For a moment I want you to think back to your first job in the corporate world. You probably went through a new hire onboarding program before you could get to your role-specific duties. Did you feel prepared? What elements of the training program made you more successful in your role? You may not remember the specifics, but after a few job changes, you can probably attest to the preparedness (or lack thereof) that you felt after participating in different training programs.

As someone responsible for putting together new employee onboarding programs, you understand the importance of developing a well-rounded onboarding plan for new hires. To assist you with your charge, we’ve come up with ten essential training topics that should be included in a new hire training program to set your employees up for long-term success.

Here are 10 Topics for Training New Employees You Should Include in your New Hire Training Program:

1. Introductions

On the first day, greet these new employees with enthusiasm, introduce yourself and tell them about your position in the company. Have them introduce themselves and make it more fun by asking questions to discover interesting facts, talents or skills. This will give them a chance to chat and laugh with low pressure, which immediately starts building relationships and shared experiences.

2. Onboarding Schedule

Onboarding includes a lot of information about the company, industry, product, customers, and new tools. Some companies with complex businesses report onboarding that lasts a full year. During the first few days of a new hire training program, lay out an onboarding plan that is broken up into manageable pieces. Each section of the onboarding process should include a goal for the new hire. Example: by month 2, a new hire should have watched videos 1, 2, and 3 and be able to give a full product demo.

3. Important Policies and General Procedures

Policies and procedures should include information regarding hours of operation, dress code, attendance, security, and technology regulations. Also discuss travel, compensation, and benefits, and allow them to sign any necessary paperwork at this time. Some details about policies and procedures can be communicated by creating a video to increase onboarding efficiency.

4. Company History, Goals and Mission

It’s important to offer company background information, providing a link between the past, present, and future so that new hires can understand the direction the company is heading. Explain who your customers and competitors are, how the company differs from other organizations, as well as its vision, values and short- and long-term goals.

When new employees have a better understanding of company goals and priorities, this gives them a greater sense of purpose and helps them feel more connected.

5. Workplace Culture

Company culture and norms are hugely important for new hires to learn to be successful in the organization. Explaining details about the company’s culture during training will give new hires an understanding of their work environment. The more they know about the culture, the better they are going to be able to fit in and grow with the company.

6. Laws & Compliance

Including information about compliance and what is expected of new employees will help avoid confusion as well as any future costly legal problems. Start with a talk about information security and make sure that they know about the organization’s code of ethics and code of conduct. Knowing which compliance laws are specific to your organization will not only protect the company but the employee as well. This area of onboarding is also an opportunity to utilize videos. When videos are used with an online training platform, HR can efficiently assign the compliance training to the new hire and track if they have watched it.

7. Performance Management & Performance Reviews

Consistent performance management is an important part of successful employee onboarding and continued employee satisfaction. Millennials are the largest generation of employees in the workforce today, and they want more frequent performance feedback. Your company can set itself apart from the competition when it creates an environment of timely, specific and helpful feedback. Introduce one-on-one meetings with managers, as well as peer-to-peer feedback to new employees from the very beginning.

8. Stay Interviews

Many organizations perform exit interviews with employees to see what they could have done better for that employee. A “stay interview” is an interview that is conducted while the employee is still working at the company to get feedback on how the organization can improve. After a new employee goes through the onboarding program, it is a great time to conduct a stay interview. A manager can ask how effective they thought the onboarding process was, what they might still be confused about, and what areas would have made their onboarding faster or easier.

9. Introduction to Team Leaders and Immediate Supervisors

Connecting these new employees with key people as soon as possible helps encourage a smoother new hire onboarding experience. Each team leader or supervisor should provide a tour of the immediate work area, introduce the new hire to co-workers and explain departmental procedures. They should also review the individual’s job description, summarize primary job responsibilities, clarify expectations and go over the first day’s schedule.

10. Onboarding Mentors

Have supervisors or leaders match new employees with a mentor in their department for a few days. The mentor should be an employee who leads by example, helps guide the new employee and gets them “up to speed” quicker. Mentors can help “break the ice” between colleagues, ensure that employees feel like they fit in and foster open communication. As you can see, employee orientation has changed over the years and isn’t simply about filling out paperwork or reading a handbook anymore. Learn more about the role of mentors in onboarding here.

These 10 essential topics for onboarding will help new hires become familiar with the company’s mission and culture while providing the necessary knowledge, skills, and activities that help accelerate them into productive, contributing employees.

About Knowledge Anywhere

Knowledge Anywhere is an elearning company focused on providing flexible, modern learning and development solutions that enable organizations to harness the power of an engaged, knowledgeable workforce.

Our Learning Management System, Virtual Reality Training, and Course Development services, combined with our experience and customer support enables our users to create a learning and development program that boosts sales and drives company growth.

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