You Only Have 1 Chance To Make A First Impression
We’ve all heard that saying. But how often do you think about it in terms of your new hires? Put yourself in the position of a new hire on his or her first day. They are nervous, they have a lot of questions (which they may or may not ask), they have to meet all your current employees, the list of reasons to be apprehensive goes on and on. In short, it can be a nerve wracking experience.
One way to put them at ease and integrate them into your processing team gradually and with confidence is to include some formalized training into the mix of new employee orientation. Whether you are involved with injection molding, extrusion, blow molding or even a supplier to these industries, being trained in that technology and knowing all those around you have gone through the same training has a way of bonding people.
Look at the military, perhaps the best training organization in the world. No one trains more people (or has done more training research) than the military. And what is one of the first things members of the armed forces talk about when asked about their military experiences? It is their “buddies” and the shared experiences of training.
“This is no accident. Teamwork is vital for a well functioning military. Now obviously, you don’t have to go through the physical extremes of military training with your employees. But, classroom training, shared online training, DVD based training, at the machine training, they all have the same effect.”
That new employee immediately will feel more a part of your “team” and has things to talk about with their new colleagues. Nothing builds confidence in the workplace like knowledge. When you know what you are doing in front of an injection molding machine, extruder, blown film line, virtually any kind of complex production floor machinery, you feel good about yourself. You also will feel more confident about asking those questions that you may not have asked before because you see immediately they are not “stupid” questions.
Of course, you will (and should) give your new hires basic new employee orientation training and safety training (very important) as well, but including technical training right off the bat can make a big difference. The level of technical training that a new hire should start at is best determined by “Needs Analysis” or “Gap” testing. Paulson Training offers online testing that can accurately measure what level an employee is at with their technical processing knowledge. Using this as a starting point, you will avoid boring more knowledgeable employees with information they’ve already acquired. At the same time, you’ll be able to develop a curriculum for every new hire that matches their current level of knowledge and skills.
The resulting standardization of knowledge and skills is the valuable by-product of approaching new hire training this way. Without training standards, the military wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective as it is at bringing recruits up to speed as fast as they do. The exact same model applies to your plant. If you’re not getting your new hires into a structured training program from day one, you may be missing out on a great opportunity to make the most out of that first impression.