This weekend, "The Matrix" or one of the sequels was running on every premium cable channel probably because the Wachowski’s latest film, "Cloud Atlas", has been released to theaters. I can’t resist "The Matrix". It’s the Kung Fu that draws me. I started watching immediately.
I remember the first time I watched Neo’s training sequence. I remember when they “plug” him into the training program with that huge headphone adapter. I remember thinking, if only training could be that easy — even I could learn Kung Fu! (By the way, I am fit but not Kung Fu fit. I even have extra long arms that could give me an advantage for punching and blocking.)
While I am watching this training sequence this time, I have another thought: This is Neo’s new hire training. Why can’t all new hire training be this easy? Disregard the fact that we would all need jacks drilled into our heads that would probably not be covered by insurance for this type of training.
Neo’s new boss, Morpheus, has determined what Neo needs to know to survive in his new job. Link, the trainer, loads up a program that helps explain to Neo about his new company that works against The Matrix. If you recall, Neo can’t handle this information and has a small nervous breakdown. (Who hasn’t at a new hire orientation? Should I have taken this job? Am I qualified? Who will I sit with at lunch?)
After Neo has recuperated, Link gets him and they start with the fun training. (Kung Fu is on it’s way!) Morpheus has determined that Neo needs Kung Fu and weapons training. Woo hoo. Even Neo is excited. Neo himself even exclaims with such emotion and passion, “I know Kung Fu!” (I’m sure it was due to time constraints that Morpheus did not determine that Toast Masters or eloquence training was not crucial to Neo’s survival.”)
I know plug-in training like in "The Matrix" is at least a decade away, but what can we do in the meantime to make new hire training more effective?
What’s an effect way to on-board an employee while utilizing company time and their time as well as providing it to them in a way that sticks in their brains or shortens the learning curve?
And let me ask you this, what does a new employee really “need to know” to start their job? Morpheus knew, but 3 out of 5 managers are not Morpheus. Do they really need to know when the company was founded? Do they need to know the history of the Executive Team Members? Do they need to know how many locations there are throughout the US? Will that give a new project manager the cutting edge they need to be successful? Probably not.
You need to determine the mission critical information that they need to know the first day, first 30 days, first 60 days and first 90 days. Once you have that narrowed down, you can start determining HOW to get that information to the masses. Look to Morpheus and his employee, Neo. What does your employee need to survive in this new job? What training can I give my new hire so that they can go out and become "The One"?