Employee Orientation and Training

Now that you have spent all that time and effort finding the right candidate the next step is to make sure she has a proper orientation to not only your company but the industry as well.

I’ll preface this column to point out that this will be focused on electronics manufacturing and that this program should be applicable to all levels of employee hired.

The Industry: The first and perhaps most important part of this training plan is the orientation. You should educate the person on your industry. The history of your industry, the importance of your industry and some examples of the great contributions that your overall industry has made to the world. Mention some of the products that have been not only developed and produced by your industry but its contribution to some of the great world-changing products built in the past decades. You want to instill pride of product into your new hires.

Your company: Then introduce your new hire to your company. Talk about your company’s history. Tell them your company story including the hard times and challenges of getting the company started. Every company has company and cultural lore that should be passed on to every new member of your company’s work family.

Your Culture: Orient the new employee about your company’s mission, your culture, your philosophy. Teach them about your views of great customer service. This would be a good time to have your sales and marketing manager show them your company’s presentation, your advertising, and your messaging as well as your branding. It’s important that every single person in your company is fluent with your company’s marketing message.

Mentorship: If you are truly serious about making sure that each new employee is fully and properly trained you should consider starting a mentorship program where each new employee gets a trained mentor to help them on their journey of joining and becoming a part of your company. This program will not only benefit the new employee but the mentor as well.

Your Product: Teach the new employee all about your product, not only what it is and what it does but how it is built. I know of some smart companies who have experienced a great deal of success by having their new hire spend a week or two in their factory actually fabricating the product with their own two hands. Talk about getting a great overall understanding of the product but the process as well. This has always proven to be time well spent.

Career path: show them their future with your company and in your industry. Actually, spend time telling them about some of your company’s employees’ success stories. Point out to them where they can be in five years. Have them spend one on one time with some of your more successful employees. It is vitally important to show them their future with your company. This is a truly significant way to develop strong and committed employees for life.

Specific job training: Now it’s time to start the training for the job they were hired to do. Make sure that you have ISO and AS 9100 sanctioned certified training programs. And make sure that you have the right people training them. Teaching them not only what they have to do but even more importantly why they have to do it. Once again talk about your company culture when it comes to process and quality controls. Make sure they get a complete understanding of what their department does and how it relates to the other departments. They should be taught the importance of teamwork and how their actual customer is the next department so that they should have a complete understanding of what their customer, the next department in the process needs from them.

Frequent checks and evaluations: The new employee needs to have instant feedback to make sure that they know if they are doing a good job or not. They need to be constantly evaluated to make sure they are being trained properly. This is why it is called training rather than teaching.  Early on they should experience at least monthly evaluation meetings. This is the time when you should check in with their peers to make sure they are doing things right, they are headed in the right direction and yes, that her skills and capabilities start being assessed in view of her future career path with the company.

Review, Reviews, Reviews: Oh, why oh way are we all so bad about doing reviews? Face to face regularly schedule reviews are terrible important. I think that for some reason reviews become associated with raises so that when a company was going through a wage freeze, they also went through a review freeze. Big mistake. The real importance of a review is to make sure the employee is doing okay. To make sure that if anything needs correcting or adjusting it is discussed during this time. This is also the time to talk about the employee’s future with the company. What are his dreams and aspirations? What position is he striving for in the company. And the time for his boss to guide him in that direction. To help her on the path to that significant future with the company.

I can guarantee that if you do everything listed here and you do it seriously and with the proper attention and intention, you will greatly reduce your future labor problems. It’s only common sense.