Orientation (HR)

Orientation or socialization is designed to provide new employees with the information needed to function comfortably and effectively in the organization. Typically, socialization conveys three types of information: (1) general information about the daily work routine; (2) a review of the organization’s history, purpose operations and products or services, as well as a sense of how the employee’s job contributes to the organization’s needs and (3) a detailed presentation (perhaps in a brochure) of the organization’s policies, work rules, and employee benefits.

Many studies have shown that employees feel anxious upon entering an organization. They worry about how well they will perform in the job; they feel adequate compared to more experienced employees; and they are concerned about how well they will get along with their co-workers. Effective socialization programs reduce the anxiety of new employees by giving them information about the job environment and about supervisors by introducing them to co-workers and by encouraging them to ask questions.

Early job experiences – when the new employee’s expectations and the organization’s expectations come together or collide seem to play a critical role in the individual’s career with the organization. If the expectations are not compatible, there will be dissatisfaction; turnover rates are almost always highest among an organization’s new employees. An important aspect of job satisfaction for all workers is the assurance that employees can work for the company’s good with out neglecting their personal obligations. One of the most pressing concerns in this area is adequate child care.

Few parents can do their best work when they are worried about their children. Yet this is the plight of millions of working parents who cannot find adequate, affordable day care. Over 50 percent of mothers with infants and toddlers hold jobs outside the home, and the percentage of two career households continues to rise. Furthermore, young professionals often live far from doting grandparents, who, in any case, are often working themselves. So the need for reliable, affordable day care is an important issue in the workplace.

The supply of day care centers has not kept pace with demand, and fewer women (historically, the labor pool for this service industry) are available to care for children in the home. In some areas the shortage is so acute that good day care centers have waiting lists of up to two years. And if finding child care for the conventional workday is difficult, finding it for a night shift is all but impossible. Small entrepreneurial companies like Bright Horizons have made a business out of supplying the day care services needed by corporations.

Training programs are directed toward maintaining and improving current job performance, while developmental programs seek to develop skills for future jobs. Both managers and non-managers may receive help from training and development programs, but the mix of experiences is likely to vary. Non-managers are much more likely to be trained in the technical skills required for their current jobs whereas managers frequently receive assistance in developing the skills required in future jobs particularly conceptual and human relations skills.

In 1992, Granite Rock received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the small business category. According to Val Verutti, director of quality support for Granite Rock, they company spent an average of $1,697 an average of 37 hours for each employee on training and education during the year. This thrust toward training and education followed on the heels of a program introduced in the late 1980s, the Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) which encouraged employees to set personal education and training goals each year. After supervisors meet with their employees to discuss their goals, the supervisors are required to make other supervisors aware of the employees’ expectations to minimize the possibility of supervisors “burying” employees for their own benefit and denying them promotions. The results have been positive. Our earnings per employee are 30 percent higher than the industry average. Our market share has increased more than ever. And our turnover is way down. People just don’t leave this company anymore. And we can get anyone we want to fill a position mostly from within the company.