Establishing job expectations and aligning training to those expectations is crucial to retaining newly hired personnel and enabling them to transition into being a valued member of the business.

Twenty-two percent of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment and the cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times that of the person’s salary. However, new employees who go through a structured training program were 58 percent more likely to still be with the organization after three years, according to a study by The Wynhurst Group.

“When new employees receive quality training, it builds a comfort level that the company is investing in them and leads to longer-term employment,” says Danny Spitz, CEO of Everstaff.  “The new employee should understand the company’s goals and how he or she can help in achieving them. At the same time, if somebody is fully trained, you should be able to encourage feedback for process improvement, which will allow the employee to take hold of the position and understand where he or she can make a difference.”

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how businesses can use their orientation and training programs to ensure job responsibilities and expectations are clear.

How significant is a first impression, and how can you guarantee it goes well?

It’s extremely important because the first impression sets the tone for accountability. When hiring, it is essential to discuss what is required from the person and what the day-to-day responsibilities will be if hired. Explaining this during the interview process will allow both sides to have the same understanding of what the job entails and will cut down on turnover, as the expectations have been discussed. When the newly hired employee starts, it is important to have an up-to-date training program that matches the company’s operations and individual position responsibilities. This is where showing strong organizational skills as a manager is critical.

What’s important to remember when setting expectations for your new hires?

Having already discussed this during the interview process, it is still recommended that the manager outline the daily responsibilities and expectations during first-day orientation. I find it important to cover, but even more important to explain how the company will provide the training and resources to make the person succeed in their new position. More information provided to the individual will allow for a stronger comfort level, and even discussing the finer details such as hours, company standards, etc., is recommended.

What can employers do to make sure their training works with job expectations?

It’s good for managers to refer back to when they started, either in their current position or in a previous position when they were unfamiliar with the company. Remember what type of training was provided and build the current training around your experience. Recognizing the strengths and deficiencies of the training you received will allow you to build your own successfully program.

Often, the manager is fully responsible for training, but if it’s a larger organization, you can use current employees to conduct training on individual responsibilities of the job. Identify the strengths of your current staff members will allow you to involve them in the training of the new employee.

It all goes back to not waiting until the day before the person starts to develop a training plan. As you continuously evaluate your company, you should always update your training module and have a clear understanding of how long each step of the training process will take.

Successful managers have a set schedule, often two weeks, that maps out which functions should be trained when, giving time in between so the new employee can digest the task and not get overloaded. With a training schedule stretched out over a certain period of time, you can train the new employee, and then let that person go live on those responsibilities, allowing him or her to utilize the training to complete the individual task before moving on to the next training piece. Everybody has gone through training where you’ve done a quick overview, but once you get to the actual function and you’re on your own, you have to guess because it was covered so quickly.

If the resources are available, shadowing is great tool for training. Have the new employee shadow one of your senior employees doing the job function and then reverse the roles. The senior employee will shadow the new employee to make sure everything is being done efficiently and properly, while being a resource for additional questions. You always want new employees to ask questions — that’s part of the training.

How often should training programs be updated?

Your training program should be updated two to four times per year, although each update doesn’t mean there are large overall changes. It also depends on how often you hire.

Once you finish the training process, get feedback from the new employee on what he or she feels was a benefit. You really should do 30-, 60- and 90-day reviews, which will allow you to ask about their level of comfort with the daily responsibilities and see if additional training needs to be done.

These reviews give the newly trained employee a higher success rate of the job responsibilities and allow you to update the training module for the next hire.

Danny Spitz is the CEO of Everstaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or dspitz@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by Everstaff

Published in Cleveland

Smart Business spoke to JoAnn Breedlove, Business Service Manager at The Employment Source, about an on-the-job training program that helps employers ensure that new hires are integrated in their new positions and productive as quickly as possible.

What is the On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program?

The On-the-Job Training Program is a federally funded program that helps employers hire and train laid-off workers for full time, long term employment. OJT helps workers become more proficient in needed skills more quickly, which will serve to encourage employers to hire workers sooner than perhaps initially planned, facilitating the hiring of well-qualified individuals who may need additional experience to contribute to their bottom line and spur economic recovery.

How does it benefit area employers?

Through the OJT Program, employers may receive 50 percent of the wage rate of an eligible new trainee to help compensate for the cost of training them in the specific skills they will need to help a business thrive. Employers receive affordable hands-on training tailored to their needs, electronic forms for easier access, fast turn-around and an investment in their company.

