Your new employee training plan template can shorten the time it takes from onboarding to full productivity. Reliable sources say that new hires become fully productive after 8 months on average. However, this can vary significantly from company to company and niche to niche. For example, in general, new employees performing clerical jobs are fully productive after 8 weeks. Yet, it takes roughly 20 weeks on average for professionals to achieve full productivity. It is even longer for executives—26 weeks is the average. No matter how long it takes, an effective new employee plan template can shorten time to productivity.
A schedule template based on research can be seen in the article New Employee Onboarding–Psychological Contracts and Ethical Perspectives by Cam Caldwell, Ray Peters, and Roy O’Martin. While I have reworded the information and given practical examples, all the credit for the groundwork must be given to these three authors.
How to create a new training plan?
Here’s a quick rundown of how to create a new training plan:
- Determine the learning needs of your participants.
- Translate those needs into training goals.
- Identify which topics will be covered.
- Decide how much time will be devoted to each of them and in what order.
- Make sure that the training is at the appropriate level.
- Determine the main messages (key points) of each session.
- Decide which method best suits the content.
- Provide appropriate audio-visual aids in advance.
- Divide responsibilities.
- Integrate your training plan with LMS
Below, you’ll find all the details on what to include in your new training plan, as well as strategies on how to implement a successful training program both before and after hiring your employees.
Have a new employee orientation booklet as part of your new employee plan template. This handbook should be both online (for easy access via digital devices) and physically on paper (for those who prefer hard copies). Your company orientation booklet should be short and sweet. Think encyclopedia.
Here are some possible orientation booklet entries:
F – Floor plan: Show a labeled photo or diagram of the working area, including top “need to knows” such as local coffee/tea/water station, nearest bathroom, closest fire exit, etc.
P – Photocopier: Photos of the locations as well as written directions; who to call/text if a photocopier is jammed/not printing/out of paper, etc.; how to recover their access code (if relevant) in case they forget it.
V – Vision and values: Concisely (briefly, not lots of blah, blah) describe the driving idea(s) behind your organization. Use a bulleted list to get your new hire familiar with the values and company culture.
New Employee Training Program Template
This item is your onboarding training. Today, many organizations are choosing to include a digital component for their employee plan template via an LMS as a significant part of their onboarding process.
As an example, I chose this free, editable, LMS course: DESIGNxHUMANITY Onboarding Course. The reason I chose it is due to the variety of topics it includes. As you can see from this screenshot, this slide alone shows three topics. The top box shares information about the organization. The middle box gives specific information about their job. The bottom box informs how the onboarding course will help them acclimate to their new position.
The big takeaway I would like to suggest is that your organization’s onboarding course should be “relevantly broad”. In other words, including all the really useful information you can think of to get your new hire productive in as short a time as possible. Part of this will be training about their new position, but other parts need to be important facts about your organization’s values and culture, unwritten “rules of the game”, and your company’s employee growth plan.
10 Topics for a new hire training program
- Onboarding is every new employee’s first stop which should start with comprehensive training on the company’s structure, policies, procedures, and goals.
- Role orientation allows new employees gain an understanding of the major tasks of their position and the company’s best practices for that role.
- Product training equips your employees with the right answers when a customer asks a question about a particular product or service, as well as the right solutions when developing pitches.
- Compliance training educates employees with certain regulations or policies mandated by the government, practiced in specific industries, or implemented by the company.
- Skills development is a supplemental new hire training essential for any organization to unleash the fullest potential of each employee to be able to perform their jobs well.
- Workplace safety teaches safety protocols to new hires to help protect themselves and others when performing their jobs.
- Cybersecurity training teaches employees how to prevent, recognize, and act on data security threats to protect your company’s information.
- Diversity and inclusion training is essential to reduce discrimination, break unconscious bias, and promote equality in the workplace.
- Code of conduct training will guide your employees in making proper decisions and behaving in an ethical way in the workplace.
- Productivity training is all about managing workload effectively to reduce stress and achieve maximum productivity.
The Workplace Relationship
Research informs that proactively beginning the workplace relationship early helps to “create an immediate personalized relationship…a well-recognized element of effective leadership”. In addition, putting this time to good use shortens the official length of “time to full production”.
Usually, there is a gap between the date an employee is hired and when they set foot in your organization for the first time. This could be due, for example, to their having to give notice to their current employer and/or you’re having to give notice to your current employee. Use that time to your advantage by starting your workplace relationship.
- Begin the “getting to know you” process by sending your new hire the link to the digital version of your organization’s NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION BOOKLET.
- Start the onboarding via the NEW EMPLOYEE TRAINING PROGRAM TEMPLATE digital component on your LMS.
- If agreed on, coordinate and keep tabs on any necessary logistics involved in your new employee’s relocation (selling/buying a home, moving personal contents, finding schools for their children, etc.). Such interest and support show that your organization is “aware of the need for work-family balance and is committed to the employee’s welfare”.
Get everything ready and connected. Let’s look at an example with an office employee:
- The desk should be clean and cleaned out.
- The chair should be clean, with all adjustment buttons/levers fully functional.
- Telephones, desktops, and lamps should all be plugged in, work, and be set up with the employee’s details as required.
- The local photocopier should accept their log-in details as well as be ready to receive print files from their desktop station.
- Workstation neighbors should know the newcomer’s name and a few details about them to facilitate welcoming small talk.
Mentoring and Staff Support
Assign a dedicated mentor to your employee. Research shows that good-quality mentoring “can make a significant contribution to employee socialization and learning”. Set up a schedule of regular meetings. Each meeting should cover a specific point as well as have time for the mentee’s questions and feedback.
In addition, nominate two staff members to be day-to-day “firefighters”. Often, new employees feel shy to ask for help. As a result, they lose a lot of time trying to figure out things on their own or find answers to their questions. Having two co-workers specifically designated as support communicates that asking for help is not only OK but preferred.
Lastly, create a timetable of networking meetings with key organization personnel. The data shows that such meetings “can shorten the socialization and assimilation process”. During each meeting, both the employee and organization person share personal and professional information about themselves. After, the organization person gives information about the organization’s values as they understand them. In this way, the new employee builds up a picture of who and what the organization is and how they fit in.
When your new hire starts
Day 1: First Thing – Supervisor Meeting
As soon as your new hire arrives, item 1 on the agenda is a meeting with their supervisor. The purpose of this meeting is two-fold. First, the supervisor should give information based your new employee plan template: review the employee’s job responsibilities and key outcomes, their role within the team or workgroup, and details about support (mentor + firefighters – see Mentoring and Staff Support section above. Second, the supervisor should receive information: the new employee’s personal goals plus any concerns they have about their new job.
The data indicate that these meetings help create “high trust” relationships and facilitate “building employee commitment”.
Day 1: Second Thing – Mentor Meeting
Here are the minimum “dos”:
- Review the mentoring schedule (see Mentoring and Staff Support section above).
- Check the new employee’s progress regarding the NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION BOOKLET and the NEW EMPLOYEE TRAINING PROGRAM TEMPLATE digital component, addressing any concerns/questions.
- Accompany the new employee to their workstation. The “firefighters” should be waiting there (see Mentoring and Staff Support section above). After introductions, the firefighters help orient the new employee regarding equipment, as well as deal with any questions/concerns so far. This sets the tone from the get-go that the firefighters are there to be used.
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