If your new hires are falling asleep during orientation, it may be time to revamp your program.
One word that makes everyone in HR a subject matter expert is orientation. This termcurrently part of the onboarding processmeans a lot of things to everyone. The last time I checked, orientation to Disney meant a required four-day (4-day!) session for its theme park employees. At the other end of the spectrum are those brief, 45-minute orientations, where the subject matter expert (or a small team of experts) races through a catalog of details concerning the minutiae of the different prices for lost limbs according to the rate chart for the organizations up-to-date accidental death-and-dismemberment coverage. Then there are those orientation programs that cover retirement in a lengthy session, despite the fact that the person just started and may not even be eligible for retirement benefits.
And dont forget the HR professionals who love one-on-one orientation sessions, all the while complaining that they have too much work and too little time. This situation always grows heated when, in an effort to reduce the demands on HR, the one activity they really love doing (the orientation sessions) is often the first to be cut.
It is important to remember, though, that none of the various orientation options above take into account the most important factor: Extensive research has shown that a new employee would much rather be starting his or her on-the-job responsibilities than sitting through an orientation.
Despite the challenges of orientation programs, however, research conducted by industrial psychologists consistently shows that an effective orientation program has staying power. Results have shown that an effective orientation program has a direct impact on employee turnoverwith those undergoing orientation more likely to stay with an organization longer than one year (usually the most difficult period for the new employee).
The question you should be asking is whether it makes more sense to use an outside provider for this all-important activity. How do you determine if entrusting this function to outsiders is important to your effectiveness in this activity?
As Stephen Covey, author of the enormously popular The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says begin with the end in mind. Do you recognize what constitutes an effective orientation program? Many believe the process is so important that organizations should really have a series of orientation programs. There are two reasons for this: First, intermittent training works best, and second, many successful training efforts have shown that less is more. With more than one session, you dont have to worry that everything will be covered. If it werent so sad to see how often well intentioned HR professionals insist on piling a ton of information on new employees, it would really be comical.
Your next step should be to employ gap analysis. What would effective orientation training look like? What would the results include? What would the results be immediately after training? How about three and six months later? Also consider your current new employee turnover. If there were a better orientation program, how do you forecast turnover levels decreasing for new employees? What other metrics should you consider that could be tied to effective orientation?
Next, see what best practices employers are doing. Then network with vendors to see who offers what. When you learn of a program that you want to explore further, request the opportunity to witness it firsthand and ask how its effectivenes is measured.
At this point, you will have an understanding of what the marketplace has to offer. Compare those results with your current internal program. If you have a strong program, then you could do two things: First, see if there is anything else you want to offer or anything you want to change to make your program even stronger; second, consider (if your program is so effective) whether it is a core competency for your organizations HR program. If this is so, that fact should be shared not only as part of your internal branding initiatives but also with the outside world. When you become a provider of orientation programs elsewhere, as Disney has so successfully done in partnership with SHRM, generating revenue is certainly achievablethough hopefully it wont result in four-day orientation programs!
Regardless of the outcome, examining the effectiveness of orientation efforts is a valuable exercise to undertake periodically. You avoid doing so at your own peril.
Dont get phased out of the big picture.
Listen to that faint, distant rhythm. What youre hearing is the sound of impatienceexecutive impatience. Leather soles pacing on hardwood. Fingertips drumming on desk. Pencils tapping on coffee cups. And, its getting louder. Corporate executives from
Executives tell us, and prove through their continual support of training, that they believe in the value of learning. They believe committed and capable employees drive the results that shareholders demand. Executives want training to work. But theyre not convinced that their training organizations are delivering the goods. They are right to be skeptical.
Businesses spend billions on training, but what is the tangible return on that investment. Do we have anything more than neatly framed certificates that prove we attended a Sales Strategy class? More competitive wins? A better close rate? Improved customer retention? More revenue? Somethinganythingthat flows to the bottom line? No? Listen to that tapping!
