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Idea Box: Increase Productivity with New Employee Integration
Failing to effectively integrate new workers can cost a company productivity and good employees. Avoid this by creating an integration plan that helps new workers understand the company''s core values and culture and how his role contributes to them.

By Staff
Date Posted: 6/1/2014

                Many small businesses don’t realize the importance of having an effective on-boarding process that helps new workers integrate into the company and their positions. Instead, new workers are often left to fend for themselves and adjust to a new company and responsibilities on their own. This can have a negative influence on their productivity, preventing them from getting up to speed as quickly as possible, and also cause you to lose good workers who go looking for a job elsewhere because they don’t feel a connection to the company or their work.

                When integrating a new worker, the goals should be to help him learn about the company, understand its core values and culture, understand his role and how that role contributes to the overall goals of the company. Doing this requires more than a single orientation day. It requires a plan that begins before a worker’s first day and continues at least through the first month. The following aspects should be included in such a plan along with others catered specifically to your company.

                · Plan their first day. Structure will make the hire feel more comfortable and minimize the possibility for confusion. This can include some required paperwork and presentations, but don’t make them sit and listen to monologues or watch safety videos all day. 

                · Have a work area prepared and assigned before the employee arrives for his first day. This allows them to quickly begin his duties and prevent having him stand around feeling as if the company has no real need for him. Failing to do this makes a bad first impression.

                · Pair the new employee with a mentor. This person should be good at relating to people, understand the tasks the new worker will be performing, be able to explain the structure and culture of the company and be readily available to answer any questions that come up the first couple weeks. The new worker should work alongside the mentor for at least the first week. After that, the mentor should continue to check on the worker to ensure everything is going smoothly.

                · Assign a work task to complete the first day. There is usually a feeling of momentum on a worker’s first day. Use that momentum to get him started on the right foot and feeling like he is contributing to the company. The task should not be something that will take all day. But it should be real work that gives him a feel for what he will be doing and manage an idea of how he performs.

                · Set short-term and long-term goals immediately. These should be useful, realistic, clear and specific goals that give the worker something to focus on and strive toward from day one. They should be set and communicated during a purposeful discussion between the new worker and his direct supervisor within the first few days on the job. They should include clearly defined expectations of job performance, expected results and time frames.

                · Provide some time for the worker to become acclimated to the pace of the pallet or lumber business. Workers new to the industry sometimes don’t realize the physical stamina many positions on the production line require. It may take a few days for a production line worker to get up to speed. So make sure that short-term goals and assignments take this into consideration.

                · Provide quick and regular feedback from the beginning. This should focus both on what is going well and where the worker is not meeting standards or following proper procedures. This will prevent bad habits from forming and encourage good ones.

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