When adding new members to your team, it can be tough to make sure they get up-to-speed at a quick pace, while also ensuring there are no gaps in knowledge. Many training programs fail to encompass all areas of a job, while others are too intensive in too short of a time. To build a great training program, you have to find a balance between time and knowledge that allows your employees to get started on their work while picking up skills as time goes on. Read on to find out how you can build this type of program.

Break Down Necessary Job Functions

Each job has a general list of duties that are performed on a regular basis. Think of a job listing and you will begin to understand what those duties look like in any particular role. When starting to create a training program, these are the goals you have in mind. Each of these duties will be a section of your training.

Create “Lesson Plans”

In most schools, teachers are required to create lesson plans that list objectives of each class, alongside activities and learning materials. As a manager, you should do the same for each of the job functions listed above. Write down what exactly you hope your new hire will be able to accomplish at the end of their training, then list a few activities, reading materials, or even hands-on practice that you will work on together. Keep in mind that you almost definitely will not be able to go over every little piece of the job at this time, but focus on activities that will get your employee ready for their daily functions.

Scheduling Training

Depending on how in-depth your training is, each section can take a few hours to several days, or even weeks, to complete. Be honest about how much time you need to dedicate toward training. Solicit feedback from recent hires to find out if they needed more training or less, and then adjust accordingly. Also, try to schedule a lighter section after a heartier one, as too much information will lead to employees inevitably forgetting things. You may want to schedule sessions for refresher or additional information over several weeks and months, as well.

Creating Reference Guides

Since there is no way an employee will know 100% of all relevant information after training, and slip-ups do happen, reference guides are key to your employees’ success. You can create references for what to do when a customer complains about x, or where to find information for y form, for example. Be sure your employees have either a digital or hard-copy version of each reference guide, and encourage them to use them when they have questions, rather than asking for help each time. This will help them become more independent and commit these pieces of information to memory more easily.

Once you have done all of these steps, you will be ready to teach new hires everything they need to know about their role. Listen to feedback and integrate new sections if needed, or trim back some excess content if it is too overwhelming. Be honest about what information employees really need to know right off the bat, and do what you can to keep training as effective as possible.