|matrix vision newsletter
October, 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 10
|Story of the Month|
There is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms. Well, Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 AM.
The next day at 8:45 AM there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new employee. He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule.
The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile up. At the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's.
She has a roll of plush red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles. The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo's legs.
The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena. "I'm sorry," he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, "but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday..."
"Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles."
"The biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work."
"The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation and supervision."
"Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company."
"You're only as good as the people you hire."
"Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?"
|Welcome to the matrix vision newsletter for October. This month's newsletter is focussed on getting new employees up to speed as fast as we can by looking at how we introduce them to our organisation. The process is called induction, orientation or on-boarding.
This newsletter presents some tips and tools on how to be better at getting new employees on board faster and more effectively. We have articles including:
- why do we need induction?,
- some key topics to cover in orientation,
- top ten ways to turn off a new employee
- key objectives of a good orientation and
- some tips on improving the process,
Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback would be welcome!
If any of the information interests you and if you would like to find out how it can help you please contact us. We would love to talk with you.
Employees are an organisation's most valuable resource, but the way most organisations "welcome" a new employee creates the opposite impression. Organisations often approach orientation as an afterthought. Others spend thousands of dollars and a great deal of time and effort on slick PowerPoint presentations, multiple guest speakers, and voluminous employee handbooks, all of which leave the new employee dazed, anxious, and overwhelmed. Why do they do that?
For starters, the typical new employee orientation program is boring. Like many other traditional training programs, it is presenter-centered and lecture-driven, with little or no opportunity for participant interaction. That approach is characterised by too many facts, figures, and faces packed into a few hours. And when the new employee finally gets to the actual work site, it's obvious no one is prepared for his or her arrival.
The orientation program really is the employee's first exposure to the organisation; therefore, it should be an enjoyable and memorable experience. Because it sets the tone, this program needs to be a priority item. A thoughtfully planned and delivered program helps the employee's transition, prompts him or her to feel good about the organisation, and ignites excitement and enthusiasm. The focus should be on helping to integrate the new employee into the organisation and to begin building relationships.
Organisations that skimp on orientation programs not only shortchange the employee; they also miss the perfect opportunity to communicate and help the employee embrace and internalise the organisation's philosophy, values, norms, and culture. Employees need to understand how they fit into the big picture-that what they do is important and makes a difference. The orientation program can help the new employee become more comfortable, confident, and competent.
An effective new employee orientation program takes time and effort but is well worth the investment. Studies show that a well-planned, comprehensive orientation program greatly benefits both the organisation and the employees. Researchers at Ohio State University "found that new employees who completed a three-hour orientation program showed a higher level of commitment than did those who skipped the program". Furthermore, the "increased commitment resulted from the fact that those who attended had a better understanding of the organisation's goals and values and knew more about its history than those who didn't go". Increased commitment leads to increased employee retention.
First and foremost, a new employee orientation must be approached as a process, not an event. Employees should receive information on a need-to-know basis (so as not to overwhelm) to help them move into and adapt to their new environment.
Standard Topics for a New Employee Orientation Program
Standard topics to cover fall into the following broad categories:
Company history and context:
- organisation profile
- mission, vision, values
- goals and organisation direction
- logo, tag line
- senior management team, department heads
- financial position
- locations, building layout
- products and services
Compensation and benefits:
- compensation, bonus
- insurance plans
- retirement, deferred compensation
- time off
- paid overtime
- workers' compensation
- tuition reimbursement
Policies and procedures:
- work hours
- standards of personal conduct
- computer and Internet usage
- sexual harassment
- attendance and tardiness
- rest and meal breaks
- performance evaluation
Employee programs and services:
- employee assistance program
- employee development
- service and recognition awards.
If you would like help to get new employees up to speed quickly CLICK HERE.
|Top Ten Ways to Turn Off a New Employee|
You want your new employee to experience his new job as a major turn on. Why is it that organisations so often act in ways that create the opposite result? These are the top ten ways to guarantee your new employee will start off on the wrong foot - possibly forever.
- Make sure a work area has not been created or assigned. (Let him sit in a hall or share a cubicle.)
- Schedule the new employee to start work while her supervisor is on holidays.
- Leave the new employee standing in the company reception area for a half hour while reception staff try to figure out what to do with him.
- Leave the new employee at her work station, to manage on her own, while coworkers pair up and head out to lunch.
- Provide an hour in a noisy lobby for the new employee to read and sign-off on a 100 page Employee Handbook.
