You are probably a new company on the market. Or maybe you have taken years to establish your business. Either way, have you ever wondered about the Fortune 500 companies? Don’t you sometimes deliberate what magic did it take for them to make it to that list? Don’t you aim to hit that list too?
Well, the best way to start on your journey to excellence in business is to take inspiration from these top companies. Start with something as simple as following their methods. In this manner, you will be able to make their secret to success, yours too.
Founder of Bersin by Deloitte once stated, “The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture”. So, now you already got one secret to make it to the top. And for your business to reach new heights, a learning & development (L&D) program makes a strong starting point.
But to perfect it, let’s get into the elements of an effective L&D program through the best employee training techniques by famous Fortune 500 companies.
According to research by Glassdoor, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by 70 percent. Onboarding is one of the first employee training techniques that you need to excel at.
The most effective organizations onboard the new hires for longer durations. They focus on three main areas during the process- organizational, technical, and social to ensure employee retention. Some big giants like Zappos, Netflix, Twitter, will be able to tell you what it takes to create an effective onboarding program.
Twitter- Yes to Desk
Twitter’s onboarding process is called “Yes to Desk” because it starts from the time when an employee says yes to an offer and ends when they get to the desk. Twitter provides new hires with an email address, a bottle of wine, and a t-shirt to welcome them.
The company has a total of 75 steps altogether in its onboarding program designed for their new employees. Some of them include, managers taking breakfast with the new employees, HR, IT and other departments dance with the new employees, already working employees take lunch with the new ones. There is also a ramp-up session where the new employees learn about corporate structure, ongoing projects, company history, internal tools, inside jokes, and more.
But that’s not where their onboarding process ends, they also have a happy hour with their senior team. A 30-min presentation every Friday for 5 weeks. Their goal is to provide their new team members with an experience to remember from the beginning itself!
Zappos- Sharing Company Culture
Zappos’ onboarding process lasts for 4 weeks. Their goal is to communicate the organization’s culture to their new team members. Zappos believes in building bonds in the workforce.
In the first two weeks, the new employees learn some of the best practices of customer service. They are given 10 core values of the organization, some of which are, deliver WOW through service, embrace and drive change, pursue growth and learning, be humble, etc. Later in the process, they also learn about the history of the organization.
Employees graduate after a month of the onboarding process. But, there is a slight twist to it. So, if any employee wants to quit the job after the onboarding process, they get $2000 from the company. Isn’t it a little bizarre to pay someone to leave the company?
Well, Zappos does this to have the right employees on board to continue in the company. CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh says they don’t want people who are there for a paycheck, and they don’t want people who feel like they are trapped. And according to him when new employees turn down the money, they turn out to be much more passionate and engaged because they realize that it’s a place they want to be and contribute.
Netflix- Building Trust
Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment service is also nowhere behind in providing a good onboarding experience. For starters, Netflix keeps the desks already set up for the new recruits. They hold an orientation program for the new employees to explain the technology used at the organization. And the executive management of the company conducts an orientation program on the organizational culture.
Followed by an orientation program to explain Netflix technology. And this another orientation on organizational culture conducted by the executive management of the company. Their onboarding process also includes casual group meetings with CEO Reed Hastings where he gives his new employees a warm welcome and reiterates the company’s confidence in them.
The highlight of their program is engaging the new employees in big projects since the beginning. This reflects how much they trust new employees at work and help them feel confident about their contribution to the company. It gives them the hang of work and a sense of belonging.
Remember, your goal is to empower your employees. And out of all the ways, onboarding is one of the best employee training techniques to work upon. Keep the communication doorway always open and find out their long term prospects at your organization. Believe in your employees so that they believe in themselves. And feel like a family since the beginning like they belong in your company.
According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if there was an investment in learning. This is mainly because training reflects how much you value their performance in the company. Provide them with the right tools/resources so that they are well equipped to walk the journey with you. Lead them like a teacher and have faith that they will follow.
Cisco- The Perfect Employee Experience
A company like Cisco which has almost spent 23 years consistently on Fortune’s 100 places to work, Cisco is known for its employee experience. They believe in giving their employees what they need. Providing its employees with better meetings: the right space, the right equipment. Overtime they replaced the overhead projectors with digital displays collaborative technology. This little change gave their employees a break from complicated controllers, connections that wasted their time before any meeting. And enhanced their understanding by adding to their learning experience.
“To say that Cisco is a progressive company is understating things. Cisco not only assimilates new technology, Cisco leads and is a key contributor to shaping our continually changing world in which we live, work, play, and share.” says an employee at Cisco.
