As if finding help wasn’t hard enough for busy fabricators, once you find the employees you need, you have to train them! While it might take time out of your very busy schedule, training is a vital part of keeping your business running smoothly and efficiently.
If you look at employee retention statistics, it shows that a whopping 91% of new hires will stay with a company for at least a year, and 69% of employees stay with a company for at least three years when they experience outstanding onboarding procedures. To help keep your countertop business chugging along, here are five best practices for training new employees on existing processes and systems, so they can quickly become productive members of your team (and stick around for years to come).
1. Give Training the Time and Effort It Deserves
First things first: We know you’re busy, but training and onboarding is important. You might have a thousand tasks to get done today, but if you don’t take the time to perform new-hire training properly, you’re going to have to spend more time in the long run finding someone else once this new hire quits in a few months due to frustration.
Training new employees isn’t something you can brush off. If you leave new hires to fend for themselves and swim alone through the seas of your systems and processes, they’re going to drown. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but they will get annoyed, overwhelmed, and likely won’t stick around.
Provide ample time and energy to train your new employees. Here are a few things you should do to prepare for a successful onboarding:
- Create onboarding procedures beforehand
- Provide managers with a new-hire training checklist (and make sure they use it)
- Give new hires instructions and expectations before their first day
- Allow plenty of time for questions
Yes, it’s going to take time out of your already-busy day, but it’s worth it in the long run! Your new hires will feel more comfortable, confident, and prepared for their tasks. Not only will they likely stick around longer, but you’ll also receive a higher quality of work with fewer errors and confusion.
2. Trainers Should Know the Systems Inside and Out
Nothing instills confidence in a new hire like a trainer who says “ummm” a lot and fumbles their way through the systems and procedures. It makes the training boring and tells new hires that the systems and procedures they’re learning aren’t really important. After all, if the trainer can’t even do it, why should they learn it!?
Before you develop an onboarding plan, make sure the trainers who will be teaching the new hires are experts in the systems themselves. They need to be confident, energetic, and enthusiastic to keep trainees interested and engaged. It’s also important to pass on good habits, which is why choosing trainers is so important.
It’s also a good idea to use subject matter experts outside of your organization to ensure you (or your trainers) thoroughly understand how to use the systems and software that keep your company moving. Some software, like CounterGo and Systemize, comes with training videos that can teach tips and tricks without needing to bring in an outside expert. Plus, you can refer back to them whenever you need, helping new hires learn at their own pace.
3. Set Clear (and Realistic) Expectations
People don’t like surprises. Being a new hire is already stressful enough without the uncertainty of what’s coming. When training new employees, make sure to tell them what’s expected of them and a timeline of completion.
For example, some systems can be quite complex. Rushing new hires through how to create countertop drawings, estimate material usage, schedule installations, and quote customers all in one day might be a bit much. By giving them a schedule of when they’ll learn certain skills (along with ample time to learn each), they can feel more confident and less uncertain when learning, helping them retain more information in the process.
4. Use the Right Training Format
Sure, you can stick new hires in a conference room alone and make them watch a two-hour onboarding video. That’s the way it has always been done! Of course, you might as well give them a pillow too, since they’ll likely be taking a nap when you open the door.
The format of the training matters. Make sure you design trainings in a way that keeps new employees engaged and can show them how to actually apply their newfound knowledge. Watching a video or a lecture is one thing, but if they can’t see how to apply the skills they’re “learning,” are they really learning at all?
Think about using alternative formats to train new employees:
- Interactive demos of systems and software
- One-on-one trainings with live simulations
- Gamification (making training into a fun game or competition)
- Multi-format training like showing a short video followed by an interactive demonstration
Not all formats work for all businesses, positions, or employees. It’s up to you to decide which format works best for what you need to teach.
5. Check in with New Hires Regularly
The training isn’t over once the training is over. That might not make sense… but it’s true! Even after the videos are finished and the quizzes turned in, new hires are still learning the systems and processes that make your company tick—and they might be struggling.
It’s always a good idea to check in with new hires for the first few weeks of their employment. Schedule regular check-ins to ask them how they’re doing and see if they have any questions that didn’t pop up during the trainings. Not only does this make them feel like a valued member of the team, but it can also help them acclimate to your work culture quicker, improving efficiency and productivity.
Bring New Hires Up to Speed in the Best Way Possible
No matter how busy your hectic schedule might seem, you should always make time to train new employees how to use your systems and processes. Proper onboarding is essential for a healthy, productive workplace and to reduce employee turnover. Not to mention, it prevents costly mistakes and reworks! It’s well worth your time to put in the effort and follow these best practices. Consider it an investment in your business.
At Moraware, we understand the importance of good training. That’s why our software comes with training videos, free support, and onboarding included, so your employees and new hires can learn how to use the software effectively and keep your countertop fabrication business moving at full speed ahead without missing a beat.
Schedule your software demo today, and see how Moraware can help you streamline your business.