Are your employees worth more than a cup of coffee? Of course they are! But the sad fact is, most companies spend more money on coffee than training. These days, employee training is about more than teaching someone how to perform a specific task. Today, employee training is about affecting long term impact on productivity, retention and company culture, while giving your employees the tools they need to develop into the creative, ambitious workers you desire.

If you don’t invest the time now, your new hire can’t grow into a productive member of your team. Check out our tips to properly train your new employee.

1.) Test Drive the Process
You know what is expected of the new employee in their position, so why not test drive the training process yourself. A trail run is the perfect way to gauge how well expectations are being conveyed through your training program. After going through it yourself, be sure to identify and fill any gaps, or polish up any points that need clarification.

2.) Make Connections
Make introductions a little less overwhelming and a little more strategic by putting together a list of key contacts along with their name, title, and role with the company. Then, make training a team effort by bringing in these managers and peers, who have valuable and diverse input, to provide your new hire with a strong, broad foundation of your organization’s values, vision and culture. After you have helped to kick-start the process of building relationships, expose new employees to activities that will foster personal growth. Schedule regular group lunches, or ask your team to go to outside networking events. All of these events are used to help the individual grow into the position instead of having someone simply tell them what to do.

*Tour Tip: It’s standard for a new employee to get a tour on the first day, where the typical highlights include the restrooms and the cafeteria. But it’s also important to show a newbie the lesser-known locations – the HR office, the security office, and, of course, where to find that coffee you spend so much on. Work with your colleagues to create a shortlist of places worth a visit, and include them as part of your introductions.

3.) Incorporate Different Methods
People learn in different ways. By segmenting your training and employing a combination of approaches, you will give your new employee more ways to help fully understand this critical information. Provide explanations and demonstrations, but give your new employee ample opportunity to learn by doing. Don’t forget to pull together a list of go-to resources for them to explore. Things like annual reports, the company website, and any recent marketing materials. These are all valuable tools to help someone get acclimated before they start.

4.) Make it Real
Don’t expect your new hire to grasp everything all at once. Most people are not capable of hearing detailed instructions once, and then implementing it immediately. Until your new employee has actually gotten their hands dirty, know you cannot expect much. After the training, give employees a task that actually requires them to use what they’ve just learned. Not only will this help them cement the learning and get the most out of follow-up training (as they will be able to relate it to their own experience), it will also show you exactly where they still need work. Be prepared to re-visit your training sessions again (and again), as it will create familiarity which is key to absorption.

5.) Be Available
A critical part of any training program is to have patience and be available. The learning curve is frustrating, and mistakes will happen. Make yourself available a few times a day to check in, and encourage them to ask questions. Exhibiting patience and understanding will help your new employee quickly develop the trust and confidence they need to thrive. The more comfortable you can make your employee feel in their new environment, the faster they’ll feel like a part of the team – and the faster they can start really diving into their work.

Starting a new position is stressful for anyone, but as a manager, you can make the transition a whole lot smoother. Take the time to help your new employee feel welcome and comfortable and support them as they learn the ropes of their new position. Remember: the more time you are able to invest in the beginning, the faster you’ll have a rockstar team member – and the better off you’ll start your relationship with them. As the roles of HR continue to increase, you may find yourself seeking assistance to address these ever changing responsibilities. As a proud partner of the North Country HR Consortium, ETS is here to help. This membership organization is a “one-stop shop”, bringing together experts from all facets of HR – legal, staffing and recruitment, EAS, training, compliance and more to help meet the needs of local businesses. For more information on new employee training or how to become a member of the North Country HR Consortium, visit northcountryhrhelp.com.