Hilton Hotels- ShareCast
Another example is Hilton Hotels, the company has built a culture that cares for its employees, so that the customers are equally taken care of. They came up with a platform called ShareCast, this is by the people to the people. The platform is meant for the employees to share their ideas, ask questions, and make suggestions.
One employee at Hilton Hotels shares how ShareCast has helped him perform well at work, “ShareCast is an ideal platform for best practice discussion and sharing. If I am facing a challenge then I can easily search the portal to see if any peers have had the same challenge and how they resolve. I can also ask for help if the topic hasn’t appeared before. In addition, I can also share my best practices for my peers to implement at their hotels.”
In response to your commitment to learning opportunities for your employees, in return you will always have loyalty and dedication to your company’s growth.
The mentorship process helps you guide your new employees on their new journey. The experienced individuals within the organization make great mentors to your employees. They provide the employees with the best advice to perform better and rise in the company.
Around 71% of Fortune 500 companies have a corporate mentorship program says a study by the American Society for Training and Development. Below mentioned are few of the Fortune 500 companies who have incorporated mentorship programs in their training processes:
The well-known chip manufacturer, Intel reinvented the mentorship program for their company. It matches people based on the skills which are in demand at every point of life. Every employee who takes up the program fills up a questionnaire. Based on this, they are paired with their mentors in the company.
They make use of an intranet system that allows mentorship pairing anywhere, anytime across the state lines too. The mentor-mentee relationship is mostly built via emails. Intel is very keen on passing information and talent from one generation to the other. It is Intel’s outstanding part about their onboarding process.
Caterpillar- Reverse Mentoring
The world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer believes in employee mentoring. New employees get a mentor for their first three years in the organization. All the employees are given the opportunity to rotate between different departments. This gives them a chance to learn and pick where they fit in the company with their mentor’s guidance. They get to connect with various department leaders.
Caterpillar also has one of the most interesting employee training techniques. It uses reverse mentoring, in which junior employees mentor senior employees. Tana Utley Vice President of Caterpillar says, “reverse mentoring can expose more senior people to generational, geographic, gender-unique or technologically-informed perspectives that can help them better navigate our ever-evolving workplace.”
Time Warner Cable (TWC)- Talent Showcase
A popular name in telecommunications/mass media industry, TWC’s mentorship program is also something to learn from. Their goal is to build employees’ skill sets and boost their industry knowledge, by showcasing their talent.
The mentorship program is not only helpful to the mentees but their mentors too. It gives them a stage for the top talents to utilize their skills. And inculcate the same in their mentees. It’s a chance for them too, to keep moving forward, take higher roles within the company
Overall, a mentorship program helps you to shape your employees so that they can easily fit in the company and grow. For the freshers in the company mentorship programs make great support. Because they learn new lessons from stories of successes and failures of their experienced mentors.
Your Next Big Move- Technology in Training
Technology has made it possible for the information to be readily available on your fingertips, giving you a great opportunity to enhance the training experience for your employees. Using innovative e-learning platforms, like Siminars, ensure that you have all the resources to make your training more engaging without putting a strain on your overhead costs.
Many industry-giants, including Toyota, have perfected the art of productive employee training if you’re looking for inspiration. Since 2005, the company has trained more than 18,000 engineers and technicians. In 2013, they upgraded to an online learning management system (LMS) to spearhead group-wide educational programs for administrative, engineering, and shop floor employees.
“‘I’ve found that getting people to embrace e-learning is much more about change management,” explained Sann René Glaza, Toyota Motor Europe’s Senior Manager for the Learning Technologies Group, “It’s bigger than making people use the system; it’s about changing the way they think about getting information.”
Additionally, Toyota also provides reading materials to their retail employees in over 50 countries to ensure consistency in the learning process across teams.
Following a similar approach, Booking.com, a leading hotel reservation platform, also implemented online training for employees looking to improve their technical skills. According to Kirk Davies, Digital Learning Manager at Booking.com, the company is “looking to create a culture of learning in general, but wanted to specifically encourage internal Booking.com employees to develop new skills and find new opportunities within the company”.
Online learning solutions ensure that your teams remain competitive in the market. So, if you are looking to create your first employee training program, then use Siminars for an easy, user-friendly experience.
In The End
Remember, “If you want a successful business, your people must feel that you are working for them- not that they are working for you.
– Sam Walton, CEO Wallmart (Rank 1 in Fortune 500 companies)
All the Fortune 500 companies are beginning to place more and more importance on nurturing the professional growth of their employees and ultimately, their business. It is a long process, but once you start on this journey, the innumerable benefits are yours to reap.
Remember to personalize the training experience for your employees by incorporating a personal touch. Regular catch-ups and continuous feedback will give them a sense of belonging in the company. And they will stand still with you while you and your business hit the top market list.