The Lost Art Of Training New Hires

Mass Hiring = Mass Amount of New Employees

Coming out of the pandemic, many companies began frantically trying to fill vacancies. There was a sudden push to backfill roles that had been eliminated during lockdowns, then a push to fill newly created roles as the market opened back up with a vengeance. 2021 ended up being the year of the recruiter, as all of the hiring resulted in the sudden desire to hire more recruiters to recruit more employees, and hire more recruiters companies surely did! Midway through 2021, the amount of recruiter job postings was three times higher than it was the previous year. The most amusing part of this anomaly was when recruiters were posting job ads and interviewing other recruiters. Oh how they went ’round and ’round! After several months of this mass hiring of recruiters, a trending topic began to circulate; “How long will companies need to retain all these recruiters once their hiring needs have slowed down,” … but that’s certainly a topic for another day.

With the mass wave of jobs posted and job offers going out, companies filling vacancies and getting “fully staffed” again resulted in a LOT of new employees, all around the same time. It seemed everywhere you went and during everything you did in your normal day to day, you’d run into someone who was “new on the job.” Company decision makers, however, focused so much on filling their vacancies, that they forgot an important detail to obtaining a new hire: TRAINING THEM.

The lost art of training new hires seems to be a thing of the past. Potential candidates are courted, sometimes vigorously, by hungry recruiters or hiring managers then if lucky, the candidate becomes a new hire. It seems like all the excitement and effort stops there however, as many new hires are then thrust into their new work environment with little training.

How many times over the past several months have you been out at a restaurant and encountered a waitress who seems disinterested and grouchy? How about overhearing store staff talk badly about their boss or other coworkers, or complaining about their schedules or dropping curse words within hearing range of customers? How about the phone rep who doesn’t know the answer to any question you’ve asked, and doesn’t seem to know where to find it? There’s also an overall decline in good ol’ customer service; those individuals that really just want to go above and beyond to help their customers or clients.

Sure, these issues and behaviors have always existed in the service industry, but there seems to be a drastic increase as of late. One reason could be the dramatic increase in the overt anti-company and anti-work wave that’s swept the nation over the past several months. Employees who were being mistreated have walked out on the job (the “Great Resignation”) or have started to challenge management, and rightfully so. Every human has the right to being treated well. With this wave, however, comes those who are just along for the ride who may be a not-so-great employee in the first place, now hopping on a bandwagon of anti-company and anti-work rebellion, but still need a job. So, we are left with folks who don’t feel they need to provide a good service or don’t really care anymore.

But what about what’s NOT the company’s fault? One example of this: LACK OF NEW HIRE TRAINING FOR ALL THOSE NEW HIRES.

Here’s another example situation to examine: There’s been several reports of customers witnessing seemingly fully-staffed restaurants closing up shop early because thestaff claim they are “too busy” and don’t have enough staff to remain open the last couple of hours of the evening. While some instances of this may have been certainly due to staffing shortages, there’s many reports of this type of thing happening when there were seemingly more than enough staff to accommodate some customers for the evening, but the staff either didn’t want to so it was easier to close early, or they really weren’t trained properly in how to handle a large wave of customers toward the end of the night, so again, it was easier to close early. Proper training may have resulted in the staff knowing to simply limit the amount of customers they allowed in at a time, work together as a team on a plan for the rest of the evening, and handle their emotions in a way that allowed better communication between themselves, their coworkers, and the customers.

Alas, there seems to be more and more hiring, and less and less real training.

New Hire Training: A fundamental game-changer

While some business owners and management teams feel the best way for a new hire to begin their new work adventure is to just “throw them in” with the rest of the staff to “figure things out,” in reality, new hire onboarding and orientation should take place prior to a new employee beginning work. If it’s not feasible for a new hire to be orientated on day one, then within the first week is acceptable, but no later.

Allow the new employee to settle in and make important decisions on their pay deductions, health benefits and more. Share with them a brief overview of your company mission, history, and leadership. Share what your mission is and what’s important to you. Let them know what your expectations of them are while they’re an employee of your company. Provide them training in policies and procedures so they have the knowledge they need to be successful in their role. Simple things like introducing them to the team and giving them a tour of the facilities are also great ways to allow them to feel more comfortable, informed, and ready to begin diving in to their new role without being “thrown in” to figure things out on their own.

If you’re a business owner, consider the following areas a new hire should be trained in:

  • Company policies
  • Scope of their responsibilities
  • Proper procedures & workflow in doing their job
  • Expectations
  • Acceptable alternative solutions to unexpected situations that may arise

Business owners need to assure that they provide training and refreshers for ALL staff every year or two years in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork
  • Crisis management

Keep in mind, any time there are modifications in policies, procedures, workflow, or major company changes, business owners or management need to be sure to keep their employees informed and updated. Being willing to communicate and provide on-going employee training and development is crucial to employee and business success.

In the longrun, properly trained new hires (and current employees), are good for business. They are empowered and confident, more efficient, and happier. Properly trained new hires turn in to longer-term employees. In turn, they provide a better service and often times a more pleasant service to the customers. Improperly trained employees, on the other hand. are often inadvertently set up for failure, and the business also suffers. Short retention, high turnover, clueless or unmotivated staff, and unahappy customers are sure to be the results of untrained new hires.

It’s time to rediscover the lost art of training new hires.

For help with revamping your new hire onboarding and orientation process,contact Eagle Mountain today!

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