For our November webinar, we had the privilege of engaging in an enlightening discussion on new hire onboarding. Our panelists, Brea Watkins, Director of Learning & Development at Levity Live and Priscilla Olgin, Regional Training Partner at Shake Shack, shared invaluable insights from their extensive experience in the industry. Here are three major takeaways from the session:

1. Delivering Training that Fits the Brand

One of the key points raised by Brea Watkins was the importance of delivering training that feels like the brand. For online training to be effective and maintain that personal connection, it needs to visually connect to the brand. This can be achieved by using videos and on-the-job training that features familiar faces and environments. As Watkins stated, "When you are seeing your peers or you're taking some training that's virtual, it's not a robotic, it's Bob from accounting."

2. Investing in an Internal Promotion Pipeline

In the discussion, we also touched on the importance of promoting from within as a means to foster loyalty and commitment to the company on Day 1. While you don’t need to see the entire ladder to take the next step, it can be impactful to show team members at the very beginning where their growth opportunities lie.

Watkins pointed out that if a staff member has great potential and fits well with the company culture, it's worth investing time and resources into their development, even if it involves creating specific training for their needs. Interestingly, Watkins also mentioned the concept of a 'Is Management for Me?' course, designed to allow potential managers to explore whether a management role would be a good fit for them. This proactive approach ensures that the investment into someone’s development is beneficial not only for the company but also for the individual, enhancing job satisfaction and retention.

3. Building Trust and Credibility Through Managers

The session also emphasized the importance of building trust and credibility through managers. When managers understand their team members' strengths and areas for improvement, they can provide more effective training and support. As Watkins mentioned, "When it comes to building that trust through our management team, I would say 90% of our managers are internal." As in, 90% of Levity Live’s managers are developed and promoted from within.

Watkins and Olgin also highlighted the importance of identifying leaders within teams who can help carry out training, thus creating a culture of collective knowledge and expertise. This strategy not only uplifts team leads but also ensures consistent training standards across the organization.

Due to technical difficulties, we were not able to capture Olgin’s contributions to the live session. Both panelists offered invaluable insights into the art of new team member onboarding, emphasizing the importance of brand-consistent training, investing in internal promotions, and building trust through managers. These strategies are integral to not only training new team members effectively but also fostering a strong, cohesive team culture that encourages growth and development from within. To review the presentation deck that was shared during the session, click here.