Admitting you need help is hard. Trusting a new employee to help you is even harder. But it does not have to be as difficult as it seems. I have created a list of tips a manager can use to effectively teach a new hire the policies and procedures of the company. While these methods may take more time investment up front, the end results will be a more motivated employee who knows the business and its policies.
Before an employee starts working on the company interface, it is always a good idea to give her a training manual. Have her take it home, look at it, and test the features out on whatever the manual is on. Make sure the manual has step-by-step instructions with screen shots and explanations like this:
Fireshot is a fantastic tool for making these screenshots. It’s easy to use; it lets you take a screenshot of just the visible area of the screen or of the entire page, no matter how far down it scrolls; it enables you to crop, blur, add text, arrows and shapes.
The snipping tool that comes built into Windows is also a good option. Try them both and see which one you like.
No matter how silly the step may seem, put it in the manual. I once had someone showing me virtually how to do something on a website. She was already on the website showing me what to do. I had to interrupt: ”Wait, what is the website address?”
Oops. Not a great step to miss.
If a screenshot is worth 1000 words, a video is worth 1800 screenshots. Videos are a great teaching tool. Employees can follow the videos step by step while doing the actions on their own computer. When making a video make sure you have someone who can speak clearly and knows the material. I recommend Camtasia to create your video. Again, they should go step-by-step through the process from beginning to end. This is also great because a new hire can pause, stop, and rewind as necessary to learn at his own pace.
After the employee has had a chance to go through the material, whether it be a manual, video, or both, set up a time for a training. During this training you should have the employee “train” you as if you do not know the program. The best way to know if an employee knows the program is if she can teach it to someone else. Because you really do know the program, you can give her advice, or correct her along the way.
Don’t try to teach them everything all at once. The best thing to do is to give the new employee one or two things to learn at a time – and once he has mastered those, then you know he is ready to move on to learn more.
Find out what a new employee’s strengths are and give her tasks that utilize those strengths, especially at the beginning. This will enable the employee to feel comfortable and gain self-confidence. Once she is calm and not as nervous about being in a new job, she will be more willing and able to take on extra tasks.
Everybody has questions at the beginning, and everyone learns at their own pace. I always find that the more questions an employee asks at the beginning, the faster he learns the process. Which brings me to…
Every person learns at his own pace. Listen to his questions and remember this is the first time he might be doing something that you have done for months, maybe even years. Remind yourself how little you knew when starting out. That will help you help the new employee and not get frustrated if you have to explain something more than once at the beginning.
Let the new employee know how she is doing and give her constructive criticism.
Once I had just started a new job. My boss said that in three weeks she would be going on vacation and that I would be ready to take over while she was gone. I was EXTREMELY nervous and felt completely overwhelmed. Three weeks did not seem like enough time to learn my new job as well as hers. That deadline actually motivated me. I learned quickly and was in fact able to achieve my boss’s goal for me. Having a deadline pushed me to learn the job with a laser focus.
You might not always be available to provide answers to questions the new hire might have. Introduce him to people who can help him. Make sure he has a list of all the names of other employees and their title in the company. Provide him with their contact information and how they might be able to help the new hire if you are not available. Most people are willing to help new employees if they ask.
Following these tips will help not only the new hire learn effectively, but will help you, as the manager, teach new hires from all different backgrounds and learning styles. You will increase the rate at which you will be able to rely on your new employee, who now feels fully comfortable with the tasks assigned.
Go get your first hire! (And if you’re not quite sure who you can trust with your baby, have a chat with one of our directors. They’re amazing matchmakers when it comes to matching needs, personalities, and work culture.
Submitted by Debbie