Based on Module 9, describe what failed in the orientation process. Be specific and use examples based on case study.
An orientation program was normally initiated with an objective to introduce the new joiners to their jobs in a formal manner. A new employee comes to know about different aspects of their jobs through a proper orientation, as it elaborates on the information that an employee receives during the selection procedure. The main purpose of an effective orientation program is to introduce the new employee to the organization as a whole, to its co-workers and their work units, apart from on the job responsibilities. In this case of John, there were several things that failed in the orientation process:
- John did not receive any formal introduction and was asked by Steve to find Kim, who would tell him what to do next.
- John had to find Kim and ask what was he supposed to do, on this, Kim told him to start filling in the shelves and that she was on a lunch break. It shows that the orientation process at SuperSuperMart was unplanned and disorganized.
- One of the key aspects of an orientation program is to reduce employee anxiety; on the contrary, John became confused after Kim’s response. We could infer that his anxiety levels had increased.
- John was unaware of any benefits, policies and procedures of the company.
- The most important aspect of a good orientation process is to clarify the specific duties and responsibilities. In this case, Smith had failed to clarify what was expected from John. This created confusion and John was unaware as to what he was supposed to do.
- The new employees must feel at ease and must understand the basic culture of the organization.
- Many organizations have revised their orientation programs to get the new employees acquainted to their work culture.
- Companies like Samsung have a comprehensive orientation program that every new employee has to go through.
A careful selection of employees will not guarantee that they will perform in a desired way. Their potential needs to be converted into performance by providing a proper orientation program. Even employees with high potential will not be able to do their jobs if they do not know how to do it. The same thing applied for John. Although he had the necessary talent to excel, without proper guidance and introduction, he became lost.
Was Steve’s assessment of John fair? Defend your Answer
If we read the case, we can infer that Steve’s assessment of John was unfair. Following are the reasons that support this stand.
- When Steve found John without the presence of Kim, he asked him what he was doing and where was Kim? When John replied that Kim was out for lunch, and he was trying to figure out what to do, Steve got a little agitated and asked him start stocking the shelves and maintain inventory. It was an unfair reaction on the part of Steve.
- As John’s supervisor, it was Steve’s duty to give proper orientation before delegating any work. A proper orientation program would ensure that John was aware of this responsibilities and what was expected of him. Also, there was no proper introduction with co-workers, which lead to confusion and anxiety in John.
- Supervisors had to develop their employees through proper counselling, discipline and training. Employees had to be coached with proper information, instructions and suggestions. But in this case, Smith had failed to perform his duties as an efficient supervisor.
Ideally, a supervisor must interact with the new comer and try to analyse his skills, attitude and knowledge with reference to the job description. After analysing these elements, it is important for supervisors to devise a proper training schedule that would enable the newcomer to perform his job effectively. But before this, supervisors should also provide a proper orientation program that would help in reducing any anxieties and questions that might be there in the employee’s mind. The new employee would then open up and share his concerns and queries with the supervisor, and this would be beneficial for the overall productivity of the organization. If we analyze the current case, we can infer that Steve had failed to provide any orientation to John, and had started making judgements without playing his part as a supervisor. This was unfair.
What would Steve do to develop John? Be specific, and use example based on the case.
If we look at the case carefully, we realise that Steve needs to play his part as a supervisor if he expects John to perform effectively. Steve can take the following measure in order to develop John.
- Provide Counselling: In today’s stressful work environment, it is extremely important that an employee’s morale is high. Morale is often a problem that needs counselling. Employee morale is the combination of attitudes and feelings of an individual and groups towards their work, supervisors, top level management and the organization as a whole. Moreover, issues relating to employee morale can be divided into internal and external issues. External issues consist of family relationships, finances, friends, vehicle mishaps and health while internal issue consists of compensation, job security, interpersonal relationships, work conditions and recognition. By counselling, Steve can understand John’s concerns and needs in a better way.
- Instil Discipline. In any organization, discipline plays a key role. John must understand the importance and need of discipline at SuperSuperMart. Steve must make sure that John understands all the company policies that are related to employee discipline and conflicts.
- Provide a proper training and development program. Training and development is the most important tool for employee development. It is a systematic approach to improving employee’s skill and they’re on the job performance. Steve needs to identify those areas where John needs to be effectively trained. John needs effective training in areas such as inventory control, inventory management, stock management and soft skills.
- Act as a coach: Steve should act as a coach and not as a supervisor! Coaching means giving employees all the support they need in terms of information, instructions and suggestions pertaining to their job assignments and overall performance. In this way, John can be moulded by Steve to become a high performer at his workplace.
Steve needs to measure and evaluate the efforts of the overall development process. One of the best examples of employee development is by introducing the concept of providing ‘mentors’ to the new employees. This practise is prevalent in a lot of Information Technology (IT) companies in India. Every new employee that joins the company gets a ‘Mentor’. It is the responsibility and duty of a mentor to ensure that the newcomer is introduced to all the aspects of the organization. From work culture to training and development needs, a mentor tries to mould the new employee in such a way that the newcomer is ready to accept new challenges and his job responsibilities. Steve can act as a mentor to John.
Using the training cycle, describe the training that John needs to be successful. Be specific and use examples based on the case study.
The training program, in order to be successful, needs to align with the goals, values and strategic objectives of the organization. In a case of John’s training requirements, Steve needs to develop an effective and elaborate training schedule by evaluating his training needs and designing the subsequent training programs in line with those needs. Training is important in order fill the performance gaps that might be present in John’s current work capabilities. Steve needs to follow a proper training cycle, as mentioned below, in order to ensure that John is successful at workplace.
Conduct the Training Cycle. Steve needs to be aware of the training subject in order to complete the training cycle. If not, he must appoint a trainer to supervise this task. The following steps need to be taken.
- Provide John with a written and an oral overview of the overall training objective. In this case, John can be trained on Inventory management skills, so the trainer needs to provide examples of the task, in this way, John can apply the training in his actual workplace.
- Provide practical working examples of the tasks.
- Allow John to participate in the training program by applying the concepts and clearing any doubts and questions.
- Monitor John’s performance and make necessary corrections wherever possible.
- Evaluate the success rate of John’s efforts.
- Evaluate the training effectiveness by conducting small tests and discussions.
- Trainer to restrain on those areas where John needs improvements.
- Review the training objective again
- Evaluate the entire training process: For any training to be successful there must be a periodic evaluation of the entire process. It is very important that Steve involves John in the entire training process and also takes his feedbacks. Finally, Steve needs to evaluate if the objective of his overall training process has been successfully met or not in order to produce a meaningful and productive result.