How to Train New Employees

How to Train New Employees
Efficiently training new hires is integral to saving time and driving your business's success.
by Square Aug 29, 2022 — 4 min read
How to Train New Employees

Efficiently training new hires is integral to saving time and driving your business’s success. According to a 2021 Work Institute report, 33.7% of employees who leave jobs will do so during their first year. This turnover creates a challenging environment for business owners and managers. They end up spending resources onboarding new talent and missing opportunities to maximize employee contributions.

By implementing clear, impactful training methods, you can set up new hires to succeed. According to a 2020 survey by Indeed, 39% of people who left their jobs within six months said that better training would likely have led them to stay. That higher retention can lead to greater output and happier employees.

How to turn new hires into productive employees

Managers have been trying to identify the best methods to train employees for as long as work has existed. As the nature of work and technology change, so too does training. However, certain concepts remain true and can guide your training, regardless of your industry.

In a 2005 management review for MIT Sloan, training methods are classified into one of two categories:

Out of these two approaches, relational was shown to be more effective at bringing people up to speed quickly. Trainees could digest information at their own pace and rely on trusted colleagues when they had questions.

The review then went further by identifying five major issues that lessened the effectiveness of training:

With these potential pitfalls in mind, you can develop your training. There are three categories to focus on: onboarding, technical skills, and soft skills.

Onboarding best strategies

Onboarding, where you have new hires fill out all necessary paperwork, is important for business purposes but doesn’t have much of an effect on performance. As such, being able to accomplish onboarding quickly allows you to focus your efforts on more important elements of training. Tips include:

Looking for HR resources? Square HR Experts helps you save time and money with customizable HR document templates, an employee handbook builder, and access to certified HR experts. HR Experts also helps you avoid costly compliance penalties with proactive alerts when employment laws are released or updated.

Technical skills best strategies

Technical training includes teaching new employees all of your internal systems, such as your POS. To best do this, remember that different people have different learning styles. Business News Daily breaks these styles into three categories:

The best training will implement all of these learning styles. You can also look at restaurants for examples of technical training, as even experienced servers need to learn new menus. This can be accomplished with a mix of all three learning styles:

Tests can also be used to aid learning. However, a 2018 meta-analysis shows that not all forms of learning are equally enhanced by testing. Testing is a useful tool but shouldn’t be overly relied upon. The National Federation of Independent Business may have the best advice: Focus on slow, flexible training that can be adjusted to suit each trainee.

Soft skills best strategies

Beyond technical systems, new employees also need to learn about your company so they can feel like a part of the team. A Gallup poll showed that attrition can be significantly lowered by communicating a strong company culture. Developing your company culture will lead to happier, more loyal employees.

We can again look at restaurants. Rather than simply training a server in their job, carve out time for them to shadow different employees:


By understanding how the entire restaurant runs, they will understand the company better. Also, by giving new hires time with different trainers you give them a chance to start forming co-worker relationships that will help them as they grow.

Collaborative design

Understanding your goals is the first step to designing an effective training program. Don’t be afraid to talk to your current staff and see what worked and didn’t during their training. This collaboration can help your training be as effective as possible today and into the future.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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