Leaving a job on good terms involves many things, but none more important than setting your replacement up for success with hands-on training. Despite your reasons for moving on, giving the new hire the knowledge and skills they need to excel is crucial to ensure a smooth transition. Make it easier for your supervisor and teammates by following these tips when training a new hire.
Provide a list of duties or training manual.
Create a document or workbook that your predecessor can reference. In addition to including a job description, insert forms, handouts and detailed instructions for each task. Use it as a resource when explaining job duties, and allow the person to follow along and ask questions whenever necessary.
Introduce new material at a comfortable, steady pace.
Take your time when explaining tasks that involve multiple steps. Avoid zooming through the instruction, leaving your replacement perplexed and overwhelmed. Tailor your communication to match the person’s preference, and include small breaks to allow the information to register.
Teach them the proper way…not your way.
Over the span of your job, you may have developed your own method of completing various tasks. Although these tweaks may have worked for you, it isn’t appropriate to base your training off of your personal experience. Be clear and thorough in your instruction and take the initiative to update documents and other pertinent information necessary for the position. If it’s not job policy, don’t share your shortcuts.
Be prepared to answer questions and clarify instructions.
Do not assume your replacement will be able to remember everything you have taught them in one day. They will require verbal instruction and hands-on experience. If they forget a step while training, remind them of what to do and move on. Impatiently responding will only add to the pressure of training jitters.
Demonstrate how it’s done.
Rather than sitting on the opposite side of the desk and giving directions, show them how you do it. Allow them to watch as you go through the steps. When you feel they are comfortable, let them take the seat while you continue to monitor their progress. As long as you are taking a paycheck, you are on company time, and your responsibility is training the new employee well.
Stay in professional mode.
Arrive on time and dress according to the company policy. Be prepared with the day’s agenda even if you are only monitoring the trainee; your behavior can greatly influence the other person. Often, a departing employee will get lax on important things like arrival, departure and professional dress, thinking, “I’m leaving, and I don’t care.”
Keep your opinions to yourself.
It’s not your job to give the skinny on everyone’s personal quirks. Focus on preparing the person for the position and maintain a positive attitude. You want to give your replacement a strong foundation without negatively influencing their impression with office gossip. Allow them the opportunity to formulate their own opinions.
Tour the office and introduce the person to each coworker in the office, while showing them where the restrooms, supply closet and break room are located. This simple gesture can mean the difference between an anxious replacement and one that is confident and at ease. Let them know what to expect during the day and what the corporate culture is like regarding breaks. Do people leave for lunch or pack something to eat at their desk? Are there official breaks during the day? These and other details make a difference.
The genuine effort and care you put into your last few days on the job will offer a significant return in the form of solidifying your professional reputation and strengthening business relationships.
For more business etiquette tips, read Office Etiquette: Nine Ways to Strengthen Work Relationships via the Huffington Post.