Don’t omit this training  with new hires. When training new hires, share challenging expectations, and offer the training needed to achieve them.

Several years ago, I was asked to take over the new hire basic sales training for one of America’s top 50 (by net volume) home remodeling companies. Although the company had a competent selection process, the new sales consultants were slow to start selling. Many new salespeople took a month or longer to make their first sale. Leads issued to a new non-selling salesperson were just as expensive as those given to an experienced salesperson. This was a problem. The initial basic training program was a week of classroom and field training. It was a good training plan. What needed to be added was the expectation of selling and a training schedule to prepare the new hires to meet the expectation. From the start, I told the new trainees I expected them to sell their first day in the field, their 6th day with the company!

Don’t Omit this Training with New Hires

I also explained I would give them everything they needed, but it was up to them and the effort I expected from them throughout training. I tied learning and study to this expectation. Memorizing information, repeating procedures, and studying for a quiz accompanied the first sale expectation. I attached deadlines to the process — warning not to fall behind. I recognized and correlated every achievement to their first sale. More than 95% of the trainees completed an order on their first day in the field. They expected to and were prepared to do so. Eventually, being in the “first-day” club became a point of pride.”

While the above example comes from sales, the technique should not be limited to sales. I have used this procedure with several positions and departments.

Here’s my basic outline 

  • Set realistic expectations
  • Put a time limit on achieving the expectations
  • Conduct the training needed to achieve the expectations
  • Constantly connect the training to fulfilling the expectations
  • Give recognition for progress

Where do you begin?


An initial introduction to the organization’s culture, policies, procedures, and expectations should be one of the first training sessions with new employees. Begin by introducing yourself, your position, background, and tenure with the organization

  • Have all trainees introduce themselves
  • Give realistic, but challenging, expectations
  • Conduct a tour of the operation
  • Introduce key managers and employees
  • Discuss note-taking, questions, and participation expected in training
  • Present the organization’s mission statement, ethics policy, mission, and vision
  • Review the job description
  • Review pay plans, bonus structures, and benefits
  • Explain termination offenses
  • Distribute and review handbooks
  • Review pitfalls and common mistakes of the position
  • Offer examples of successful career paths

Training New Hires is about more than Training

Training new hires is about more than training; it’s about setting goals, sharing expectations, and then developing a training plan to help trainees meet those goals and reach them. Do you expect your new hire training to achieve goals, or is your new hire training a series of check marks on a to-do list? If you don’t set expectations, what can you expect?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash