chief-training.pngHelping a new hire adjust to their role in your shop is important. With the shortage in techs, simply finding great candidates may have been a chore, and narrowing it down to the best one probably took time. Make the most of that effort by setting new techs up for success from the first time they step into your shop. The key is great training. Here are four tips.

1. Start with a plan.

If you haven’t already, take a moment to set out a training strategy. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Simply putting something down on paper will help you make sure you don’t overlook anything. It will also help you think through timing. For example, do they need to get up to speed on scheduling software before they learn the ins and outs of the shop equipment? Listing the necessary steps will help you sort through it all. Also take a moment to make sure the necessary people will be around when you need them. You don’t want your new hire waiting because the next trainer in the process doesn’t get in until noon, for example.

This is also the time to collect any documentation they’ll need. Gather HR paperwork and any physical training materials you have. Put it together in a packet so they can easily keep track of everything.

2. Choose your trainers wisely.

The individuals working with your new hire will have a big influence on them, and not just in terms of skills. Their attitude will set the tone, as well. Make sure you pair your new employee up with someone whom you want them to emulate. They’ll take on the trainer’s habits when it comes to things like safety, efficiency, tidiness, and more. This is a great opportunity to shape your team. If, for example, you want a shop full of positive, energetic people, make a point of injecting that into the training from the very beginning.

3. Make room for outside training.

That training schedule you jotted down will ensure you have the bases covered when it comes to the processes and tools used in your shop. But there’s also a chance they’ll need more training than you can offer in-house. If this is their first job or you’re moving to a new type of repair, it’s wise to offer additional training. Courses like those offered from Chief University will help them get up to speed with and maybe even surpass your current team. Having everyone on the same tier (or nearly the same) will ensure your whole team is ready to take on any job that hits the shop floor

4. Encourage feedback.

Finally, make sure there are opportunities for feedback—from both sides. Even after the initial onboarding process, make sure your newest employees have a sense of how they’re doing. Offering ongoing truthful but encouraging feedback will help them sharpen their skills even more. And it will help them to be an even greater asset to your shop.

On the other side of the coin, solicit their feedback on the training process. Ask how things are going during the first few days and weeks. Then check in a couple months later. After they’ve had some time to settle in, they’ll have a great perspective on the training. What do they wish they learned that was missing? What went well and what just doesn’t make sense? Gathering this info will help make the next training session even better.