I'm trying to explain the following thought:

She has been tremendously helpful in training new employees in the company...

only instead of "training", I would like to use a word that emphasizes the fact that employees "know what to do" after she's done with them :) Like "bringing up to speed" but with one word.

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    If they don't know what to do when she's done with them, they've hardly been trained. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Sep 30 '15 at 19:44
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    @cornbreadninja I thought that training only implies the process, not necessarily "graduation" :) – Lorke Sep 30 '15 at 19:47
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    @cornbreadninja is right. It sounds like you have a very dim view of training. – Robusto Sep 30 '15 at 19:51
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    "... in making new employees efficient ..." ? – Graffito Sep 30 '15 at 19:55
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    Ironically, I would think that the word "training" has even more of a "they know what to do" emphasis than "bringing up to speed" does. As cornbread says, if you don't know what to do, you haven't been properly trained. – Jimbo Jonny Sep 30 '15 at 23:34

13 Answers 13



Wikipedia defines this as

The mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.

"She has been tremendously helpful onboarding the company's new employees."

In my experience this term is very common in the HR field and is often used during the new hire process. My view of onboarding includes any type of activity or process that is aimed at preparing a new employee for his/her position. It can include training, getting certifications, briefing on policies and so on. I assume the process varies widely depending on the position and field of work.

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    This is even less valuable and more a buzzword than "training" ever was. – Robusto Sep 30 '15 at 22:55
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    First reaction: That is a horrible word. – JWEnglish Oct 1 '15 at 7:31
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    Verbing weirds language – ElendilTheTall Oct 1 '15 at 9:11
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    I had a feeling that the hardcore grammarians would shudder at this suggestion. However in my experience it is very common in the HR field and is often used during the new hire process. I also think it meets the needs of the OP quite well regardless of its buzzy weirdness. – landocalrissian Oct 1 '15 at 12:14
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    In my experience, "onboarding' is usually associated with teaching new hires about policies and procedures rather than how to do the job. At the end of it, you may know how to fill out your timesheet, meet the compliance requirements, and pick up your new laptop, but still suck at your job. – Laconic Droid Oct 1 '15 at 14:07

Briefing is a good one.


2. any set of concise instructions or a summary of events.

However, it may be too authoritative for your purposes.

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induct: Admit (someone) formally to a post or organization


An induction programme is part of an organisations knowledge management process and is intended to enable the new starter to become a useful, integrated member of the team, rather than being "thrown in at the deep end" without understanding how to do their job, or how their role fits in with the rest of the company.

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  • Sometimes I think people would rather create a new word such as the awful "onboarding" when a more than adequate word exists but they cannot be bothered to find it, such as "induct". Lazy! – Paddy3118 Oct 2 '15 at 6:58
  • Please do not merely cite dictionary senses: ELU is not Google. Please provide your own supporting arguments, in entirely your own words, for why you believe this is an appropriate answer to the question asked. – tchrist Oct 3 '15 at 14:50

acclimate: to accustom or become accustomed to a new climate or environment; adapt.(Dictionary.com)

The difference between "accustomed" and "acclimated" is that "accustomed" is familiar through use; usual; customary while "acclimated" is accustomed, adapted, or hardened to some environment. (the-difference-between.com)

She has been tremendously helpful in getting the company's new employees acclimated.

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  • +1. Good word. One additional comment, however. The word "acclimated," if I'm not mistaken, would be more appropriate if the trainer's job is to familiarize the newbie to the company's culture, so to speak--you know, the company's policies, procedures, and "how we do things around here." I could be wrong, but to acclimate someone is not necessarily to bring someone to the point where s/he knows what to do and how to do it, as in the nitty gritty aspects of the job description. Minor point, however. Don – rhetorician Sep 30 '15 at 21:35
  • So what about just using the word "accustom"? – Pierre Arlaud Oct 1 '15 at 7:57
  • @PierreArlaud Hope this helps: the-difference-between.com/acclimated/accustomed – Elian Oct 1 '15 at 8:09
  • @Elian this would possibly be a nice addition to the answer :) – Pierre Arlaud Oct 1 '15 at 8:11


ap·prise əˈprīz/ verb gerund or present participle: apprising

inform or tell (someone).
"I thought it right to apprise Chris of what had happened"
synonyms: inform, tell, notify, advise, brief, make aware, enlighten, update, keep posted

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    Welcome to ELU! Could you please give a citation to the dictionary you were using? – Silverfish Oct 1 '15 at 0:07
  • Please do not merely cite dictionary senses: ELU is not Google. Please provide your own supporting arguments, in entirely your own words, for why you believe this is an appropriate answer to the question asked. – tchrist Oct 3 '15 at 14:50
  • "Which dictionary?" "Hey, no dictionaries" LOL! "Get out! And don't come back!" – user4683 Oct 3 '15 at 16:50

How about familiarizing? To familiarize somebody with something means to make them familiar with it.

She has been tremendously helpful in familiarizing new employees with the company's procedures.

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Although I would totally understand your desire to find a better word than “orienting” [new employees to the company] to capture “bringing [them] up to speed,” I’m not sure what’s wrong with “training.” Once oriented, employees, both veterans and rookies need to be trained and updated to bring them up [back] (in the case of veterans) to speed.

To train/verb: Def 19: to make proficient by instruction and practice, as in some art, profession, or work:

To update/verb: Def 3: to bring (a person, organization, etc.) up to date on a particular subject:

(both from Dictionary[dot]com)

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A perfect word for the phenomenon of which you are speaking, at least in matters of religion, is discipling. The goal of Christian discipleship, for example, is for the more-mature disciple to "reproduce" him- or herself in the life of the person who is being discipled. That person in turn disciples another Christian who is less mature than he or she, and so on.

I don't think, however, you'll get away with "She has been tremendously helpful in discipling new employees." Perhaps the word mentoring would be useful, in that it denotes the efforts of a more-experienced employee in bringing a less-experienced employee up to speed through teaching, exemplifying, encouraging, instructing step-by-step, and more.

A more prosaic word, of course, is teaching (or instructing). Mentoring, however, has a nice ring to it.

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  • discipling barely resembles bringing someone up to speed. discipling is an ongoing process, much like mentoring. briefing, or bringing up to speed is a short term thing. – GreenAsJade Oct 4 '15 at 10:23


From the definition of orient at Dictionary.com:

  1. to familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances, or the like: lectures designed to orient the new students.

When there is a formal procedure for orienting new employees to a company, it is sometimes called "new employee orientation".

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There is a relatively new word onboarding that you might be interested in. It does not fit the bill exactly, as it is from employee’s perspective instead of the trainer’s.

Mentoring is another "power packed" word, and it might fit well here.

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  • Ah.I see onboarding has already gathered steam .. Yeah I did not see that as I was writing. – R.S. Sep 30 '15 at 20:03
  • (-1 for supporting such an ugly word). – chasly from UK Oct 2 '15 at 19:59

A word that took on broader meanings with the Information Age, inform originally meant exactly what you're looking for: to train in technical matters.

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A person would read a primer to get brought up to speed in a subject, so I think a reasonable word choice is priming.

From dict.org:

 3. To prepare; to make ready; to instruct beforehand; to
    post; to coach; as, to prime a witness; the boys are
    primed for mischief. [Colloq.] --Thackeray.
    [1913 Webster]
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  • Please do not merely cite dictionary senses: ELU is not Google. Please provide your own supporting arguments, in entirely your own words, for why you believe this is an appropriate answer to the question asked. – tchrist Oct 3 '15 at 14:50

Break in ; teach the ropes; clue in; fill in; Examples: she's been instrumental in breaking in the new employees.

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