Remember your first week on the job? Bright–eyes, wide smile, and ready to learn? Or palms sweating, hands shaking, frantically praying that you don’t make a huge mistake that could damage the reputation that you worked so hard to earn?
And that’s not the end of your worries; your colleagues seemed to have no sympathy for you as a newbie to the team. Their verbal training included a long list of intimidating acronyms that just make your head spin.
Don’t forget these feelings that may have caused you to feel uneasy during your first 90 days on the job because this is exactly how a new employee will feel. If you are asked to train that new employee, take these feelings into consideration and create the best training experience possible. You want the new employee to be productive; don’t add to the challenge of being a new employee by being a horrible trainer.
Here are seven ways to train new employees in order to avoid scaring them away during their first week.
1. Get Ready to Listen and Observe
Pick up on cues that allow you to understand the best way to train someone else. The best leaders listen; don’t start your interaction with a mouth-load of directives. Instead, get to know the trainee so that you can understand the best way to exchange information. What worked for you may not work for the next person.
2. Start with Frequently Asked Questions
Step into the shoes of a new hire and identify potential questions in advance. Decompose information into its simplest form without making other people feel intimidated. If you see that the trainee is catching on fast or has previous experience, don’t hold them back with the mundane details. But think about what you wish someone would have explained to you during the training process. Remember that training someone isn’t just about teaching how to do, but explain why it’s done.
3. Provide Resources for Additional Training
Everyone won’t remember what you say and taking notes doesn’t happen as fast as you speak. Providing the new trainee with useful links will allow them research the information that you discussed. Don’t forget to write down a list of experts who can facilitate the learning process.
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4. Show Them How it’s Done
You may have left out some important steps when you were talking about the process. Walk through the steps mentioned in the training and use real-life examples so that the trainee has something to reference later. A visual demonstration can help the trainee understand exactly what you communicated.
5. Emphasize “Practice Makes Progress”
The trainee may not understand everything during the first training session and that’s okay. Support them as they try to perform all of the steps. Encourage their progress by giving valuable feedback that highlights strengths and areas for opportunities. Motivate the trainee to keep working towards excellence.
6. Be Approachable for Questions
Let them know that you are available for questions. Don’t make the trainee feel so uncomfortable around you that they end up spinning their wheels for hours trying to understand something that can be answered in three seconds. You also don’t want the trainee coming to you every five minutes with questions. Ask the trainee what resources are needed in order to successfully complete the process.
7. Empower the Trainee
Emphasize that standard practices do exist, but if there is a way to do something faster or better, don’t hesitate to bring it up. Talk about the importance of going beyond mediocrity. Let the trainee know that their ability to find faster solutions to problems should be documented so that they can pass on the knowledge to others. When you empower other employees, you will be viewed as a leader in the workplace; your training progress may lead to your next big promotion!