Field training is not just for new hires. Helping ensure your employees have been properly trained for their assignments through a standardized field training (onboarding) program is more important today than ever before. But why stop at just new employees?
In the new Agency360 platform, not only can you easily customize your onboarding program, but you can add additional ones that can all be easily managed in a single location. That means you only have to login once, and depending on your permissions, can manage a variety of different onboarding programs your organization might need.
Now a couple years after the new version has been released, we took a look under the hood and analyzed approximately 2,000 onboarding programs within the Agency360 platform to see what other great ideas could help you prepare your employees.
As you might expect, the most popular type of program is one designed to bring a brand new employee up to speed in the organization an FTO/CTO/JTO/FTEP type of program. The other programs seemed to fall into 3 categories: modified versions of the new employee program, structured onboarding programs for different positions, and onboarding programs for specific roles an employee might fill in their normal duties.
Below are some of the specifics about these 3 types to help you brainstorm ways you could improve the training in your organization.
1. Modified Version of the New Employee Program
A new trainee that shows up at the front door might typically take 12-16 weeks to go through an FTO/CTO program. However, many agencies are creating separate programs that are similar, but maybe don’t fall under the same purpose as training a new employee. By separating these purposes, administrators can now track in 1 easy location what the employee has done, and when. A few examples include:
Return to Duty – This is for employees that are returning to a position they haven’t had to do for while, whether that from an extended leave of absence like military service or FMLA, or for being out sick. Typically this program is a lot shorter (maybe a few days or a week) than the normal new hire process.
Reserves/Part-Time – A modified program for those employees that are not on the full-time track. This program might be a little slower than a full-time employee and may only focus on the job tasks that a part-time employee would be expected to perform.
Accelerated/Lateral – This is more of a medium length program geared towards someone who already has some experience but still might need some time to get up to speed on areas they are unfamiliar with. The typical new hire program is too long for this employee, but they are still a new person.
2. Specific Assignments for the Role
Especially in communications or corrections, an employee may have a different role they are expected to fill depending on the day. Each seat has established expectations and by creating a specific onboarding program for that assignment, you can help ensure the employee has been properly trained for it. Some examples include:
Call Taking/Police Radio/Fire Radio – For communication centers, you can break down individual console seats into their own structured onboarding programs. By separating out the specific seat, you can make sure you don’t put someone in a position in which they hadn’t been appropriately onboarded.
Booking/Control Room/Housing – Similarly, in corrections there are multiple locations that an employee will be expected to fill based on manpower. Each of those locations has different responsibilities and a different level of competency to do it well. Breaking each location into their own onboarding programs can help you put the right people in the right place.
Some have broken down assignments even further, for example EVOC for EMS or call audits for communications.
3. Different Positions within the Organization
Good performance in one position does not guarantee success in another. Different positions require different skill sets as well as guidance and support. By creating a structured onboarding program for different positions, you can help ensure you have set them up for success as they have demonstrated meeting your standards. Some of the more popular examples we have seen include:
New Supervisor – Being a supervisor is an entirely different skill set. Having to understand the bigger picture of the organization, interacting with different personalities, and the day to day tasks can be a big adjustment for people. By creating a standardized onboarding program for new supervisors you can help ensure they have what it takes to meet the expectations of the role.
Paramedic Program – Being an EMT is one thing, but the responsibilities of being a paramedic are entirely different and increased. By separating out your EMT and Paramedic program you can make sure each person has been specifically trained and tested in the field.
New Detective – Going from having to respond to calls for service to working to resolve investigations is a big change. Creating a new detective program can help make sure those moving into that role have been properly shown the ropes. Some agencies have broken it down further and created an onboarding program for Homicide Unit Investigator or Crime Scene Investigator.
There are other onboarding programs users have designed too, like School Resource Officer, Animal Control, Civilian Records Staff, Property Room, and Firefighters.
There are many ways you can help make sure employees have been properly guided to perform in their positions. Whether bringing employees up to speed after being gone, helping to train those starting new roles, or enforcing expertise in expectations, a standardized onboarding program can help make sure the right people are in the right place. The Agency360 platform has been designed from the ground up with flexibility to allow endless possibilities.
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