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Bankruptcy Law Changes: Silver Lining in Dark Cloud

“I was thrown into the job with no training. I asked for some one-on-one time with my manager to go over the project inside out, but he never had the time. I sensed he didn’t really know enough to be able to thoroughly brief me anyway. When I got feedback that certain work wasn’t acceptable, he wouldn’t be specific about how to correct it in the future.”

Those are the words of Anna, spoken six weeks after she resigned her position (and quoted in Leigh Branham’s book, “The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave.”) Anna’s experience is an example of what can happen when a manager or supervisor fails to adequately prepare a new employee for a new job.

So here’s a suggestion: Create an orientation plan for new employees. In this plan, list everything the supervisor and coworkers need to do so the new employee feels knowledgeable about the new job, the workplace, what’s expected, and where to go and who to go to for help. Following is an example of items to include in an orientation plan:

  • Welcome the new employee.

  • Introduce him or her to co-workers.

  • Prepare a map or diagram of the office or work area. Locate on it the workstations of co-workers, with co-workers’ names shown, so it is easy for the new employee to associate names with faces and positions.

  • Review the company history and philosophy.

  • Discuss the firm’s position in the industry.

  • Outline the firm’s organizational structure.

  • Summarize the company’s policies and practices.

  • Describe your code of conduct.

  • Acquaint the employee with products and/or services produced.

  • Tour the work area and facility.

  • Explain how the new employee’s job fits into the organization.

  • Discuss work schedules, work assignments, pay policies, and performance appraisal programs.

  • Notify the employee of the firm’s benefits.

  • Explain any training program and future training and development opportunities.

  • Outline the firm’s safety program.

  • Assign a co-worker to coach the new employee in the job duties and to give the new employee support and encouragement.

  • Show the new employee the firm’s labor laws posters (these are the posters various labor laws require employers to post).

  • Especially, call the new employee’s attention to the information explaining the prohibition against illegal harassment and discrimination. And include a brief instruction about an employee’s responsibility to report incidents of real or suspected harassment or discrimination.

Much of this information will be included in an employee handbook. But don’t let the handbook take the place of face-to-face conversation.

Poor orientation programs won’t do. New employees need more than “Glad to have you aboard!” and directions to their work space. Take time from your schedule to orient them. Then you develop committed, responsible employees who value you as an employer.

Also, it’s a good idea to allow several days for completing an orientation program. Then it’s easier for just-hired employees to handle the wealth of new information.