Wednesday, December 19, 2012


We will revisit interviewing and hiring at some time in the future, but right now I want to talk about how you orient a new employee into your organization.

Hypothetically, if you were using the information in this Blog as a kind of recipe for hiring and training - at this point you would have:

  1. Created policies and put together a handbook - with some legal advice
  2. Written some great interview questions and started hiring people
Now you are ready to have those people you hired start to work for you.
The orientation is a great opportunity to get to know the person a little better - they have the job so they can relax a little.  It is your time to tell them about your company - and let them know what those policies and standards are - as well as what your expectations are.

Step one is make sure you are ready for them to start work. Have all paperwork that you need. If you supply uniforms - make sure you have the uniforms prior to the start date.  This is another thing that can make the employee feel like they aren't really that important - wow - they didn't even bother to make sure they had uniforms for me!

We are going to talk about the training plan later -but that is obviously something that needs to be in place before they start.  

Depending on your industry - you may need to make sure you have someone scheduled to train the employee or to take your place in the work day so that you have time to orient and train the new person.
As you can see by now - one of my key points of success is to make sure that all employees know that they are respected and essential parts of your team.  From the first day - they have to know that you care about them and are happy that they came to work for you. This is part of building a great culture - no matter what your business is. 

If you keep getting interrupted during the orientation process it will make the same statement to them that it would have in the interview - you have better things to be doing. It is rude and disrespectful. You shouldn't tolerate the employee texting or answering calls during the orientation so you must afford them the same respect.  When you are conducting and interview or an orientation - you are in a meeting and should not be disturbed.

Another major error I have seen managers make is to have this packet of paperwork that holds all of the companies important policies- handing it to the employee and saying -  "Read through these forms, sign them and I'll be back in a while to review them with you and answer any questions".  There are several reasons why this is a bad idea:

  • It takes away from the importance of the paperwork - if you don't even bother to sit down and read through the forms with the person - how important can it be?
  • It takes away from the importance of the employee - if you don't have time to sit down and read through the forms and make sure they understand them - how important can the employee be?
  • You leave too much to chance. Yes-as we discussed - when you tell the person that signing the form states that they read it and understood it - but - if you don't review it with them and make sure that they are grasping the concept of each policy - they may not really be getting.  The average person - especially if you are dealing with a young person who might be taking on their first job- will not read everything word for word. They will skim over it and sign it.  When you come back to review and ask them if they have any questions...what do you think they are going to say?  Most people are going to say no.  You have to review policies anyway - why not do it with the employee as they read it?  It will save time and ensure that they are reading because you will be there with them looking over it. 
Take the time to make sure they understand the policies - you are more likely to retain the employee because you will be sure that they know what is expected of them.

I cannot stress this enough: If you don't impress upon the employee how important the policies are - the new employee will not see them as important.  Our goal here is to hire great people and keep them - not just hire a bunch of people only to lose them quickly. What a waste of time and money!

That's all for now...stay tuned...there is so much more to come!!

Training is not a one time event - it is an ongoing journey...Learn it...Live it...Pass it on!

This is an ornament one of my sisters made for is so cute and clever!!  Just wanted to share since we are less than a week away from Christmas!

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