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Often the first experience new hires have with a company is onboarding. Onboarding, if done well, can often promote higher rates of new hire retention and ensure employees are better prepared for their role and growth within the company. With employee success a result of effective onboarding, it’s important employers look over their training programs to ensure their processes aren’t outdated or fail to provide adequate preparation. Below are five ways you can improve new hire training to ensure your new hires’ success within your company.

Separate Orientation and Onboarding to Cover All Bases

Orientation predominantly focuses on the company itself, covering company and office policies, jobs within the company, and other similar information. Onboarding focuses on more in-depth information pertaining to specific roles new hires will be stepping into. If it’s possible, separating the two programs can promote more comprehensive coverage and ensure the appropriate amount of time is spend on more specialized training during the onboarding process. Having two separate processes also provides the opportunity for employee interaction between departments.

Train Onboarders

Though it may appear obvious, it’s crucial for employees in charge of onboarding to be well-prepared before stepping into the role of mentor. Onboarders are often the first exposure new employees have to daily life within the company, so it’s important onboarders are knowledgeable and trained to review all of the necessary key points effectively and efficiently to ensure new hires are appropriately prepared to start their careers. In addition to being well-versed in job requirements and expectations, onboarders should also incorporate company culture into their training.

Personalize the Onboarding Process

While it’s convenient to bring in all new hires for large training sessions, sometimes a blanket fix isn’t as beneficial as a tailored process. New hires bring different experiences, job skills, and backgrounds to their training sessions, so a general onboarding program might not prove beneficial to all hires in attendance. Where possible, tailor the training to the individual to ensure each new employee is well-prepared to step into the company.

Make Training Interactive

Most employees benefit more from hands-on experience than they do listening to lectures. Providing a mix of training approaches—for example, a demo followed by an activity where new hires try to replicate the process—can prove more valuable and help new employees retain what they’ve encountered in training. This mix of observing and actually doing can help new hires feel more productive and equipped to tackle their future assignments.

Promote Open Dialogue

With its presentation-like structure, onboarding may become a one-sided conversation. To ensure this doesn’t happen, it’s crucial for those involved in the onboarding process to open dialogue with the new hires to ensure they’re able to ask questions and ask for clarification when necessary. This dialogue promotes better understanding and also fosters a collaborative workplace culture.

Improving onboarding processes not only promotes new hire retention, it also better prepares employees to step into their roles and grow within the company, helping the success of the company in the long run.