How do you help a new (or existing) employee to understand the “Why” of your company and its work? This starts right from the moment they begin training, and it’s not just about which skills or knowledge they’re expected to develop, nor is just about knowing how they’ll go about their day to day activities. It’s about understanding how their particular work supports the overall mission of the company, and the bigger picture.
When you hire someone new to join your team, you give them a title, a work station, and a pay check, but do you give them a thorough understanding of why they’re useful and important? Do they understand how they fit in and what they can contribute to the overall success of your company? Is there a clear sense of the ways their value as an employee links directly to the values of the company?
Here are some suggestions for working this into your company’s onboarding and training programs:
- Begin each module or unit with a set of clear objectives, and be transparent about them with learners. Ask yourself (and your learners) what you hope an employee will know, understand, or be able to do when they finish. What will successful learning look like?
- Present training and onboarding in a way that coincides with your company’s values. Does your company strive for inclusivity? Flexibility? Collaboration? Efficiency? The actual mechanisms for delivery can and should reflect these values. Will an online or an in-person approach be more effective? Should it be self-paced, or on a timeline? What kinds of educational technology will best represent this?
- Always plan to include some kind of reflective exercise. Give employees a chance to think about how their training will overlap with company values, before they begin, and again when they complete an activity.
- Give ample opportunity for check-ins, mentorship, and connection with other employees who’ve already done and applied the training, and who are already living your company’s values. They can provide valuable insight and context.
- Choose supplementary materials that also support company values, like a reading list, discussion points, or a YouTube playlist. Give employees the opportunity to revisit what they’ve learned, while also presenting new material that also reinforces company values. Better yet, invite them to contribute to these collections.
Knowing the “why” of any task, including training, makes it stick, and really gives employees insight into their value and usefulness.
To find out how your company’s values can translate into innovative onboarding and training materials, contact us!