Training to Maximize Retention

How two simple practices can make all the difference in the efficiency of a training system

Training to Maximize Retention

There is one line that is common in movies about a character’s heroic quest, a line spoken by the mentor character, whether that is Dom Cobb in Inception, Lieutenant Willy in Starship Troopers, or Patches O’Houlihan in Dodgeball, that highlights the importance of training to maximize retention. What is that line?

“Remember your training.” Read more…

Onboarding and Training

How a little difference makes a big difference

Onboarding and Training

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between onboarding and training. Both involve sharing information with employees, particularly new ones, to help them perform their job better and meet goals. However, to really understand the difference between onboarding and training, we need to take a brief detour to think about cake. Read more…

In-Describable Onboarding: Individualized Onboarding

Why Onboarding Should Be Less Like a Hat and More Like Shoes

Individualized Onboarding

There are two basic approaches to training new employees, and I think of them kind of like how I think of buying either a new hat or new shoes. Much like finding a hat, employee onboarding is often treated as a one-size-fits-all process. However, when thought of in this way, it isn’t able to provide each new employee with what she needs, and in the long run, the company is worse off because of it. Instead, the company should aim for individualized onboarding that resembles buying new shoes. This will enable it to fit with each employee’s experience and background and also provide the necessary support and tools needed to perform the tasks expected of her. Read more…

Group Onboarding

Sometimes, the best solution for onboarding employees is to train them as a group rather than individually.

Group Onboarding

You’ve hired seven new employees, and you are responsible for getting each of them trained and up to speed, ready to be put to work by the end of the week. You also are expected to give each of them a full explanation of the various tasks for which they will be responsible, and they will also need to be introduced to the company culture and expectations. What’s more, you need to ensure that they each receive the same information and are afforded the same opportunity to ask questions and get hands-on experience. Oh, and you’ll still be responsible for all your normal duties. Lucky for you, you know the solution lies in a group onboarding session. Read more…

Employee Onboarding Checklist

How WATER is the blueprint for an Employee Onboarding Checklist

Employee Onboarding Checklist

A company’s onboarding solution is an employee’s first opportunity to really understand their new position and to learn their place within the organization. However, it can be daunting to try to develop a new system, especially when trying to ensure it provides all the information and support that the new employee might need. But don’t worry, we’ve put together this checklist to help you keep everything in sight. We’ll provide a little more detail on each section below, but if you just want the nitty-gritty, click here to download a printer-friendly PDF of the checklist. For now, here is the breakdown of our employee onboarding checklist, which we call the WATER method: Read more…

In-Describable Onboarding: Involved Onboarding

Why an Effective Onboarding System Must Involve its Trainees in the Training Process

Involved Onboarding

There’s an old adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin that, as you might expect, contains a lot of wisdom in just a few words and can help us understand the importance of an involved onboarding process. It is:

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

As it turns out, this saying is almost certainly not one of Franklin’s. He may have said it at some point, but its origins likely go back to early Confucian philosopher Xunzi. Nonetheless, there is still much to learn from this simple triad. Read more…

In-Describable Onboarding: Onboarding as Investment

Each Employee is a Beautiful Flower- And that Saves You Money

Onboarding as Investment

Have you ever spent time gardening? I have just recently started the habit, and it takes a lot of practice to learn the finer details, like exactly how much water each flower needs. I’ve noticed a couple drastically different schools of landscaping, and they have made me think about onboarding as investment. It may seem like a bit of a jump, but bear with me. Basically, the two schools can be described like this: Read more…

In-Describable Onboarding: Onboarding as Insurance

What Fireworks and Haircuts Can Teach You about Effective Onboarding

Onboarding as Insurance

There is nothing quite like setting off fireworks to mark a special event, and they can teach us a lot about viewing Onboarding as Insurance. They can create a beautiful display, and their presence always means that something important is being celebrated. However, when it comes to setting them off at home, there is always a bit of concern regarding just what exactly will happen once the fuse is lit. Read more…

In-Describable Onboarding: Instructive Onboarding

Why Your Onboarding Process Should be Less Like a Jigsaw Puzzle and More Like Furniture Assembly Instructions

Instructive Onboarding

The trend toward assemble-it-yourself furniture has provided consumers with affordable pieces that look quite nice once finished. However, the trade-off for costing less is that the consumer must put the piece together herself, which is never as simple as she hopes. In fact, some would contend that the first big test in a marriage is when the newlyweds try to assemble their first cabinet. But even still, this approach has a lot to teach us about instructive onboarding. Read more…

In-Describable Onboarding: Introductory Onboarding

Why Starting a New Job is Like Moving to a New House, and How Introductory Onboarding Helps

Introductory Onboarding

They say that moving to a new house is one of the most stressful life events. Not only do you need to find and purchase your new home, but you must also move out from your old place and adapt to your new environment. If you lived in a similar home before, the transition is easier, and you may even expect to have very little to learn. But then you get the HOA agreement, the introductory onboarding of home ownership. Read more…