all aware of the implications of poor hiring and training decisions.
They can cost the company time and money, and they can result in low
employee morale. One basic step to ensuring that new hires get off to a
positive start is to conduct an effective employee orientation and
training program. Employees who are properly trained and introduced to
the company early feel better about their choice of employer and usually
fit in more quickly. This is a win-win situation for both the company
and the employee.
In-house training programs
are quickly becoming vital for emerging businesses. For these developing
organizations, it is of utmost importance to bring new hires up to speed
quickly and keep them up to speed as the company grows and evolves.
Many employers believe
they lack the budget or knowledge to develop such a program, yet
creating an in-house training program does not have to break the bank
and - moreover - the knowledge is held first hand.
In fact, with a little time and effort, your can develop your own
in-house programs. Here's how:
Perform Feedback Surveys
of Your New Hires - Use this to see where your orientation program is
lacking. Most companies would be surprised to hear from recent hires
about things they wished they had learned or known from the beginning.
How many people in your office still do not know how to use the copier
or have poor phone etiquette? These are easy problems to solve through
even an informal training program. Keep the process going by using
proper evaluation tools, and administer evaluations on a regular basis.
Keep track of both employee achievements and areas of improvement for a
streamlined ongoing evaluation process.
Prepare an Employee Policy
Manual - Manuals are a great way to wrap up all of the company's
policies and expectations in one convenient location. Businesses that do
not already have a manual or any documentation of the sort might
consider asking business partners or clients (if appropriate) to borrow
their materials. Many human resources consulting firms will be glad to
assist you in preparing handbooks and policy development.
Make an Agenda - Each new
employee should be included in the initial orientation process, but the
process should not end after the initial orientation program. When a new
hire starts, companies should reserve the day to orient new employees.
Create an agenda ahead of time in order to complete appropriate
paperwork, explain policies and procedures and familiarize new hires to
the firm's environment.
checklist of items to cover such as:
Conditions of Employment
Company Culture and
Opportunities and Evaluation Processes
such as I9 forms, W2s, benefit enrolment paperwork, payroll processing
Procedures and Policies
Company Policies, such
as sexual harassment, vacation, confidentially and Internet usage
Features that Set Your
Firm Apart, such as special benefits and employee relations
One person should be
assigned - possibly someone dedicated to human resources management or a
supervisor - to spend this day with the new hire(s).
Develop a Buddy or
Sponsorship Program - Assign new hires a sponsor/buddy on their first
day on the job. Sponsorships provide a bridge and support system for new
hires and their transition into a new workplace. Include peers,
administrative staff, front office employees, management, and others who
will be working with new staff members in the orientation process.
Incorporate a formal introduction process for each new hire, and make an
effort to ensure each new employee is introduced to all of the staff in
his or her department.
This will ensure that
others in the firm have an active role in the success of the new member.
Use the buddy or sponsor system to help new employees become familiar
with the overall culture and work ethic of the firm. A buddy system
gives the newly hired employee a person to whom he or she can ask basic
questions such as what is the dress code, where are good places to eat,
how are client introductions handled, and so on.
Be Committed to Ongoing
Training - Re-orientation is key to a well-rounded, successful training
program. Firms should focus on training employees from the beginning
from their first day throughout their employment at the firm. The
overall goal should be to keep all employees well informed of the firms'
products and services. In addition, for employees who work with clients
on a regular basis, businesses should provide frequent training on
providing excellent customer service and soft skills.
Throw away the attitude
of, if I spend the time training and mentoring, my staff will just take
what they have learned and move on. The key to introducing a training
program is to know that money does not have to be an issue -- at some
level, a program can be established and adhered to with commitment from
the firm. In the end, developing a good orientation and training
program, whether low-cost, or high-end is a win-win for all involved.
Successful New Employee Orientation, by Jean Barbazette