Training process for new team members
September 24, 2014
Over the last 18 months, we've welcome some new members in the team. Each time, I tried to refine the process we use to make a great training. I believe that a good training process is really important to integrate new comers effectively. Here's a 6-steps training process for new team members that can be done within a week with really good results.
I always start with the company because it really helps to clearly define the framework. I introduce the company's missions and vision so the new comer directly knows where we want to go. Then, I explain the company's positionning and core values so the person can better understand how she would manage her day-to-day work and collaborate with her team. I also describe how the company is organized and what each team is doing to complete the global understanding. And, I end up sharing some well-known relevant customer references so the new team member sees concretely where missions, vision and core values drive to.
At Dexem, everything is about products: we market products, we build products, we sell products, we improve products, we talk about products news, benefits and case studies, and we support customers when they use our products. This means whatever your mission is, you're always working for one or several products.
This is a key part of the training so it basically requires the most time. Here, I start to distinctly explain who we are targeting with the product and what are their needs. I methodically list customers' expectations and how the product answers to them. I generally complete the show with a live demo, so the new comer can better see what we're talking about and catch a little of the "magic" in there.
As I mainly welcome people in marketing and sales areas, then I talk a little more about distribution model, product benefits and prices so everything is clear since the beginning.
Wether you sell, market, develop or help customers with a product, I want you to be as soon as possible an expert of that product. And the better way to do so is to use the product, and use it again, in different ways so you can really understand what the product does, realize who is it for and get how customers feel using it.
I have multiple use cases that you will do each day during the whole first week. I want you to practice, practice and practice again.
Objectives & Missions
The first half-day is dedicated to the company, products, demos and a first practice. The second half is dedicated to you: objectives, missions, processes and tools.
I basically start with a 100pt writen slide that shows your main objective. No more than 10 words, it has to be clear and simple. After, I develop this main objectives into multiple targets and I introduce the KPIs for each. I mainly talk about objectives and KPIs, not about activities, because I want you to be responsible of your work. Your job is to find how to do it and execute it.
Of course, in fact I'm not that binary "radical". I'll help you define your first tasks during the first weeks so you'll quickly have the keys to manage your own work.
Processes & Tools
This part is more about how we get things done, which tools we use for emails, calendars, documents, etc. We talk concretely about how you'll do your job from the next day. This is unique for each company. Do not underestimate this part adn take time to show the workstation and verify that every login work.
Meet the team
I've always beed surprised how long it took for me to get to know the employees in the companies I've been before and understand what they were doing. My position is pretty simple: the sooner you feel integrated, the sooner you deliver great work!
So during the first week - except the first day - you will meet with each team. They'll explain you what they're doing, and you'll also have to tell them why you're joining the company. Within a week, you'll have to pitch your job several times!
Generally, I do Company, Products, Demo the first morning. I follow with objectives, missions, processes and tools the afternoon. Then during the next 3 to 4 days, you practice again and again, meet with the team and read a lot of product contents.
I manage my planning to have a lot of time to spend with the person so I can answer any of her questions, take time to explain what needs to be explained without having the pression of time. I strongly believe that a good training is really important for a good start, because good training will save a lot of time later on.
And we all know that time is key in the Tech world, we have to execute well very quickly. Investing yourself in doing a great training for new members will give you the confidence that they'll be quickly integrated, quickly operational and quickly owner of their job.
I'd really love to know about how you welcome and train new team members, feel free to reach me out on Twitter at @ojaouen.
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