In companies around the world, the timer is expiring on trainings feel-good charter, measuring success by how training participants feel when they complete a class. Theres a brave new world of expectations taking root these days, where training can and will be measured on real business results, and where training is expected to deliver economic and strategic value on every investment.
Meeting these new expectations requires much more than producing better training courses. It requires transforming the traditional training operation into a customer- driven, results-hungry, value-producing machine. It requires dramatic changes in the way training interacts with the rest of the business. I call this new modus operandi running training like a business, but whatever we call it, it changes the training game forever. Training will transform from a backroom support function to a strategic tool, fully aligned with the companys central business plans. Running training like a business produces training that is more effective in driving the desired business results with more cost-and-time-efficiency. In short, it quiets the sounds of impatience that ring in the ears of training leaders.
Because of continuing changes in business itself, the need for change in training has never been more urgent. The rate of change in business accelerates every year, yet in recent decades, training has evolved only in small ways. It is worrisome in itself that many in the training and development world consider the philosophy of running training like a business a radical one. This perception indicates that the training and development sector is lagging behind the rest of business, where the demand for results has driven efficiencies and innovations that energize the bottom line. Technology, having revolutionized virtually all other business functions, is altering fundamentally how training is designed and delivered. Business leaders, encouraged by technologys impact in other areas of their companies, have higher and often unmet expectations for trainings marriage with technology.
Pushed by its customers and pulled by technology, training needs to take bigger, bolder stepseven experimental onesto keep up with the business at large. Relentless improvement must become the battle cry for training, because ultimately much more is at stake than the patience of company executives. Training organizations that fail to keep up with business face a battle for survival, and companies that cant deliver valuable training to employees may in turn find themselves fighting for survival in the markets they serve.
Making the transition to running training like a business is a formidable undertaking. The planning is intricate; the implementation is exacting. In many ways, it is as challenging as opening a new business, because that is essentially what is involved. The transition demands hard work and total commitment.
These challenges notwithstanding, I can say unequivocally that running training like a business can silence the rhythmic tapping of executive impatience. No approach responds so directly to the interests and expectations of senior management, line managers, and shareholders. Training organizations fully aligned with corporate strategy and consistently delivering tangible value on every investment can inspire a great deal of peace and quiet.
Multi-million dollar Anderson Companies still likes to save money through HRO.
The Anderson Companies are a real estate development operation focusing on recreational and residential communities. Founder Lyle Anderson defined this market in the early 1980s with the creation of exclusive golf communities in north
Our employees serve a very sophisticated clientele, explained Bill Siwek, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the Anderson Companies. In choosing an HR provider it was critical that we partner with an organization that understands our business as well as treats our employees the way we expect them to treat our members.
This is a unique delivery model in that the client wanted to maintain employee visibility to HR on a daily basis, while improving the quality of the function and reducing costs. The provider has on-site staff who are committed to employee and management support, while all strategy, development, and the majority of transaction processing are handled on a centralized basis at the providers shared service center.
The first-year results were impressive. Employee satisfaction with HR grew from 74 percent at the start of the relationship to 92 percent by the years end. Accuracy in benefit administration rose from 64 percent to 100 percent in the same time frame, and payroll accuracy has consistently exceeded 99 percent each month.
Special projects during the first year included the introduction of a standardized HR Policy Manual, new employee handbooks in both English and Spanish, new hire orientation, customized trainings, and the standardization of job titles and job descriptions, thus reducing titles by more than 20 percent. In addition, through a combination of field and support staff, the service provider was able to successfully partner with two Anderson Companies properties and increase staffing by more than 30 percent to handle the seasonality in the business. Equally important, the outsourcing relationship contributed to the reduction of HR/payroll costs by more than 20 percent, and impacted other related costs, such as a 40 percent reduction in legal fees and tighter controls for severance and relocation packages.
