Ideally, the process of designing training for new staff should involve other employees. A common approach is to allow past graduates to redesign part of an induction week or to become informal mentors to other new recruits. A less common but equally important approach is to speak to the managers of new hires too, because they work with them directly. There is also value in involving the managers of the managers e.g. functional managers, but for reasons that are slightly less obvious.
Here are three:
A helicopter view of trends:
To be effective, any training for new hires needs to be closely aligned with the learning curve they go through. However, this will vary from team to team, and individual managers might not be aware of what makes their team unique or the wider context. The business functions that take on the most new staff will have the best sense of these wider factors and the most common challenges experienced with new staff. This will help HR teams to focus their training onto the most important issues.
A useful perspective on choosing milestones:
Having some high-level milestones for new hires will help ensure that any additional training for them is hitting the mark e.g. by 3 months in the job we expect our new hires to be doing “X”. However, different teams will have different ways of assessing the progress of new hires: be it their communication skills, growing responsibility, or a growing circle of influence. Functional managers are best-placed to comment on these differences in approach and so how HR teams can tailor the support for new hires accordingly.
Helping managers to act:
Good coaching by managers is an important way to boost the performance of new hires. However, managers are often extremely busy and this aspect of their day-job can slip. Involving functional managers in the design of training for new staff makes them more invested in the upskilling process, which makes them more likely to hold the managers of new hires to account. This, in turn, is likely to indirectly boost the time that managers invest in coaching.