Train a New Employee to Be a Rockstar (It's Easy!)

business strategy hiring leadership personal development Jun 19, 2019

Most of us work in smaller offices where we don’t have access to experienced HR personnel to help with hiring and training new employees. Naturally, this means that most of the responsibility falls on you when you’re thinking about adding people to your team. But despite this essential task, many loan officers admit that they don’t really have a strategy for bringing new team members on board.

Tim explains one strategy that can work wonders for training new employees, whether you’re hiring a junior loan officer or a loan processor. It’s guaranteed to instill confidence in your trainee, build your trust in them, and ensure that they will be able to excel at their job by the end of their training period. Here’s what the strategy entails:

How to Revamp Your Training Process

You could hire the perfect person for the new position, but if you don’t give them the proper training, they will never be able to reach their full potential. They’ll be more likely to make mistakes, and they will take longer to fully integrate into your company without the right onboarding process. So, instead of doing damage control later, make sure they get all their questions answered right away, and allow them to see how the job is done properly by shadowing you. 

What Tim recommends next might sound a little crazy at first; vow to pay your new employee for their first 60 days without expecting them to do any actual work for you. During these first 2 months, implement the following guidelines:

  • Do your work as normal. Your work schedule shouldn’t change much, but the new trainee will become your shadow and join you in your office everyday. As you complete your daily tasks, the employee should take notes and pay attention to how you handle specific situations. Every 50 minutes or so, take a 10-minute break to answer their questions, explain a certain task, or clear up any confusing terms.
  • Have lunch with the new employee. Nobody likes to sit alone while they are eating lunch, no matter whether they’re in the high school cafeteria or the breakroom in the office. Eating lunch together will allow you to continue learning about each other, build a rapport, and help the employee begin to feel like part of the team. Once they feel a connection to you, they’ll become more motivated to perform their job to the best of their ability.
  • Switch roles after a few weeks. If the amount of questions have diminished after a few weeks, allow the employee to begin tackling some of your work while you observe them. If they get stuck or feel unsure about something, you’ll be right there to steer them in the right direction. Before you know it, your new employee will become a confident, capable loan officer or processor!

Common Questions About Job Shadowing

Some people feel uncomfortable about the thought of someone else watching over them as they work. Loan officers have objected to allowing a new employee to shadow them because they feel like they would get distracted more easily; but Tim explains that this is rarely the case. Usually, when another person is observing you in your office, you’ll actually become more productive because you won’t want to set a bad example.

Loan officers and processors have also brought up concerns and questions regarding the 60-day training process. It can certainly feel like a long time when someone is with you for several hours of every workday, but there are a number of benefits that can stem from this intensive onboarding period:

  • You will be able to notice their strengths and weaknesses right away.
  • The employee will get to learn exactly how you want things to be completed. This will allow you to feel confident knowing that if you were to step out of the office for a day, your tasks would be in capable hands.
  • They can feel free to ask questions during the daily 10-minute debriefing sessions, rather than interrupting your work multiple times a day with various queries.
  • It will prevent common mistakes from occurring during their first months working in your office.

Providing this type of valuable training, where the employee can learn exactly what they need to do first-hand, you can shape them into being exactly the type of employee that you need them to be. Before you know it, they will become a strong, highly beneficial addition to your team, and they will spend far less time feeling unsure or overwhelmed. While job shadowing can sound like a strange strategy to try, it will quickly become second nature for you, and you can be sure that you’re providing the best onboarding experience possible.

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