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Mastering Corporate Onboarding with the Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me, Coach Me Approach

Building Teams, Grow Your Business

I still remember the first day we hired someone at Cardone Ventures. I was nervous and excited, but mostly terrified that I’d mess things up. We had a Vision, but it still hadn’t been battle tested to see if it really resonated. We knew what we wanted from our company and our team, but we weren’t exactly sure how to get there. 

Fast forward to today, and our Vision is the bedrock of everything we do. We’ve refined it over time, but it has always been our compass, helping us attract the phenomenal talent that makes up our team today. If you’ve attended a Cardone Ventures event, you’ve seen it firsthand. Our team is energized, passionate, and driven to crush their goals.

A question that pops up all the time at our events is, “How do I motivate my team?” The answer often lies in the alignment—or misalignment—between the owner and the team. This disconnect usually starts during the onboarding process. Many business owners fail to communicate their Vision to new hires, leading to frustration when team members don’t align with company goals. At Cardone Ventures, we make sure our Vision is shared during the first interview and throughout the entire process to attract those who resonate with our culture.

Corporate onboarding is crucial for bringing new hires into your organization effectively. But if you’re serious about scaling, you need to tailor your onboarding process to specific roles. This is where tracking your process comes into play, enabling you to create a Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me, Coach Me onboarding plan.

The Power of Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me, Coach Me

The Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me, Coach Me framework is a four-step process grounded in adult learning theory, catering to various learning styles through diverse teaching methods. This model combines instruction, demonstration, hands-on practice, and feedback to help learners effectively process, retain, and apply new information. By leveraging this approach, leaders can create a more impactful learning experience that leads to better retention and application of new skills. 

When I say “Leadership is making other people’s success easy,” this is precisely how you achieve that. By ensuring that new hires clearly understand their roles, you eliminate the guessing and uncertainty that can lead to disengagement.

Creating Your Onboarding Plan

1. Tell Me: Providing Clear Instructions

The first phase involves giving basic instruction and information. Here, you lay the groundwork by explaining the fundamentals of what the new hire needs to know. Use your role’s job description to identify the essential processes and ask yourself, “How would this new team member know how to do this?” 

Document these processes clearly, preferably in a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). This written documentation is crucial for setting clear expectations and ensuring you’ve communicated effectively. This clarity becomes your safety net, ensuring that your instructions are always available for reference.

2. Show Me: Demonstrating the Process

Once you’ve laid out the instructions, move on to the Show Me phase, where you demonstrate how the information is applied in real-life scenarios. This can be achieved through recorded videos or live demonstrations, depending on your industry. For instance, if your team works in an office, recording a Loom video of each step in the process can be highly effective. In more hands-on environments, such as construction or dental offices, new hires might shadow experienced employees to observe the process in action.

Demonstrations help learners visualize and understand the practical application of the information, making it a critical component of adult learning.

3. Let Me: Practicing the Skills

The Let Me phase allows new hires to apply what they’ve learned by practicing in a controlled environment. This step is essential for building confidence and reinforcing learning. For example, in our business, team members might record a call where they complete an order, which is then reviewed by a manager. 

Immediate feedback is crucial in this phase. If mistakes are made, address them specifically and constructively. This practice helps normalize feedback within your organization and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

4. Coach Me: Providing Feedback and Guidance

The final phase, Coach Me, involves offering feedback to help new hires refine their skills. Consistent coaching ensures that your new team members meet the high standards expected by your clients and customers. 

Link a feedback form to your onboarding plan so new hires know that they will receive regular evaluations. Start feedback sessions by asking them what they think went well and where they could improve. This dialogue helps you understand their self-awareness and alignment with your expectations. Use this opportunity to point out additional areas for improvement and role-play scenarios to ensure competency.

Ensuring Ongoing Success

By following the Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me, Coach Me model, you can ensure that new hires are fully prepared for their roles. If a new hire’s performance doesn’t meet your standards, they shouldn’t be held responsible for that process until they’ve demonstrated competence. This approach helps you maintain high-quality standards across your organization, leading to a consistent and reliable brand experience for your clients and customers.

Implementing this structured onboarding plan allows you to sleep peacefully, knowing that your team is well-trained and capable of maintaining the excellence your business is known for. By investing in comprehensive onboarding, you pave the way for your team members’ success and, ultimately, the success of your organization.

For those eager to dive deeper and access exclusive resources regarding how to use  Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me, Coach Me to achieve onboarding success visit Start the Work. “If your business isn’t growing, you’re not spending your time on the right things.”