The Value of Mentoring and Shadowing in New Hire Training

new hire training program

One of the most effective ways to learn is to engage in intelligent conversation with an expert on a subject. Mentoring and shadowing are an excellent supplement to research and independent learning. In particular, online relationships, facilitated through the Internet, have evolved how professional mentoring and shadowing happens. Technology makes online mentoring and shadowing cost-effective for organizations with offices anywhere in the world.

Value of shadowing in new hire training

Whether you are taking an online or offline approach to this, Susan Heathfield provides great insight into why job shadowing is so important. Here’s how shadowing can help your new hires:

1. It “helps employees absorb the values, norms, and standards of an organization…” Think of this as if you were trying to learn a language; the only way you can truly learn is by immersing yourself in a culture and being surrounded by native speakers. The same principle applies since job shadowing allows the new employees to see how the culture and values of the business are applied in normal everyday settings.

2. The new hire can demonstrate what they learned. After the new hire is taught a skill or job function, they can demonstrate what they have learned to their mentor. This allows them to solidify the knowledge and gives their mentor the opportunity to clarify any misconceptions or fix any issues the new employee may be having.

3. What better way to create friendships than to interact with people, right? Assigning a mentor will give the new employee someone they can get to know at a personal level. On top of that, the mentor can introduce the new hire to other current employees he or she may not know yet.

4. If the mentorship is temporary, it can provide a way for the new hire to gain a “deeper knowledge about a variety of jobs and functions in the company.” Here is a scenario. You could allow the new employee(s) to mentor with one person from each section (or as many as you choose) of the company. Over the course of 2-3 weeks, the new hire(s) would learn about which position would suit them best, or the mentors could decide who would fit what position best. This would also allow the new employees to have a better understanding of the relationship between each sector of the business. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to create a successful training environment for new employees.

What steps are you taking to create a successful training environment for your new employees? Leave us a comment and let us know!