Onboarding New Staff: 3 Types of Learners

Dec 11 / Saad Qureshi
The first 6 months of any new staff member are crucial to determining how successful they will be. Onboarding new staff is an essential step in integrating them into your organisation and ensuring their success.

While every individual learns differently, there are three main types of learners you'll encounter as a manager: the 'honeymooners,' the 'slow starters,' and the 'consistent performers.'

3 Types of Learners

The Honeymooners:
These individuals often start off strong, showing enthusiasm and a quick grasp of new concepts. However, they may struggle to maintain momentum and encounter challenges. This could be a faster pace, or a different culture that they're not used to. Managers need to be proactive in identifying these 'honeymooners' and provide them with ongoing support so that they can keep up their strong start.

The Slow Starters:
These individuals may appear hesitant or unsure during the initial onboarding period. But they have hidden potential. They may need additional time to process information, ask questions, and fully grasp the requirements of their role. Managers should patiently nurture these 'slow starters,' providing them with clear expectations, regular feedback, and opportunities to practice and develop their skills.

The Consistent Performers:
These individuals quickly adapt to their new role and consistently demonstrate their competence and ability to meet expectations. Managers should recognise and reward these 'consistent performers' for their contributions, providing them with opportunities for advancement and growth within the organisation.
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Spotlighting the Signs:

To effectively support new staff, managers need to be observant and attuned to individual learning styles and progress. Here are some key indicators to help you identify the different types of learners:

Honeymooners: Enthusiasm, quick grasp of new concepts, initial high performance, followed by a decline in performance or productivity.

Slow Starters: Hesitation, questions, need for additional practice and feedback, gradual improvement over time.

Consistent Performers: Rapid integration, adaptation, consistent meeting of expectations, high performance throughout the onboarding period.

Tailoring Support:

Once you've identified the learning style of your new staff, you can tailor your support accordingly:

Honeymooners: Provide ongoing guidance, encouragement, and challenging tasks to maintain their motivation and help them overcome plateaus.

Slow Starters: Offer patience, clear expectations, regular feedback, practice opportunities, and opportunities to build confidence.

Consistent Performers: Recognise and reward their achievements, provide opportunities for growth and development, and foster a sense of ownership and responsibility.


By recognising and supporting the unique learning styles of each new staff member, you can effectively integrate them into your team and ensure their long-term success.

Use the 3 learning styles offered here to help guide how to support your team members in a personalised way. 

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