Here Are Some Ways to Use Your Employee’s Stories in New Hire Orientation

new hire training story
Anticipation abounds as the new hires come through the door.  This is not only on the part of the new hires as they entertain thoughts of fitting in, and measuring up to, and perhaps exceeding expectations but also on current employees. Their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors may run the gamut from effusive expressions of welcome to subtle coldness.  (The latter to be avoided at all cost.)

The use of employees’ work stories is not just a “fluffy” thing to try. The use of employee work stories such as ones demonstrating integrity related to business practices, engagement with local, national, or international community organizations (service, charity, health fairs, athletic events), and employee assistance are all indicative of organizational culture.

Research indicates that culture is considered one of the most powerful and stable forces operating within an organization. It really is a no brainer for human resources and training departments to include stories as much as possible but rather it is a tactical, creative, and authentic way to enrich onboarding initiatives. Everything from lectures to online-based orientations is made better with stories.

Definitions vary but include concepts such as shared beliefs, values, and assumptions that are reflected in attitudes and behavior. What better way to acclimatize new hires to become productive and effective organizational members than through the judicious, and timely use of employees’ stories at all levels of the organization.  In addition, research also shows that engaging new hires in a positive manner will prevent costly staff turnover, burnout, and improve quality of service (all good for the bottom line.)

So What Stories Should Employees Tell in New Hire Orientation?

  1. I am proud to work here – because of the quality of our product, give details such as usability, durability.
  2. Outstanding service record – related to the impact on the lives/ businesses of customers, use examples of customer satisfaction responses such as personal messages, recommendations, going the proverbial extra mile, and satisfaction surveys statistics.
  3. Community Engagement – employee mobilization efforts in time of community crises such as natural disasters Sandy, Katrina. ‘Team Organization’ for breast cancer walk, drunk driving, hunger walk, mentoring/tutoring at local schools.
  4. Employee Satisfaction – really expound on this facet. Stories should illustrate the value placed on mentoring, competence, respect, integrity, ideas.

Ready, Set, Go – The Ways and Means of Employees’ Stories

  1. Have employees collect and document success stories that illustrate organizational culture.
  2. Create a database with searchable keywords featuring employee stories that tie in with the keywords.  This will clarify your messaging.
  3. Disseminate these employee stories – take them for a spin, not only in orientation but at job fairs, brochures, interviews, college campus recruitment.

Identifying key personnel to tell these stories through creative orientations is solid strategy companies are using to make training new hires more personal and memorable! So….What’s your story?

The Flipped Classroom Action Plan in Just 5 Easy Steps

flipped classroom in 5 steps
Companies that implement ongoing education for their employees are setting the stage for long-term success. Your employees need to upgrade and broaden their skills periodically as well as stay familiar with the latest industry trends, technology, and practices.
This can’t be understated. Technology evolves rapidly in most industries. Failure to maintain the skills needed to succeed, makes it challenging for employees to perform their duties with any degree of productivity.

The reality of implementing ongoing training consistently with sales reps in the field, customer service agents on the go and busy remote employees, is an entirely different story altogether…

The flipped classroom approach presents a highly scalable way of making an ongoing training program a reality for any business that needs to keep employees up to date. The premise behind the flipped classroom is to create an environment where the lecture and homework aspects of your course are reversed. Today’s employee, more tech-savvy than ever before, is used to consuming learning content online. This enables trainers or managers to spend time in class engaging in discussion, applying concepts and answering employee questions.

In 4 Signs You Should Invest in a Flipped Classroom, we gave you a few questions to consider for an investment in the flipped classroom approach. Here is step by step tips on how to develop and implement the flipped classroom for your organization.

Action Plan for Developing Your Flipped Classroom Training

  1. Start By Setting Objectives – It’s important to know your objectives before you start designing a plan. Set the end objectives you want to achieve with your training program. For example, assume a bunch of new sales hires are joining soon. Objectives of the training could be focused on getting the sales reps prepared on buyer personas, buying habits, customer pain points and how your product addresses the customer’s needs. In addition, objectives could also cover how your product solves the customer’s problem and the positive impact.
  2. Develop a Training Plan – Once you identify what outcomes are needed from the learning activity, decide on the optimal mix of training content for your organization and develop an outline. Create a training structure based on your objectives and priorities. Then, identify topics that go inside each of the training elements.

Mindtickle Sales Onboarding Course Example

Mindtickle Sales Onboarding Course Example

Note that there is no one size fits all solution. Instead, customize your approach to every topic keeping in mind the opportunity for pre-work. You want to first have employees experience the learning activity on their own, then come to the classroom prepared for discussion.
3. Prepare Content for the Training –  Video is an excellent medium for delivering the flipped classroom approach and preparation will reduce the amount of time it takes to produce the videos. (Unless you are an improv whiz!). For example in sales onboarding, simply record your “A player pitch” for a highly engaging demo to use in your training.
As you review content, look at your objectives and include data that makes for a good introductory overview along with seminal concepts. Every topic in the Analytically evaluate if your training content will meet the objectives.
Repurpose PowerPoint presentations into smaller presentations covering the topics. Script out your presentations from slide notes. Make sure each topic is a bite-sized one so that you don’t overwhelm your employees!
Recording video is much easier than you may think. You can use your mobile phone to record videos and use simple tools to do basic editing. A parting thought on video – resist the urge to be a perfectionist when recording or editing. When delivering live training there are bound to be mistaken here and there. It’s no different with video so don’t worry about small errors!
4. Implement the Flipped Classroom – When your employees go through the course online and come back to the classroom for an effective face-to-face session, it is even more critical to foster a team of intrinsically motivated employees. Having the right incentives in place will allow you to run a successful training with enthusiastic employees. Deliver the in-class discussion questions for each topic ahead of time. Let your employees know that they should prepare for in-class conversation and questions by sharing a structured learning plan with them upfront and explaining your ground rules and expectations about participation.  It is critical that they understand that those who come to training having completed the lesson, engaged and ready to ask questions to get far more out of the experience those are unprepared.
5. Evaluate Training Results – The next step is to evaluate (through an assessment) the efficiency of the training. The analysis of the training report will give you information on knowledge gaps on which your employees can be coached in the face to face session. It is important to seek feedback from your employees and deliver quizzes and assessments to ensure that you are on track to meet objectives. If some videos are not effective, find out what is effective! Finding out what works may take some time. Once the flipped training is complete deliver a final assessment to evaluate knowledge. Now your employees are prepared to do their job efficiently!
With the flipped classroom it is important to remember that the experience can be as much of a learning experience for you as a trainer as it is for your trainees. No doubt there is a learning curve and there may also be some resistance as you make the shift away from more traditional approaches to the flipped classroom model. Give the flipped classroom a chance and keep iterating to meet your organization’s goals!
What do you think about the flipped classroom approach?