On average, it can take 1-2 years for a new hire to become fully acclimated to and productive in a workplace. That’s a long time! Since, in the corporate world, time is money, it would be worthwhile for company leaders to implement best practices for onboarding new hires more quickly.
Is It Possible to Onboard New Employees Quickly AND Thoroughly?
There’s no way that a brand new employee can gel with a workplace and become totally productive in a couple of weeks. But, is it possible for this to happen in less than 1-2 years? Possibly. It depends on how an employer brings the new hire on board.
If a new employee’s onboarding process is rushed, he or she might feel overwhelmed and quit. On the other hand, a slow onboarding process may bore an employee and have the same result. The solution is to onboard new employees at the pace that works best for them, one that neither bores nor overwhelms them. This approach may result in higher rates of retention and quicker onboarding times.
3 Best Practices for Onboarding New Hires as Quickly as Possible
Onboarding new hires shouldn’t take forever. Again, time is money. Here are two powerful best practices for getting new employees up to speed as quickly as possible while still respecting their individual learning needs:
1. Assess their pre-training skills — Before you begin training new hires, it is critical that you accurately gauge their current skill sets. Taking a little time to do this can save you a lot of time training an employee in something he or she is already an expert in.
2. Personalize training — If you approach training from a one-size-fits-all perspective, you may drag out the onboarding process for certain individuals. Since every employee learns differently, training should be personalized. To individualize training, assess new hires’ personalities and learning styles, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Polls, surveys, and simply talking with employees will reveal these tendencies. If a new hire is a kinesthetic (hands-on, learn-by-doing) learner who is extraverted, make training more social by matching him or her with a mentor. Or, if a new employee is a visual learner with a bent toward introversion, make video-based learning is a strong component of the person’s training program.
3. Open the lines of communication — It’s great to take stock of an employee’s strengths and weakness and plan a training program accordingly. However, it is equally important to open the lines of communication so that a new hire feels comfortable giving you feedback. His or her feedback is valuable because it will help you provide training that is even more effective. Forbes wrote,
“We have allocated certain channels in our office-wide communication software for ongoing conversations and questions about a wide variety of professional topics and client campaigns. Each is clearly labeled, so there is never any ambiguity around where a question should be asked.”
What are some creative ways your company could promote communication with new hires?
No employer likes the fact that it usually takes months or even years to thoroughly onboard a new employee. The good news is that by assessing their skills prior to onboarding, personalizing employee training, and encouraging two-way communication, new hires can be onboarded in less time, with less effort.
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