Training a new employee can seem like an overwhelming task. But, it’s actually easier than you think. And, it takes more time than most people invest. But, if you have patience and invest the time, you will have a pretty amazing SUPERSTAR(!) employee.
6 Steps for Training a New Employee
1 – Have a simple checklist to guide your employee on a process.
We’ve discussed how to document systems and process here. Select a process that you are going to have the new employee tackle and have a checklist ready to guide the two of you as you train him or her. Documenting your systems can take a long time, so just start with the tasks you will have this new employee do. And, add to these systems as you continue assigning new tasks.
2 – Schedule time for the employee to learn the process with you.
Spend a minimum of 30 minutes of their day going over the items on the checklist. (Repeat this every time they are taking on a new task or responsibility.) Whenever I have brought a new employee into my company, I have scheduled an “agenda” for their training days to make sure we tackle everything.
3 – Depending on the complexity of the process, you may find it helpful to have the employee mirror you while you complete the process.
Show them how to do the task and then have them try it. If you are a florist, assemble a bouquet, then have them do it. If you are a planner, have them shadow you throughout the day on a wedding. Give them the chance to see you in action. Set aside some time to discuss what they’ve learned.
4 – You may also find it helpful to mirror the employee as they complete the process.
Give them a chance to complete the process while you watch. This is an opportunity for them to try it out and ask questions as they work. This is NOT an opportunity for you to micro-manage. Watch how they work and help them.
5 – Have them perform the process without you, using the checklist as a guideline, if they are ready to fly solo.
The checklist should act as their guide so they can complete their tasks on their own. (This means you don’t need to be looking over their shoulder while they work.) If the job is complicated, you may want them to check of the checklist every time they work. (As an aside, you should lead by example and do the same with your processes.)
6 – Sit down to talk with the employee after the process to get feedback.
This is the chance for you to see whether the process works. YES – your process may NOT work – or there may be improvements that he or she can suggest. You don’t have to take the suggestions – but be open to the ideas presented. You may be surprised at the smart cookie you’ve hired. Take this time to answer any questions, give feedback (as appropriate – no MICROMANAGING), and ask them to reflect on their performance.
Continue to run through this cycle of 6 steps for each new process/task/responsibility you give to the employee. Soon enough they’ll be able to perform a number of responsibilities for your business. MAGIC! SUPERSTAR!
Keep in mind, if you work with your employee as a mentor-mentee, you’ll have incredible results! (More on that tomorrow.)