The goal of employee on-boarding should be building a foundation so new employees can thrive. For sales reps, that can take as long as 18 months.
Here's how, Cushard says, companies can get new-employee training right:
Set reasonable goals. "Tell people how long you expect it to take them to reach their performance targets. Tell them it should take three months or 18 months. Do not let this be a mystery."
Rename the program to align with socialization. Ditch the name "New Hire Training." Call it "Organization Socialization" or something more along the lines of helping new employees get comfortable with the company culture. "This takes time and is more aligned with how long it takes people to learn their new job. And let's face it, high performance truly begins when people begin to feel comfortable in their new job," writes Cushard.
Extend the process over time. Combine shorter training classes with longer company culture adjustments. Here are ways to diversify the process: "a job rotation in customer service, self-paced eLearning courses, books to read, people to meet and interview, project to finish, forms to fill out, topic jam sessions with department leaders, goals to set."
Encourage new employees to take their time. Rushing the on-boarding process will set employees up for failure. "Consider how long it takes new people in your organization to achieve performance targets and design your new employee socialization programs to align with those time frames."
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