Are there any employer requirements?

To qualify, an employer must offer a wage of $10 per hour or more, a full time work schedule and have a fringe benefit package available. This is for direct hires, so no subcontracted or third-party employees are permitted, and an OJT agreement must be developed prior to the start of employment.

Are there any employee candidate requirements?

All OJT employee candidates must be assessed and found eligible and suitable by The Employment Source for each particular position.

What type of funding is available?

Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Total reimbursement to the employer cannot exceed $8,000.

How is the length of training determined?

The length of the training period will be based on the trainee’s current aptitude compared with skills needed to perform the job.  Length of training cannot exceed six months.

How does it benefit job seekers?

OJT is an excellent vehicle for individuals to build their skills, to re-establish themselves in new fields and to increase employment retention and self-sufficiency. It is an opportunity for participants to earn and learn, which means they will develop applicable occupational skills while earning a paycheck.

For more information on the OJT Program, contact JoAnn Breedlove, Business Services Manager for The Employment Source, at (330) 491-2645 or jbreedlove@eswork.com.

To see if your business qualifies for the program, visit The Employment Source website at www.eswork.com, and click directly to Additional Employer Services.

The Employment Source is Northeast Ohio’s premier workforce development and training center that connects job seekers with employers. The Business Services Department offers the following fee-free recruiting services to employers:

-      Recruiters to pre-screen resumes to your qualifications

-      Professional and confidential on-site interview and conference rooms to assist with your recruitment needs

-      Mass recruiting assistance

-      Free advertising

-      Recruiting qualified professionals locally and nationally

We also can assist with:

-      Outplacement

-      Labor market Information

-      Information on federal programs

-      Community resource contacts

-      On-the-job training

-      Incumbent Worker Training

-      Job fit assessment system

-      Meeting affirmative action and federal contractor requirements

To place a job order:

  1. Complete the Employer Profile and Job Order forms at www.eswork.com (click on Employers)
  2. Fax or e-mail forms to one of our two locations:

Stark County

(330) 491-2650

jbreedlove@eswork.com

or

Tuscarawas County

(330) 602-2858

bventura@eswork.com

JoAnn Breedlove is the Business Service Manager at The Employment Source. Reach her at (330) 491-2645 or jbreedlove@eswork.com in Stark County, or in Tuscarawas County contact Barb Ventura at (330) 364-9777 or bventura@eswork.com.

Insights Employment Services is brought to you by The Employment Source

Published in Akron/Canton

Smart Business spoke to JoAnn Breedlove, Business Service Manager at The Employment Source, about an on-the-job training program that helps employers ensure that new hires are integrated in their new positions and productive as quickly as possible.

What is the On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program?

The On-the-Job Training Program is a federally funded program that helps employers hire and train laid-off workers for full time, long term employment. OJT helps workers become more proficient in needed skills more quickly, which will serve to encourage employers to hire workers sooner than perhaps initially planned, facilitating the hiring of well-qualified individuals who may need additional experience to contribute to their bottom line and spur economic recovery.

How does it benefit area employers?

Through the OJT Program, employers may receive 50 percent of the wage rate of an eligible new trainee to help compensate for the cost of training them in the specific skills they will need to help a business thrive. Employers receive affordable hands-on training tailored to their needs, electronic forms for easier access, fast turn-around and an investment in their company.

Are there any employer requirements?

To qualify, an employer must offer a wage of $10 per hour or more, a full time work schedule and have a fringe benefit package available. This is for direct hires, so no subcontracted or third-party employees are permitted, and an OJT agreement must be developed prior to the start of employment.

Are there any employee candidate requirements?

All OJT employee candidates must be assessed and found eligible and suitable by The Employment Source for each particular position.

What type of funding is available?

Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Total reimbursement to the employer cannot exceed $8,000.

How is the length of training determined?

The length of the training period will be based on the trainee’s current aptitude compared with skills needed to perform the job.  Length of training cannot exceed six months.

How does it benefit job seekers?

OJT is an excellent vehicle for individuals to build their skills, to re-establish themselves in new fields and to increase employment retention and self-sufficiency. It is an opportunity for participants to earn and learn, which means they will develop applicable occupational skills while earning a paycheck.

For more information on the OJT Program, contact JoAnn Breedlove, Business Services Manager for The Employment Source, at (330) 491-2645 or jbreedlove@eswork.com.

To see if your business qualifies for the program, visit The Employment Source website at www.eswork.com, and click directly to Additional Employer Services.

