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Effective Employee Training for New Hires with Few Skills in 3 Steps

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Confident company director shaking hands with happy african american employee

You’ve hired a newbie with few skills relevant to the position. You see the potential, but there is lots of training to do. Many hiring and HR professionals face this question:

How can you help new hires with a diminutive skill set succeed in their roles?

Below are three strategies to skill-up new employees, so they can contribute quickly to the team.

1.   Map Out Employee Training Success

When going somewhere for the first time, you need a map to show you the way. The same goes for new employees who are expected to learn and accomplish certain tasks at your organization.

So give them a map for success.

Outline which tactics and strategies they should learn. Provide them with training and other support so they can achieve expectations.  \Include measurable benchmarks in your plan. This way they will know what they are expected to hit by when.

Pro Tip: Be sure the plan is broken down into segments - such as 30, 60 and 90 days. Training should coincide with benchmarks so that the appropriate skills are taught at certain times. An onboarding model that is designed without these principles is essentially doing employee training for training’s sake and is not adequately preparing a new hire with little to no skills with success.

This may seem like common sense, but this approach is not put into practice as well as it should be much of the time. Look over the job description and employee training benchmarks. Make sure they are highly specific. All too often descriptions of expectations are too vague to serve as a map for success.

In short, the map should be crystal clear in every expectation at every step of the way over the course of the new hire’s upskilling journey.


2.   Give Real-Life Examples

Simply telling new employees what they need to do is not a sufficient method of coaching. To really get them learning and applying skills on the job, provide them with real-life examples incorporating multisensory teaching modalities - or visual, auditory and tactile modalities.

Pro Tip: A great way to achieve this is through role-playing. A new hire for a customer service team can benefit immensely from a script that outlines how to resolve a customer phone call, for example.

Such a script may have a few examples of what different call types sound like, and be provided in a written and audio format. The lesson should also review tactics underlying ideas in the script, such as ways to dissipate the frustration of angry customers. Then, have your new hire practice the call with the team. In this way, they will implement the strategies they’ve learned and apply the skills taught in the session.

3.   Create a Playbook for Reference

In addition to providing finely calibrated employee training, your new hires need a reference manual they can consult. A playbook will allow them to learn concepts and solve problems on their own, rather than forcing them to ask questions every time they are unsure of something. This gives them greater ownership of their work, thereby boosting their confidence. Building self-assurance, as well as demonstrating you support them via a well-thought-out playbook, can be a game-changer in performance.

A playbook should concentrate on best practices for the position’s most performed tasks. Since this is a reference manual, the playbook needs to be easily scannable, clear and concise. Make the playbook part of your onboarding process and be sure to update it as needed.

Pro Tip: Solicit input from high-performing team members to see if there is anything they would add or change to the playbook.

An Employee Training Provider to Take Your Team to the Next Level

Following these three steps will go far in skilling up your new hires, but sometimes this is not enough. For individuals and teams that need more comprehensive training, partnering with an experienced employee training partner, such as Priority Management, can reap major benefits in terms of improved efficiency and productivity. 

Priority Management has been training organizations around the world for four decades. Our clients trust us to develop completely customized workplace training programs that include follow-up coaching, so you can meet your company goals.



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