- Show the new employee his office and don't introduce him to coworkers or assign him a mentor.
- Assign the new employee to a staff person who has a major, career-impacting deadline, in three days.
- Assign the new employee to (you fill in the blanks) your most unhappy, negative, company-bashing staff member.
- Assign the employee "busy work" that has nothing to do with her core job description, because you are having a busy week
- Start the new employee with a one or two day new employee orientation during which Human Resources personnel make presentation after presentation after presentation after presentation ...
We can help you avoid these pitfalls to have your new employees up to speed quickly. Give us a call. CONTACT US
|Orientation - A Few Tips|
Dr. John Sullivan, head of the Human Resource Management Program at San Francisco State University, concludes that several elements contribute to a World Class orientation program. The best new employee orientation:
- has targeted goals and meets them,
- makes the first day a celebration,
- involves family as well as co-workers,
- makes new hires productive on the first day,
- is not boring, rushed or ineffective, and
- uses feedback to continuously improve.
Let New Employee Orientation Be - Simple and Interesting
The employee orientation period can be quite complex and uncertain. Consider the experience from the employee's perspective, and then make an effort to make it fun, interesting, exciting, painless, and as simple as possible. If you do, you will make your new team member feel valued, wanted, interested and excited. By engendering these positive emotions from the word go, you make the new employee want to do great work and add great value to your organisation.
One easy solution is to post new employee orientation schedules, materials, benefits forms, and an extensive FAQ about the company on an Intranet that is accessible to new hires form a link in a welcome email before their first day on the job. By providing some information in advance, you eliminate a common source of new hire angst and give them a better chance to start off on the right foot.
Don't Make New Employees Learn "The Hard Way"
Every workplace comes with its own set of rules and regulations, benefits and bonuses, nuances and traditions. Don't make your new employees learn these things the hard way. If your company observes a "casual Friday" rule, make sure all new employees know this before they show up at the office on their first Friday in a neatly-pressed suit.
Every company offers a range of benefits and perks. They'll seem even more valuable if you make sure your new employees know about them from the onset. Give new employees an easy way to keep track of exactly what they're eligible for, and how they can take advantage of these benefits.
Welcoming the whole person, rather than just a set of job functions, will help new hires more quickly assimilate to your corporate culture. And you never know - maybe that unassuming new financial analyst will be the secret weapon that your team needs to shut out your fiercest rival.
Again, post policies and procedures in writing somewhere convenient. Verbal mentions during a marathon new employee orientation session can easily go unheard, especially on a new hire's first day in the office. Similarly, a stack of papers and reminders can easily get lost in the shuffle. An online resource that is regularly updated, and always accessible, is the best practice when it comes to information sharing.
Make New Employee Orientation Personal
Don't make day one all about paperwork. Instead, prioritise interpersonal relationships with key colleagues. Consider assigning welcome mentors to each new hire, so they can immediately get a feel for the personality of your organisation. This day of first impressions will have an enormous impact on the employee experience, so make it a good one.
Of course, some paperwork must be handled on or before the start date. Keep in mind that when your new hire goes home to tell his family about his first day on the job, he would rather have something more exciting to report than, "I filled out over 30 forms."
When it comes to documentation, get the key documentation on file in advance or as quickly as you can on day one. For everything else, create an online hub where new hires can find materials as they need them. Once they've settled into their new job, send a reminder email that certain materials are available online, and encourage them to frequently visit the Intranet for information.
When it comes to getting new people on board at your company, the Internet is the most powerful tool in your toolbox. A web-based employee orientation system will let you standardise, streamline, track, and coordinate every step of the process, all while making your company's most recent hires feel valued and supported.
It's been proven that happy employees are more productive employees. So, if you're looking to drive bottom line results with state of the art talent management tactics, it's time to get "onboard."
We can help you develop more effective orientation processes and programs. Give us a call.
Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
People need an efficient, confidential and anonymous vehicle for giving feedback to each other. State-of-the-art software can simplify the process of collecting multi-source (360) feedback for anyone in your organisation.
20/20 Insight GOLD is the world's most versatile feedback tool. With this system, we can set up surveys to collect virtually any type of feedback-ideas, opinions, impressions, ratings - from any number of people about the performance of an individual, a team or even your organisation as a whole.organisation.
We can work with you to develop the the feedback survey that suits your needs using our survey items or your own or a combination.
To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.
To talk with us about how you can use feedback to help improve your team, please contact us
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In November the theme of the newsletter will be "Skill Training".
All the Best,
Matrix Vision Pty Limited