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What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

The mentoring thread got me thinking about this subject. What's the protocol for bring someone new, say coming from a different field: Automotive transitioning into the Medical field, up to speed on how things are done in the new job? How long would it be expected to take, and how many man hours spent on the new employee? Any special procedures?

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

We used to think that we were fairly good.
We make the rounds of facilities, have a company overview class (history, philosophy, market position), and we keep internal info updated. We put a lot of time into this.
And then we hired a couple of guys straight out of school and we realized that we were assuming a lot.
The time that it takes really depends on the manager, do you want someone to be comfortable doing one specific thing or are you developing a well equipped employee? Honestly most people are up to speed on the core of their job in a couple of weeks, but there are some that still are not reaching out and expanding their capabilities even 6 months later. In honesty you have to wonder if they will ever be good performers.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

Once you've watched the HR safety/harrassment videos, it's a free-for-all.

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

All of my hires have been fresh college grads with a variety of pre-college and during-college experiences. We have a 90 day probationary period and even then I don't think that is long enough to know for sure if you have the right person. I think you kind of know if they will be a star or not, but you don't need (or necessarily want) everyone to be a star. For those that are not stars, it takes me more like 6 months to a year before I am confident they have what it takes and that I have adjusted my management style appropriately to their needs. New hires get as much attention as they need. I don't like micromanaging, so I give easy tasks to see how they do unsupervised and then up the responsibilities incrementally until they are autonomous.

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

I just started as a contractor at another (of many) EPC’s.
The HR manager flashed up the link to the intranet site in the boardroom, handed the void cheque form to be filled out, brought me to the computer at my designated quarter cubicle, and said “Welcome.”. I then got an email from the boss I hadn’t even met yet that invited me to a 60% model review. I attended.

That’s it. I’m up to speed now, right?

Who is right doesn't matter. What is right is all that matters.

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

Last place, I asked where the engineering standards were kept.

The response: Right where you put them when you write them.

It was an interesting experience.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

Guess cannot be meant at the "bin", engineering standards being held in high respect.

You could not find them because they dont exist ? :)

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

One company I used to work with had a good system. Over the first two weeks, the new hire would sit down with each of the team members in that office (typically 8-10 people), for 2-3 hours each.

Project manager types would talk them through the high level stuff (company history, etc) and then talk them through the active projects that PM had going.

Younger engineers would tend to handle more nuts and bolts topics (how we used CAD, where to find XYZ).

The name is a long story -- just call me Lo.

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

They are rewiting the protocol where I work. My on-bording was a 25 yo CAD tech blasting through 'here, here, and here' on my computer then proclaiming I was done. They don't even have file-naming protocols. One company I worked at actually had a pretty good process that involved 2-3 days of orientation where each department explained procedures and where you had an actual manual to review in case you didn't remember something.

If you are offended by the things I say, imagine the stuff I hold back.

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?


They cannot teach the protocol if they do not have one. While it can be fun being the person saying "I told you so!", it is not fun when they make you clean up the mess.

Where I am at the moment, they have an online "university" that teaches how the company PDM and ERP software works, how the company technology works, safety protocols and such. My department holds formal professional development sessions. I am enjoying this.


RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

And this is why I'm a fan of the corporate/company Wiki instead of documents in folders. You can search for what you need and easily create customized and annotated links that are appropriate to the individual job. With any small amount of care, because the level of effort is so low, the process is self-correcting and self-amplifying. It makes a really good adjunct to CAD because it gives a good place to store the 'why' of modeling decisions. They are also easier to manage access to. If done right, they are also harder to duplicate in bulk.

At the last place they used some document management software and a related worker management program. They assigned me, a contract worker, about 1200 pages of Word documents (published via PDF) via the worker management program (WMP). To see what I was assigned I had to log in to the WMP, then select whatever the overall category was, which would have a large number of docs, then select each doc which would go to the document vault and download the documents, which mostly had no actionable content and were not specifically informative, then read it, and sign back into the WMP, then pinky swear that I read the document. By not actionable and not informative I mean, they were organizational blueprints for the tasks that an organization should do, not what I as a worker was expected to do or to tell me who I was expected to interact with.

When I asked about this I was told to ask the guy I was working under - so what is the point of the docs if I need to ask? Is the experienced employee responsible to tell me what to do and supposedly knowing in detail what needs to be done expected to be informed in how the company is supposed to work? If so, then why does my reading 1200 pages for a term contract make any sense? Also, it was clear that few people actually read any of them. Typos, non-sequiturs, and loose ends of the basic directions abounded. Mostly make-work for everyone.

Most of the documents were multi-level documents with top level references to other documents, so to understand what was assigned one might have to retrieve and read 5- 10 more documents. At least with MIL-SPECs one got to endpoints pretty fast; some of these were endless chains.

The best part? This was all for 'certification' and the WMP would issue an e-mail telling me that I was no longer compliant when a new version of the roughly 200 documents was released. As part of their dedication to quality the old version was completely withdrawn so it was not possible to compare for differences, requiring a full re-read. No change-bars, no explanations of what or why the change was issued. To combat this I started printing them out; the PDFs were protected against copying the text. Mostly the change was word-smithing.

I take it back - the best part was the document management software was about 5 years out of date. The company that sold it had significantly updated it since. If it's already broken, why fix it?

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

Dave, It sounds like we could be almost be working at the same place! Let me guess: They gave you about a month to get through and sign off on the 1200 pages?

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

I read pretty fast, so it didn't take the full month; about 2 weeks of brain bleed hoping for any sign of useful or applicable information. It took 6 weeks for them to bother to install all the software they knew I needed for the job; the CAD Admin was pretty weak with his job and assumed that no one was smarter than he was so he didn't want to just let me do the job, but also didn't have any method in place to validate me. Over 18 months they managed to task me with less than 3 months actual effort.

RE: What the official "On Boarding" protocol at your company?

Seems like a lot of companies need to provide management/leadership training for their people.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

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