advertisement
advertisement
  • 07.08.11

Training New Employees

Trying to fit in to their new workplace environment, new employees engage in “behavior modeling”–social learning where people learn to do what they see or experience in a hands-on way.

Leadership IQ, a research and management
consulting firm, reports 67% of employees learn about their jobs from co-workers
and not from their bosses! Wow! If
this statistic applies to new employees, and why wouldn’t it, what a disaster
waiting to happen! Why? Because new employees enter your
company trying to figure out how to fit in, how they should behave, what the
unofficial company culture–the organization’s “real” culture, not that stuff
on the company’s website–really is.

advertisement

And trying to fit in to their new
workplace environment, new employees engage in “behavior modeling”–social
learning where people learn to do what they see or experience in a hands-on way. This means during the transition period–
the first 90 days of employment–new employees get their cues about how they
need to behave to fit into the company from those who are training them to do
their new job. And since 67% of the time new employees are getting this
information from co-workers and not managers, the opportunity for new employees
to model the behavior of other employees is huge! But what’s wrong with that? Nothing until you realize “The Others” (those employees who
should have been fired yesterday!) do most of the training of new employees in
most organizations! And why would
management put The Others into one of the most critical positions in the
company–the training of new employees?

1. Because
managers don’t realize the detrimental long term impact exposing a new employee
to one of The Others can have on the new employee’s work ethic and level of
productivity for the remainder of the time they are with the company; and

2. Managers
don’t want to assign their Core Employees (those employees that are doing the
best work in the company) to training duties since that means they won’t be
able to continue to produce profits and high level performance while training
new employees.

Of course, the result of this inappropriate training process
is new employees model themselves after The Others and instead of learning good
behavior (i.e. how to be productive and have the proper attitude) they learn
just the opposite and only do the job and never care about the job. And the
organization suffers because these employees seldom reach their full potential
and become Core Employees.

The Lesson: The training of new employees is
one of the most critical functions in any organization! Not necessarily for teaching the skill set new employees need to
be able to do the job, but for the proper inculcation of the new employee into
the organization’s culture. Having Core Employees train new employees gives new
employees the opportunity to “model” what a Core Employee does and how they
behave. This means an increased opportunity for the organization to generate
more Core Employees. And no organization can have too many Core Employees!

P.S.: If you
don’t have a Pre-Boarding Program, and an Onboarding Program and are not using
Core Employees as trainers, expect high turnover and a dilution of your
company’s culture in a relatively short period of time.

Video