Training Tips for New Employers: What You Need to Know

For startups, new employers, or new business owners, employee onboarding and training might be unfamiliar ground. After recruiting and hiring new team members, however, it’s crucial to get them started on the right track as quickly as possible. This is where a few training tips for new employers and startups can help.

All too often, new employers hire people quickly. Employers then require them to learn on the job.

This is a setup for frustration. Employees want to know employer expectations. At the same time, leaders are unhappy. Employees aren’t doing their jobs properly.

A strong onboarding and training regimen can help eliminate frustration on the job and get employees up to speed more quickly. Organizations need to cover everything from company culture and policies to legal compliance and sexual harassment training.

Here are some of the key areas that employers should cover and tips to make training more effective.

Company Culture

It’s important for new hires to understand the company’s history, culture, and beliefs.

Many organizations tend to skip or minimize this training, but it’s critical. Employees need to understand why you do what you do and the culture that drives your business forward.

This helps them understand what’s expected. It models how teams cooperate. It provides insight into company processes. Training on company culture helps explain the company’s vision and how the employee’s role fits into the mission.

Most employers underestimate the importance of discussing company culture.

One study reported that 61% of new hires received no training on company values, mission, and culture.

In today’s tight labor market, company culture and a sense of purpose are essential to attracting, recruiting, and retaining employees. When workers feel more connected to their employer’s mission, they are 75 times more likely to be engaged with their work.

Companies should detail their mission and sense of purpose, value and ethics, and expectations of all employees. They also need to explain what’s appropriate when interacting with team members and customers. Finally, most company culture training defines policies for communication, collaboration, and transparency.

Company Policies

Besides understanding the company culture, employees also need training on company policies.

This includes legal, compliance, and procedural matters as well as practical policies, such as work hours and benefits.

Company policy training typically includes everything employees need to know about compensation and payroll, work hours and timecards, and time-off policies.

Training should also cover benefits, performance review policies, workplace rules and regulations, job safety, and anything necessary for legal and compliance.

Depending on the job requirements, companies may also need to train on IT and tech policies, cell phones in the workplace, social media policies, and more.

If you expect employees to follow your guidelines, you have to do more than just give them your employee handbook. They need to understand what’s in it and the procedures you need them to follow at your company.

Job Skills

68% of employees say training and development is the company’s most important job.

When training is lacking, it takes longer for employees to reach their potential and it leads to higher turnover. Four out of ten employees say poor training on job skills is the reason why they left their job within the first year.

Employees need to learn the hard skills and soft skills required to work effectively.

Depending on the job, hard skills training might include computer and software use, point-of-sale (POS) systems, customer service, and job-specific tasks. By comparison, soft skills include things such as teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, and effective communication.

Employees need to master both soft skills and hard skills to be efficient and effective in their job.

Sexual Harassment Training

Three-quarters of women and 43% of men surveyed report being sexually harassed. A study by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment states that more than a third of women said they were victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Reduce the chances of sexual harassment being a concern in your workplace. Address it in training.

Sexual harassment training needs to go beyond the obvious and include topics such as:

  • sharing of inappropriate material;
  • inappropriate or lewd jokes;
  • sexual comments about appearance or clothing;
  • inappropriate physical contact;
  • relevant laws, including anti-retaliation;
  • language and cultural differences; and
  • reporting and investigation of claims.

By incorporating all these points into standard training, employees cannot claim ignorance as an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

Sexual harassment training should be mandatory for all employees and reviewed regularly. It’s not just a good idea, but it’s required by law for managers in several states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and New York. Some mandate training every few years to remain in compliance.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DEI) Training

Today’s workforce is more diverse than ever. DEI training can help facilitate better teamwork and collaboration while reducing potential bias in the workplace.

DEI training builds a safe and equitable environment for employees by revealing hidden biases. It helps employees become more self-aware, empathetic, and culturally competent when working with colleagues or customers.

Some of the most common topics that are included in DEI training include an explanation of what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean.

This could include unconscious and implicit bias, stereotyping, recognizing prejudice, cultural awareness, and addressing microaggressions. Most importantly, it should address equitable treatment in the workplace for all employees and customers.

Workplace training is not a one-time event.

A consistent and strategic approach to employee training and development will help you get new employees on board and up to speed more quickly.

When they understand workplace rules and expectations, it empowers employees to work more productively.

At the same time, you can’t consider these as “one and done.”

Training needs to happen consistently to reinforce core messages and remind employees about expectations and legal requirements. Be sure to update training as things change. Pay attention as policies change or new workplace rules or laws evolve.

Whether you’re a new employer or an established company, developing a training regimen is an important part of optimizing employee performance and efficiency. Incorporate the training tips for new employers into your startup plans right alongside financing and marketing.