May 22 2016
By: Terry L. Mathis
New-employee orientation is all too often an information dump. Whether we are onboarding new employees in a stable workforce or taking on temporary workers for a project, we tend to give them everything they need to know in one dose. All our talk about how to eat an elephant goes out the window when it comes to new employees. Our legal staff tends to exacerbate this even further by making sure we don't omit anything that could leave us exposed to litigation.
Enlightened organizations are taking different approaches that put the information into an overall perspective then fills in the details. Sometimes the details can come in follow-up training or in smaller doses during periodic safety meetings. Other times, the big dump is unavoidable and the best possible approach is to make the information more focused and easy to remember. Either way, new employees need to leave their orientation with the big picture firmly in mind knowing where to focus their early efforts to be safe on the job. Simply checking off the orientation list will not help your organization avoid those troublesome accidents that tend to happen to unseasoned workers.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.