These accomplishments were driven by the providers combination of HR expertise, experience with global models, and comprehensive set of delivery tools. Core3s familiarity with global delivery allowed it to take the model a step further and understand the challenges and opportunities surrounding the support and management of thier own employees placed at client sites. Daily calls, weekly phone conferences, and regular site visits, are some of the tools they have has utilized to create a sense of team with its HR staff assigned to this relationship. In addition, through tools such as CoreSupport, the HRO companys new issue identification, management and resolution tool, Core3 has up-to-the-minute access to employee issues and concerns. This information allows them to ensure a timely and consistent response at the property level, report to client executives on the specifics surrounding a particular employee issue, plus identify trends for proactive workforce management.
Core3 has enabled the Anderson Companies to focus on our core competencies related to real estate development by addressing all our employee related issues. They truly understand our business and continue to deliver innovative solutions to support our success, concluded Siwek.
New Service Tracks HR Media Coverage, Top Advertisers, and Health of Human Capital Marketplace
The monthly reports are emailed to HRmarketer.com members and anyone who signs up at www.HRmarketer.com to receive a free eNewsletter that summarizes the latest findings. The trend reports are based on information from the company’s new HRintelligence database, which includes detailed information on editorial placements and advertisements for every HR service provider and organization mentioned in each tracked publication. Subscribers to HRmarketer.com have full access to the data and can establish email alerts to be notified when their company, their competitors, or any selected keywords appear in the major industry trade publications.
The premiere HRintelligence Trend Report for January/February 2005 identified the top advertisers in the human capital marketplace as AARP, ADP,
According to the report, companies receiving the most media attention in the human resource industry included Accenture, Aetna, Aon, ASTD, Ceridian, CIGNA, Definity Health, Employee Benefits Research Institute, Hewitt Associates, IBM, Mellon Financial Corp, JP Morgan, Kaiser Family Foundation, Lucent, Medco Health Solutions, Mercer Human Resource Consulting, MetLife, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Recruitmax, SAP, Segal, SHRM, The Conference Board, Towers Perrin, Watson Wyatt, Workstream and WorldatWork.
Editorial topics receiving the most attention during January and February included outsourcing, rising health care costs, continued coverage of employee benefit broker compensation practices, HSAs and HR’s increasingly-prominent role in educating and training boards of directors in light of compliance concerns.
Last, according to the HRintelligence Trend Report, the human capital industry’s health received a “great” rating. The unscientific measurement looks at the aggregate number of advertising placements across the major HR trade publications and analysis of other activity within the sector, including new investment money flowing into the space, IPOs, M&A, closures and more. The company then benchmarks against the previous month to come up with a 5-point rating system of Excellent / Great / Good / Average / Poor.
Fisher Vista, LLC is a marketing and information services firm focusing exclusively on the human capital industry. The company’s flagship product, www.HRmarketer.com, is the No. 1 online marketing and PR service in the human resources industry, helping HR service providers increase their visibility and generate sales leads.
Elrond Lawrence, Director of Media Relations
CONTACT: Elrond Lawrence, Director of Media Relations of HRmarketer.com,
Web site: http://www.fishervista.com/
Web site: http://www.hrmarketer.com/
Intrepid Learning Solutions, the foremost provider of learning and performance
Japan is hoping that small businesses, with a little help from HRO, will help revitalize the economy.
Since the early 1990s, Japanese entities have been monitoring the
Now in some circles, there is a growing interest in emulating the Anglo-American Competition Model to reap the potential of small business contribution toward reviving the Japanese economy to compete in the global economy. Nevertheless, Japanese firms, when faced with new foreign competitors, can be ruthlessly fierce to keep them from succeeding. This has led to an interestingly innovative Japanese approach.
During 2002, delegations consisting of the Japanese government, academia, and business representatives visited the
A key player was the Japan Business Federation, a comprehensive economic organization created in 2002 by absorbing the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations and Japan Federation of Employers Association. As of May 2004, the Federation had a membership of 1,623, including 1,305 Japanese companies, 91 foreign companies, 129 industrial associations, and 47 regional employer associations. Its mission is to achieve a private-sector led, affluent market economy, creating a model for
At a November 16, 2004,
The meeting generated considerable interest from the attendees and requests for further information. Moreover, an article that followed in the monthly Japanese Human Resources Business magazine created additional inquiries. Since then, JAPEO has been conducting meetings with Japanese businessmen. This has resulted in a desire to talk with American PEO/HRO companies that are interested in expansion in
JAPEO, with its partners, is moving forward with models for conducing PEO/HRO business in
In an increasingly global economy, the ability to adapt to new business trends, such as HRO, will become important for businesses that want to stay competitive. JAPEO hopes to play an active part in helping Japanese business contribute to the new economy.
