Build an Employee Training Program Like Facebook and Twitter

March 14, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

Training new employees is like growing a plant — it takes time, patience, and every now and then, a little bit of pruning. Some managers choose to weed out employee training programs completely, but if your company doesn’t give its team members the tools they need to prepare and succeed, how can they guide the team to success?

Many managers believe the task of training an employee should be done by other employees, but this can lead to unanswered questions, misunderstood expectations, and unclear benchmarks.

Your company may or may not be the next Facebook or Twitter, but your company can amp up its employee training program by applying these strategies. Don’t have a program set up yet? Read on anyway.

Get new hires started on a project right off the bat.

Start training new hires ahead of time to prepare them for upcoming tasks and projects, and to boost their hype and productivity for working for your company. At Facebook, new engineers and project managers go through Bootcamp (capital B), a seven week onboarding program that gives them a peek at the company’s code and the opportunity to work on projects that go live on the site about a week after their first day on the job.

Let employees figure out what they want to work on, rather than being the one to assign tasks.

During Facebook Bootcamp, new hires are also matched to different parts of the organization based on what they want to create and whether or not there’s a need for additional hands on that deck. Giving employees a say as deciders of their fates can promote a sense of rapport and regard for their work. Ultimately, this kind of flexibility is contingent on if you have the capacity to add them onto various parts of your team, but if you’re able to, go for it. This can upgrade the quality of work that results from employees having a sense of choice.

Teach managers to make it their goal to manage, not to be likeable.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo leads a two-day seminar that teaches managers how to be assertive, set clear goals for the team, and how to be more of a leader than someone who wants to be buddies with anyone else in a more junior role.
“Many of them are managing by wanting to be liked [which] ends up creating misery for your team because people get thrown under the bus later,” he said.

Try implementing a short program or creating a quick, easy-to-read guide reminding managers that in order to build a proper relationship with their team and to progress, they need to be transparent and forward about their objectives. Similarly, managers must be open to feedback and criticism to develop a positive, two-way conversation with their employees. To want to be likeable is fair, but it should not be a manager’s main concern.

If you have yet to implement an employee training program, consider it an optimal means of establishing a standardized code of performance. This streamlines the hiring process by setting communicated goals, expectations, and guidelines to get there.

Got a tip to share? Tweet us @Entelo!

candidate outreach