The Employment Source is Northeast Ohio’s premier workforce development and training center that connects job seekers with employers. The Business Services Department offers the following fee-free recruiting services to employers:

-      Recruiters to pre-screen resumes to your qualifications

-      Professional and confidential on-site interview and conference rooms to assist with your recruitment needs

-      Mass recruiting assistance

-      Free advertising

-      Recruiting qualified professionals locally and nationally

We also can assist with:

-      Outplacement

-      Labor market Information

-      Information on federal programs

-      Community resource contacts

-      On-the-job training

-      Incumbent Worker Training

-      Job fit assessment system

-      Meeting affirmative action and federal contractor requirements

To place a job order:

  1. Complete the Employer Profile and Job Order forms at www.eswork.com (click on Employers)
  2. Fax or e-mail forms to one of our two locations:

Stark County

(330) 491-2650

jbreedlove@eswork.com

or

Tuscarawas County

(330) 602-2858

bventura@eswork.com

JoAnn Breedlove is the Business Services Manager at The Employment Source. Reach her at (330) 491-2645 or jbreedlove@eswork.com in Stark County, or in Tuscarawas County contact Barb Ventura at (330) 364-9777 or bventura@eswork.com.

Published in Akron/Canton

Think back to your first day as a manager. You’ve been praised as a high-performing associate for quite some time and becoming a manager is the next step in your career. However, upon assuming the reigns of leadership you quickly learn the skills you’ve employed to accomplish your own work aren’t so effective now that you’re leading a team of individuals with their own work styles and goals.

“Individual contributors are expected to execute work themselves and suddenly, once promoted to the role of manager, they are expected to execute work through others,” points out Sarah Eppink, Leadership Program Manager for Corporate College. “This can prove challenging to high performing individuals who have rightfully been praised for being accountable for their own good work.”

In order to ease the transition from being an individual contributor to a strong leader, organizations should provide support for new managers throughout the training process.

Smart Business spoke with Eppink about why new leaders struggle, what competencies should be developed, and how to choose appropriate training providers.

Why do most new leaders struggle?

Managers oftentimes are promoted through the ranks of their organizations as high-performing individual contributors with expertise in their field. This is important, as you certainly need a leader to have technical expertise and a solid frame of reference. However, these newly promoted managers tend to lack the soft skills that prove crucial to leading a team and managing relationships.

Another challenge can arise when a newly promoted manager is leading a team comprised of former peers. It can be difficult for teams to accept a former peer as a new boss because that person ‘used to be one of us.’ A manager doesn’t usually just receive respect because of a title, especially not in this situation. To gain acceptance, a new leader needs to leverage their relationships within the team and accomplish quick wins. Organizations must adequately support these new managers through training and reinforcement during this challenging transition.

What competencies should new leaders develop?

Individuals new to managing others should look to develop behaviors that would help them tackle both day-to-day tasks, as well as more strategic thinking. A solid training program for new leaders addresses the following competencies: leadership styles, building trust, communication, delegating tasks, developing and coaching others, change management, conflict management and decision making. Programs that focus on skill development in these areas can effectively minimize the learning curve of new leaders. You might be wondering why I didn’t mention skill sets like building a team and acquiring talent. New managers typically inherit a team and don’t have the luxury of hand selecting the talent they will lead. Depending on the organization, some new managers may not have a need to acquire new team members for quite some time. When the need arises to develop these skills, this training should be made available.

In addition to training, what are some resources organizations should make available to new leaders?

One can’t possibly master a new behavior through classroom learning alone. While training will provide you with new knowledge, it is our experiences that shape us. Be sure to provide new leaders with the space to demonstrate new skills. Ensure that the new leader’s direct manager is fully engaged with this person throughout their new leader training program. Their direct manager should act as a sponsor for them — developing goals as they go through the program, and assisting with identifying current projects for which these new skills can be utilized.

Mentoring can provide a tremendous learning opportunity for new leaders as well. Align new managers with seasoned, well-respected leaders within the organization. A mentor is invaluable when you’re starting out and can benefit from someone else’s learning curve.

What are the risks to organizations if new leaders are not developed correctly?

Frontline supervisors are the primary driver to higher levels of employee engagement, as they interface with more employees than any other level of the organization. The reverse is also true — frontline supervisors with inadequate leadership skills can decrease levels of employee engagement, leading to low morale, turnover, etc. It can be a slippery slope. If you’re a manager in a revenue-generating area of your organization, low employee morale on a team may also lead to profit loss.