7 rules to follow when implementing a training and development program. Part II
Last months column initiated a discussion on training and development as one more functional area of HR and as an opportunity to expand an organizations reach and impact by seeking external sources to start or enhance internal training efforts. With the limitless opportunities provided by the Internet as well as an organizations own resources, the possibilities that you as a professional have within your reach are now limited only by your own creativity. This month, we look at where to begin undertaking major initiatives in this state-of-the-art approach to one of the most important aspects of HR and the organizations agenda. Expanding on your training and development outline involves seven simple steps. The goal is to not get complicated.
1. The first rule is to start with the end in mind. Determine where you are today and where you should be in the desired state. Make a list of your current offerings. Include everything orientation, OSHA-mandated programs, everything! Start small with a meaningful timeline for your organization. Then, as you become more confident in your approach, continue to expand your reachone step (and one program) at a time.
2. Look at what you will need to get from here to there. Define the details of successful training in terms of effective business results. Think of your training and development team globallyevery available resource is a potential strategic partner.
3. Look for the low-hanging fruit. Identify where you will be able to quickly demonstrate success with improved performance directly related to a training program. Consider the most effective format, keeping in mind the low cost and fast turnaround that may be available if you are willing to use the Internet (and intranet) for some or all of your program offerings. Eliminate any training where effectiveness cannot be measured. By all means, this is not to suggest the elimination of something as integral as orientation. Instead, use it as an opportunity to determine what an effective program would accomplish.
4. Under-promise and over-deliver. Scan the marketplace for the most effective training for your own environment, keeping your understanding of the ability of your workforce in mind.
5. Network to confirm your preliminary findings while seeing what others are doing. Look at all of your mail to determine who is doing what. Scan the table of contents of professional periodicals (in addition to HRO Today, consider HR Magazine, Training, and HR Executive) as possible sources of vendors and programs. Review your hard-copy junk mail for show and conference information, along with local college and university course offerings. Get on e-mail lists to see what offerings are available over the Internet. Enlist your own team and any others identified as training and development advocates throughout your organization to be on the lookout wherever and whenever a terrific training program appears, regardless of the source. Even television programs feature Tom Peters, Steven Covey, and a variety of other personalities who may be effective for your own organizational needs.
6. Survey your organization. Find out what various managers and employees perceive as important needs for themselves and others in the organization. Include senior management and prowl for sponsors, advocates, potential early adopters, and employees who might serve as subject matter experts, as well as potential nay-sayers.
7. Finalize your approach. When it comes down to the finalists (three is a good number), experience the training for yourself if you havent already. See who you want to facilitate the training modulesconsider the greater impact from internal versus external presenters.
While all this is going on, use whatever you have decided to incorporate as the first steps in the process of building a master training plan.
Next month, I will address the third and last segment on the topic of outsourcing training and development: a training program that all organizations should have without exceptionorientation.
RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 16 – HR-XML’s upcoming New York meeting, April 11-12, offers HR decision-makers a unique networking opportunity and unparalleled access to essential information on how cutting-edge, standards-based technology is shaping the future of HR solutions.
HR-XML’s meeting is part of NY HR Week, which also includes TecHR World, HRO World, the HRO/FAO Executive Summit, NY/HR Solutions Conference and the HROA Annual Meeting. Six compelling HR events in one location!
The HR-XML meeting includes education and working sessions for a range of HR-XML Consortium projects, including benefits enrollment, assessments, competencies, and indicative data for benefits and payroll outsourcing
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