I'd say most business owners spend about 45 hours finding and hiring a new staff member. And it often takes another 40-some hours to onboard and train that individual, depending on their position and responsibilities. Which means that each new team member could take up to two weeks to get fully trained. And unfortunately for many business owners, we just don't have that kind of time. There are a thousand other things that demand our attention.
So, as a business owner, the best thing that you can do is learn how to streamline your training process to get a new team member up and running with little to no time investment from you. Here's where to start.
Create a Simple Training Outline
The first step is to get clear on what you want the new hire to learn and putting that down into a simple training outline. You want to include things like the information you want them to know and what they need to be responsible for under their new title. Add where they will go to learn all the different items in the outline and what behaviors or company culture they need to be aware of.
I can't tell the number of times I will talk to a client about how they've onboarded a new person or they've trained somebody in an area of the business that's new to them, and they tell me they just kind of winged it. Then, the next time that person has to train somebody else, they have to kind of re-create the wheel. That process isn't effective and leads to inconsistencies in your training program.
Instead, rely on your simple outline to become your new training handbook of sorts.
Keep It Short
Once you have your outline put together, the next thing you want to do is break it down into small modules. Don't do a three-hour training session. Think about that outline as a series of small modules that they can do over the course of a few days or even weeks.
Think about how someone might learn from watching YouTube. The viewer doesn't want the 30- to 60-minute how-to version. Instead, they want it broken down into a series of five-minute, easy-to-digest videos. There are some real inherent advantages to that even though it seems a little bit harder to do. So, if you take your outline, look for logical ways to break that into small learning sessions that build one after the other.
Get the Right Tools
The next thing you want to ask yourself is what tools you want to augment your training outline and modules with. Consider if the training would be better done as a video or as an audio recording of, say, a sales conversation? Would the training be better done with a template, such as a Word Doc with merge fields in it?
The idea behind asking these questions is that you're just thinking through what tools you have at your disposal that could make this training piece go better. Be creative.
Make It Replicable
The fourth and final piece to making your training go faster and smoother is to think through how you are going to make this training replicable. Is it something that really has to be done person-to-person? If so, is there some feedback loop you can set up so that you know the next person is getting the information and training they need to be successful?
A lot of training can be video-based. You can create a series of modules--5, 10, 15 modules--to cross-train on how to do certain tasks inside the company. And now training is as easy as giving a person access to the shared drive where all the videos are held.
Training a new team member doesn't have to take two weeks of your time. With these four tips you can do it in the half the time and with a lot less effort.