The American Kennel Club offers “Twelve Useful Dog Training Tips.” We noticed that many can double as useful new-employee training tips.
1. Understand that a puppy is an infant dog.
A new employee is like a lot like a puppy. If you lead new-employee training, remember their heads will be swimming with more information than they can easily process. Just finding the bathroom is confusing, which could lead to accidents. Just like with a puppy.
2. Puppy-proof your house with baby gates, a crate, and/or a pen.
We don’t, in most instances, recommend crating new employees. However, trainees can easily get into trouble if left to roam. They will be curious little creatures. Don’t let them wander into the breakroom unattended where they could accidentally eat Korean leftovers from April 2015.
3. Dogs are not born understanding English.
New employees are not born understanding your organization’s lingo. Keep the verbiage straightforward and simple. Leave Core Competency Empowerment Matrix and other sexy argot for the second day of training.
4. Learn about dog body language.
If trainees begin to fidget during your 50-slide PowerPoint on Policies and Procedures Regarding Proper Key Fob Use, it may indicate they are not wholly engaged. If they begin to pant, adjust the thermostat and provide them a bowl of water.
5. Train with high-value treats.
Chocolate chip cookies and maybe a few snickerdoodles. No oatmeal with raisins.
6. Catch your dog being good.
Anyone who stays awake during The Myriad Intricacies of Our Outdated Phone System should receive an extra chocolate chip cookie and a new-employee training gold star.
7. He’s a dog, not a human.
New employees are not yet human—at least as far as veteran employees are concerned. Be patient and nurture them. Soon enough, they will grow into the grizzled, cynical staffers they are destined to be.
8. Dogs do the things that we reinforce.
So do new employees. Consider smacking their behinds with a rolled-up newspaper to reinforce that it is not acceptable to play death ska at their desks without using earbuds. They will eventually get the picture.
9. Always be happy when your dog comes to you, whether you called him or not.
Remember, there are no dumb questions. If a new hire comes to you with a lot of questions—such as why the office still has a fax machine when everyone knows that’s just killing trees—happily refer him to a colleague.
10. Keep a positive attitude.
New employees eventually become someone else’s problem.
Have other new-employee training tips you would like to share? Please contact us at your convenience, we love more training tips!