishing them luck.

Training New Employees

Here are five tips for making the training stick.

1. Create an Intranet

There are no laws saying businesses must provide employee handbooks, but you still need to notify employees of certain workplace rights. Even if you have an official employee handbook, when you onboard new employees you need to inform them about any rules and expectations. If you already have a company website (and you should), consider adding an intranet. This private network is only accessible to employees using passwords. Create a section specifically for new employees to explain all the basics such as payroll, vacation practices, remote working policies, etc. Check online for free videos available to cover topics, such as workplace safety and sexual harassment.

2. Evaluate their Needs

You really can’t know how to train new employees without understanding their needs. Make sure your onboarding plan covers their current job as well as how to move up in your company. Think about what employees want to learn and how they want to learn it. Talk to veteran employees about what helped them assimilate in the early days and what they didn’t like. New hires will be more inspired if they have a say in the training they receive.

3. Shadowing and Cross-training

New hires will be extra anxious if the boss is glued to their sides during training. Put  one or more of your trusted employees in charge of training and mentoring new employees. Once the new hire has settled in, make it a point to cross-train them for other responsibilities. Not only will your team learn new skills, but the business will benefit by having backup for when employees are sick or on vacation.

4. Culture Training

It’s important to explain your company culture when training new employees; you don’t want to make them figure out the vibe for themselves. Make it a part of your company’s early onboarding process to have casual get-togethers (like bringing in lunch ) and more formal meetings (brainstorming new ideas). Employees catch on quickly to how relaxed or formal coworkers are with one another, what peers are comfortable sharing and how to fit in to your business.

5. Formal Training

If you’re worried about missing a crucial element of employee training, research what’s available in online webinars and training courses. Many of these programs are free or low-cost and they’re a great way for new hires to learn at their own pace. Check with your local community colleges to see if they offer relevant courses. Tell new hires to keep their ears open for job enrichment courses. Investing in employee training  not only gives you better skilled employees, but lets them know you’re invested in their future.


Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.