Training new hires can feel like a complexed task, especially given that those responsible for it have an obligation to consider the return on investment. In an effort to identify a few common setbacks that so many companies experience, we’ve cultivated a guide full of expertise on how to rethink these mistakes, and how to implement long-term strategies to avoid them.

Ditch the template. Use the data.

To maximize the effects of your training initiatives, you need to prioritize a phase of analysis. This preparation will ensure your programs are rock solid, which will reap long-term benefits. Once you’ve outlined your goals and objectives, you can use the data to earn some buy-in and begin to embrace a mindset of collaboration. Talk to current employees to better understand what you can do better. Open dialogue with team leads who have a hand in the training process. Reach out to colleagues for support and additional, potentially unforeseen, insight. Talk to people and acquire as much insight as possible. Having this analysis will help you begin to outline your training programs so they’re designed to optimize efficiency.

Find a balance between practicality and potential.

You’ll want to be pragmatic about what your training program can take on. This includes budget, time frames, and the resources available to you. The input you receive from current employees can help inform how many courses you instate, how you choose to organize said courses, the differentiation between video-led courses and instructor-led courses, etc. You want think outside the box enough that you’re implementing training protocols that are engaging and thought-provoking, all while ensuring you’re not misusing what’s available to you.

Reimagine the current process.

Don’t underestimate the aspects of your current training program that already demonstrate value and generate positive impact. Repurposing the things that are working is effective, so consider how you might leverage this thinking to bring new life to tactics that are already working in your favor. You might weave in new guidelines, recent documents, relevant videos, or any other additional content that strengthens the topic of at hand.

Don't overdo it.

When you’re upgrading your training programs, be sure to consider the perspective of your new hires. Starting a new job means there’s a lot to take in, so when it comes to training, you want to avoid a cognitive overload at all costs. Break down the scope of the orientation in to reasonable blocks. In fact, most experts recommend these sessions do not exceed a time length of thirty minutes. The goal is to make these commitments feel manageable in order to improve completion rates, boost retention, and help you cultivate an engaging and enthusiastic energy.

Media makes or breaks the session.

There are so many diverse ways you can leverage the media to execute lessons and tackle topics in training. The key is to shake it up. Keep things interesting in an effort to keep your audience engaged. Images, infographics, videos, interactive presentations, even live webinars can add some much-needed pizazz to your sessions.  It’s important to remember the impact of a positive first impression, and because new hires typically attend training as one of their first to-do’s with any company, it’s critical to put your best effort out there. Use your brand personality to create an innovative and interesting experience that makes these employees feel ecstatic to be at your company.

The work is never done.

As you begin to apply new practices to your training protocols, be sure to continuously be updating your strategies. Take feedback from the rounds of new employees that complete training and demonstrate your interest in improving your efforts. Not only will this help you continue to strengthen your practices over time, it will also show your employee base that your company cares, which is an invaluable sentiment with long-term impact.