3 min read

Training New Hires: Less is More

Featured Image

Whether you’re just starting out or are a senior director at a Fortune 500 company, every job requires some type of formal and informal training. Training programs can vary greatly in length, ranging from a few days to several weeks or, in some cases, months.  Most of us would think that a longer training program would cover more information, provide a more in-depth and detailed view of the training material, and as a result, prepare the employee more effectively. But what if this isn’t always the case?

Can You Repeat That?

It’s no secret that our attention spans are not what they used to be.  Microsoft has found that since the year 2000, our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds down to just 8.  To account for this decrease, content is becoming shorter and more concise.  And as technology advances, our expectations for content are changing.  People want more than just text – they want content that is engaging, with interactivity, visuals, videos, and games.

Quality Over Quantity

One of the most important things to consider when designing a training program is quality over quantity.  Many companies set a specific amount of time for training, and fill it with the material that can be covered during that timeframe. But this is like trying to drive a car without knowing where you are going!  Companies should begin with the end in mind – what do they want to achieve in training, what’s the desired outcome, what does the ideal employee look like at its completion – and design the training program with that in mind, without focusing on training time.

Getting More From Less

When you start with the end in mind, you’ll know exactly what the goals and desired outcomes of the training program are.  While these goals are unique and different for each organization, they usually fall into one of three buckets:

  • Familiarize the employee with the organization’s products/services, goals, mission, etc.
  • Provide all essential information that the employee requires to perform successfully.
  • Teach the employee new skills and test their abilities before beginning work.

Once you’ve defined what your specific training goals are, you need to create the content for your program. This may include slide decks, videos, quizzes and more.  After you have the content, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to deliver it.  Can you incorporate gamification? Are you using an LMS? Will you require instructor-led training? Will you include real life work scenarios?

And finally, once you’ve finished designing the program, it’s critical to step back and evaluate it to see if adjustments need to be made.  Does the training cover everything you need, or does it have too much content?  Can it be shortened?  Would certain material benefit from a ‘learning by doing’ approach, rather than instructor led sessions?  The answers to these questions can help take your training program from good to great, and start new hires off in the right direction.

Finally, evaluating your training program should be an ongoing process – it’s never ‘one and done.’  At the rapid pace that information, processes, products and services, regulations, etc. are changing in today’s marketplace, your training program should be under constant evaluation to ensure the content is always accurate and up-to-date, and that opportunities to improve upon its delivery and execution are captured.

Benefits of A Concise Training Program

A condensed training program can be beneficial for everyone and can be achieved by transforming traditional classroom training into Learning By Doing, an approach that can improve employees’ retention by up to 70%!   Using this approach to design shorter, more focused and goal-oriented training programs keeps employees engaged, improves retention and gets employees doing real work faster.  The result is a decrease in training costs and employees who are productive sooner, improvements which are all reflected in the bottom line.