A PURE INPUT/OUTPUT SYSTEM
Many companies are better at celebrating the departure of a beloved co-worker than welcoming a new one. New employee orientation and integration should be one of the most important functions of the company and its leaders. A pure input/output system (what you put into the effort will determine what comes out of the effort), should be designed with the same care you put into designing material flow in your shop or cash flow in your operations. An unforced error that occurs here will reverberate through the spirit of your new employee — diminishing their natural excitement and ultimately the spirit of the body of your entire staff. When it comes to making someone feel welcomed, get simple with these suggestions:
Assume that every person coming to your team is the next great superhero of the work world.
Create a “Welcome Aboard” letter and have it signed by the big boss or by everyone on staff.
Do you have shirts or promotional items with your company name on them? Make sure they get some!
Besides the necessary Welcome Aboard Lunch have some breakfast items for everyone to enjoy on day one.
Type up a list of local resources (good places for lunch take-out or auto mechanic) as well as other quiet and helpful rules of the company (parking politics or a list of the top 10 customers along with the main contact name to avoid embarrassing phone inquisitions).
Develop an internal glossary of your company’s “accent” (strange abbreviations or acronyms that are thrown around, nicknames of employees and customers, buzzwords and FAQs) to create quick productivity.
Hopefully, you have hired a person who shares both the values and the behaviors that best fit your culture and offering to the market. If so, then orientation and integration should be all about refining a new employee’s knowledge base and demonstrating just why it is that your entire team enthusiastically embraces who you are and what you do as a company. Without it, all the energy that your new hire brings to your organization will simply dissipate and float off into the ether, leaving them deflated, dragging and wondering why on earth they ever walked through your door. An unforced error to be aggressively avoided!
Seeking and finding great workers with long tenure accompanies expanding sales and solid profits as the trinity of the small business — it is our grail. Think of orientation and employee integration as the first vital drops we collect in a leakproof vessel called retention.
About the author: Chris Traynor, Surface Fabrication magazine’s Senior Business Columnist, is the Director and Knowledge Scout for Whip-Smart Management Consulting LLC., Wayne, N.J. (www.whip-smart.com) as well as a board-certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Traynor has 25 years of experience in the solid surface industry as a consultant to fabricators, distributors, manufacturers and associated firms. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.