Consider the following scenario: You’ve been hired as a new member of a training team. You love the company, you’re excited to hit the ground running on your first day and you have no clue how to get started.
Luckily, you’re not the only one with this issue. In fact, most companies worry about new employees starting. Currently, 88% of all organizations don’t onboard well, according to a recent Gallup poll.
For this reason, many companies have started onboarding their employees to integrate them into their new roles. Research done by Glassdoor reveals that an excellent onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82%.
That’s why Dan Jones, a corporate trainer, took notes during his recent onboarding at Swarovski. He shared his experience in our free webinar, Tips for Joining a New Training Team. Here are some of the highlights:
Make a clean break before diving into Learning & Development
When leaving a job, be sure to clean up your files and take a mini hiatus from work to clear your mind. Once you’ve had a chance to collect yourself and start on a new path, then it becomes a good idea to talk with your new boss. This will give you a chance to:
- Learn more about your new company
- Ask questions about work responsibilities
- Start a dialogue to develop your new goals
Be sure to ask for references when leaving your prior position as well. Go to supervisors and use LinkedIn as a tool to connect with colleagues and get recommendations. You should be asking for references before you leave while your co-workers still remember how awesome you are. Don’t wait!
Set SMART goals
When you first join your new training team, be sure to setup your SMART goals for the first 30-60-90 days of your employment. Use your orientation and onboarding meetings to learn which goals you should prioritize.
Orientations are the key to getting to know your company. Meet with as many teammates and stakeholders as possible to know who’s on your team and what everyone’s role is. Once you’ve gotten a good understanding of your expectations, start making SMART goals that follow the model of being specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
It’s important to remember that when starting a new team, you should not spread yourself too thin by setting a ridiculous amount of goals. As Dan Jones says, “The goals that were doable at your old job may take longer than expected at your new one when you consider the timing and resources required.”
You must walk before you can run, so take your time and pick out a few goals you can do within the first three months.
Learn the Company Culture
Every company is different, so take the time to learn what the core values are and the processes used to deliver for learners. This can come from simple conversations with team members to illustrate a commitment to becoming a true team player.
Try to avoid doing things “your way” as much as possible. Focus on working with others and getting familiar with their minds rather than making yourself look distant. When Dan started at Swarovski, he used tactics like “Lunch Roulette”, where he would eat lunch with a different co-worker once a week to meet more colleagues and make friends in the office.
Not only did this help Dan connect with others, but it allowed him to become better acquainted with their processes and meld his work to fit their expectations. Despite your knowledge, there is always something you can adopt to improve your standing amongst peers. Never stop learning and others will notice!
Use Outsider Perspective
Although you should look to assimilate to your new team, you should also look to take advantage of your outsider perspective. You have the benefit of seeing company processes from an unbiased point of view, so use this to make them efficient.
For example, if you had success using Trello for project management, you can recommend its usage to the rest of your team and enhance their work.
When an individual becomes acquainted with an organization’s process for too long, they stop thinking of ways to improve. For you as a new hire, this is your biggest chance to shine almost immediately.
Follow Industry Leaders
As part of learning how to train others, you should be listening to internal and external resources that can help you along the way. Continue educating yourself by signing up for webinars, attending conferences and listening to the experiences of others to assist in improving your role.
Pay attention to any blogs and thought leadership pieces written by quality brands and executives that have already demonstrated success within your field (See our list of 98 L&D blogs you should know about). Learning new ways to keep attending to your own training will help you stay at the top of your game and those within your organization will notice.
This can all seem scary to those that have a great drive to improve themselves and their work environments, especially ones they are still trying to get used to. The important takeaway is to take a deep breath and learn from the time you have to onboard.