How do you choose the appropriate provider to help create a new manager program?

Not all training is created equally. Make sure whatever curriculum you choose is industry-recognized for presenting quality content. Professional organizations such as the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) can point you in the right direction of a reputable training provider. A training provider should meet you where you are in identifying the appropriate solution, which should assess what the aforementioned new leader competencies look like in your organization. For example, what does it look like for a new leader to manage change in your company? For some, it may mean communicating change to employees and coaching their teams through changes passed down by upper management. For others it may be having a seat at the table to create change within the organization and facilitating change for their team. Learning activities delivered around these competencies should address what successful demonstration of these behaviors looks like in your world.

Be wary of any provider that does not offer solutions other than a host of classroom-based courseware. Learning occurs in different ways. A good provider will offer blended learning solutions, leadership coaching, assessments and consulting.

Sarah Eppink is Leadership Program Manager for Corporate College. Reach her at (216) 987-2917 or sarah.eppink@tri-c.edu.

Published in Cleveland

In today’s economy, it’s natural for employers to be more focused on cutting back than on adding to the budget. But there are certain areas of the business that are always going to require investment.

Perhaps the primary place that employers should always be striving to improve is human capital. Businesses cannot afford to lose their best employees to competitors that offer better opportunities for career advancement, and keeping employees sharp will only improve a business’s competitive position.

“The reward definitely outweighs the cost,” says Jessica Ford, vice president of operations at Ashton Staffing. “You do not have to start out with guns blazing, offering paid college tuitions. Look at your budget and tailor your training plan around it.”

Smart Business spoke to Ford about making sure your business is preparing employees to meet challenges in today’s tough market.

In today’s competitive market, why is employee training and career development important?

The importance of training your employees — both new and experienced — cannot be overemphasized. Effective training of new employees reduces turnover because employees will have a positive feeling about the company, and it saves them time with getting initiated into their job.

But employee training doesn’t end with new workers. Manager training and development is equally important to workplace safety, productivity and satisfaction. Among the most useful skills that can be addressed are manager communication, employee motivation and employee recognition.

A continued education program for experienced workers based on their job duties helps to alleviate sloppy, inefficient and even unsafe work habits.

Why do some employers hesitate to put any formal training or employee development in place?

Employee training is essential for an organization’s success. Despite the importance of training, many companies initially encounter resistance from both employees and managers. Both groups may claim that training is taking them away from their work.

Given the current economic climate, some employers are also hesitant to allocate the necessary funds to train their employees.

What kinds of offerings should employers make available to employees?

Start slow. Companies do not have to roll out an elaborate training plan in the beginning. This will de-motivate some staff and also overwhelm them. Look at each position in your company and where each could improve. Choose the job class that is most effecting your bottom line and that is where you begin.  Initially the training will need to be required in order to get everyone on the same page.

Training is available in many ways, the most popular being online training, particularly for management. A great investment is a company trainer. They will research your company’s situation thoroughly before developing a customized training plan by using many different resources to determine your company’s training needs, such as company goals, HR complaints and legal obligations.

Many standards by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) explicitly require employers to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs. Other OSHA standards make it the employer’s responsibility to limit certain job assignments to employees who are ‘certified,’ ‘competent,’ or ‘qualified’ — meaning that they have had special previous training, in or out of the workplace. These requirements reflect OSHA’s belief that training is an essential part of every employer’s safety and health program for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses.

From an HR perspective, a growing number of states are requiring workplace harassment training for employees, specifically requiring employee sexual harassment training. This is yet another example of the importance of employee training.

What are the cost implications?

If you choose to start small and train for specific results, many online training sites will provide you a bulk discount. A growing number of employers are turning to online employee training for a hands-on, interactive way for employees to learn. More economical in both time and money than conventional training, this form of training has become more and more popular as Internet technology has improved.

How can employers make sure they are making the most of training in the workplace?

You must have employee buy in for any program to be successful. Make the training fun when you can. Offer pay increases to those who have successfully completed the training and make sure to mention their accomplishment during their annual review. As employees complete their training, offer certificates and make sure to congratulate them. When possible, send out an e-mail blast to the company as a whole or display the graduates’ pictures holding their certificated in a break room.

A successful training program is always a work in progress, and the training cycle isn’t complete without an evaluation of training’s effectiveness, which leads to decision-making and planning for future training.

Jessica Ford is vice president of operations at Ashton Staffing. Reach her at (770) 419-1776 or jford@ashtonstaffing.com.

Published in Atlanta