Employee Orientation Shortened Via the Kaizen Way

Employee Orientation Shortened Via the Kaizen Way

After completing my new employee orientation at a new company that hired me, I was astounded by the redundancy and the lack of coordination of the process. Essentially employees were given a checklist and told to get signatures or initials on a laundry list of orientation items. No time limit or deadline was provided. Employees were put on their own, to go about and about, to complete the checklist. It took me two weeks to complete the employee checklist and much of the “orientation” that I received from each department on the checklist was haphazard at best.

A Kaizen team was formed which I led to look at the orientation process and recommend changes. The team actually walked the process and was astounded that the entire process walking distance was at least three miles and often the person who was supposed to “orientate” the new employee was not available. There was a high level of frustration with all new employees as they went through the process.

The team did a Voice of the Customer analysis and discovered that about 80% of the items on the checklist were not really essential and did not require the new employee to be physically present in the department indicated on the list.

In designing the To Be process, the Kaizen team made heavy use of Internet and invented a New Employee Orientation Web site. Many of the departments on the check off list already had orientation PowerPoints or webinars for new employees. All the Kaizen team had to do was organize them on the website and make sure the departments kept them up to date. In addition we provided access for new employees to work related information like phone lists, email lists, FAQs etc. that drastically reduced their anxiety and questions.

The cycle time for the orientation was reduced from two weeks down to 2-3 days or less. More importantly a much better first impression was made on the new employee.

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