You’ve just hired a new employee. While excited at the opportunity, a new employee is naturally a little anxious about stepping into a brand new work environment.

“Oh no… what have I gotten myself into?”

Once they’ve signed that dotted line, what are you doing to prepare them for the job?

Maybe you won’t do anything, waiting to train them until their first day on the job. It’s a stressful trial by fire and it’ll take significant time (yours, theirs, and your team’s) to bring them up to speed.

You might put them through an hours-long orientation meeting, bombarding them with so much information they can’t possibly take it all in.

Perhaps you’ll have them sit through a training video—but based on the energetic synthesizer music in the intro and the narrator’s mullet, it’s safe to say this resource hasn’t been updated in a while, and unless the viewer takes notes, they’re bound to forget a thing or two.

Or maybe you’ll hand them a fat, dusty manual written years ago that outlines all of the key procedures and information they might need.

“Welcome to the company!”—THUD.

They’ll frantically flip through it, trying desperately to digest the ocean of information in time to start. It feels like homework and adds more stress to the equation than it takes away.

None of that is very effective.

So when the new employee arrives for their first day on the job, they find that things aren’t quite what they expected: They don’t know the code for the parking garage, can’t figure out where to find the files they need, and can’t recall who they ought to ask about grabbing some office supplies. They don’t want to look stupid—so they try to avoid asking too many questions or bothering your other staff. Their development slows to a crawl, their stress is high, and their productivity takes weeks to ramp up.

That all might sound a bit blown out of proportion—but if you’re honest, a lot of it is all too familiar.

“Yes to Desk”—a better way to onboard

The time between the moment you get a “Yes” from a new hire and the day they get to their desk is an enormous opportunity to offer training before they’ve even set foot on the jobsite.

It’s a simple idea—but most organizations are only just now realizing the benefits of doing so. Benefits like:

  1. Reducing the stress of change. New hires are scared to come across as incompetent, and accepting a new position is always a bit nerve-wracking. Inductive training will smooth the transition and help them feel like a part of the company before they’ve set foot in your doors. You’ll also be handing them a resource they can refer to for fast answers to common questions, building their confidence and helping them feel secure in their decision.
  2. Immersing them in the company culture. Cultural fit is a huge risk whenever you’re bringing in a new hire. Why not go beyond procedural training and put your company culture on display? Imagine, for example, sharing a list of tips from staff or uploading videos of past team-building events. You can get really creative with how you let a new hire know what you and your staff are all about.
  3. Managing their expectations. “How much work will I need to do? What will I be responsible for? What are the processes I need to know about?” Your employees enter their roles full of expectations, even if they’re unspoken. Set the boundaries and clue them in from the very beginning, giving them a clear idea of what they can expect.
  4. Humanizing your organization. Instead of an outdated training video from the ’80s, imagine being able to show a new hire they’re appreciated with a “Welcome aboard!” video from the CEO or notes from their new coworkers? The polished, dated training formats of the past are losing ground, being replaced by impromptu DIY training where everyone can contribute and people are addressed on a personal level.
  5. Supporting their learning. Instead of a stale instruction manual, you can offer your new team members interactive training, including video demos and screen captures taken by others in the department, bite-sized advice on specific topics, and insights from the most experienced in the role. This kind of relevant, pre-desk training will empower your employee to become productive much more quickly.

Training through the “Yes to Desk” period is the secret to having a new hire who’s ready to hit the ground running—but doing it right means creating training resources that are:

  • Current: You’ve got to have a platform that makes it easy to keep things up to date and make changes as you go to avoid sharing outdated information.
  • Accessible: Trying to absorb the contents of an enormous manual or sitting through hours of training presentations aren’t effective ways to learn. The new hire needs training they can easily take with them on the go and access from anywhere.
  • Comprehensive: As a new hire, you want to learn everything—from parking codes and where to get coffee to company culture and the filing system. Better yet, this info should be organized in a way that makes it easy to reference and to find answers to specific questions on the fly.
  • Personalized: To make a new hire feel welcome, your training can’t be generic and bland. It helps when they feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

“Yes to Desk” doesn’t need to be daunting

“That all sounds great in theory,” you might think. “But how do we actually make it work?”

The idea might take a bit of getting used to, but the future of employee training is far removed from enormous manuals, outdated videos, and boring classroom sessions. Access-from-anywhere apps like Looop put the power to create and receive training anywhere there’s a screen (your phone included)—throwing open the doors for fast, easy, and effective training-content creation.

But no matter how you go about it, don’t miss out on that critical “Yes to Desk” period! Your future hires will thank you.