April 2011
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TD Magazine

Easing Into a New Job Isn’t Easy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation, and supervision."

- Bruce Barton, U.S. Congressman


The unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in February and has fallen a full percentage point in the last three months. Companies are starting to hire again, and that's a good thing for workers who have been out of a job for an extended period of time.

But are those unemployed workers ready to venture back into this competitive job market, and are companies ready to make this transition easier for them? This month's cover article on page 36 highlights the tough transition that military veterans face when entering the civilian workforce, and although some of the frustrations and challenges that veterans face are unique to their military service, companies can learn from their challenges when transitioning new employees into their work environment.

Culture fit is a major reason why veterans leave a civilian job, and I'm sure the same applies for civilians. Although moving from military work to the civilian workforce is very different, putting any employee into a culture that is not a good fit will lead to frustration and the parting of ways between employee and employer.

This article also focuses on the onboarding process and the importance of getting an employee familiar with the pace of the work, day-to-day activities, expectations, and career progression. Don't take the hiring of a new employee for granted. Walking into a new job with new expectations, new surroundings, and new colleagues can be a daunting experience for any new hire.

Training and development professionals are uniquely qualified to help employees ease into a new job, move up the career ladder, and become engaged and productive team players. Hundreds of thousands of workers are going to be stepping into new jobs in the coming months. It is time for learning professionals to make the move a little easier for everyone involved


Paula Ketter

Editor, T+D

[email protected]

About the Author

Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.

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