Imagine this:

You’re a manager who’s looking to hire a new member for your team. You go through the interview process, find a person you want to hire, and give them an offer. Then comes the first day of your new employee—what’s the next thing you do? Do you just let them ‘get to work’?

Surely, one factor you still need to consider is if you’ve properly trained your new member to do the work. Do they know what tools to use or what your company’s standard operating procedures are? Lack of proper training can lead to vagueness for the employee’s goals, poor employee output, and even quick turnovers from your new, and probably young employees.

In order to avoid all these, we need to take a look at some of the more common pitfalls that managers do with training:

Information Overload

Let’s talk about the first problem, information overload. It’s definitely important for your new team member to learn everything as fast and as efficiently as possible. But that’s the thing: are they learning effectively? Teaching them everything in one sitting is a sure fire way that they’ll forget everything. Try thinking back to your own first day and how long it took you to master and learn all about your role. People, especially new people, learn at different paces, but an efficient way for them to learn everything is through micro-learning. This means that you learn in gradual or small steps that will eventually help you grow into their role. Consider this: no great doctor, lawyer, or businessman was great on their first day. It took a lot of time and a lot of learning before they became great.

Training new employees

Real World vs. Classroom Setting

Another common pitfall is not preparing your new employee for when things don’t go according to your SOPs. This is essentially the real world vs. classroom setting problem, when theoretical versus actual application don’t coincide. The best way you can prepare for these eventualities is by contextual learning, a fancy term for actually practicing what they’ve learned. For example, if you’re in customer relations, did you teach them how to handle difficult customers? If so, try doing some kind of role playing, and observe how your new employee acts or reacts. The best indicator that they’ve learned properly is if they can actually teach it to others.

Absent Growth Tracking

One final problem managers tend to shirk is growth tracking. This is any manager’s best opportunity to tell their new member what they did great, or more effectively, what they need to improve on. Some of the best trackers out there is using Objective Key Results (OKRs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If your employees get regular feedback, they’ll be able to focus on what to improve. They might even surprise you with what they can achieve.

Skipping the training phase is essentially setting up your employee for failure. Giving them the time to grow and learn will not only prepare them for success, but you gain something much deeper: their loyalty.

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