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On The Job Training: Orientation And Training Program

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On the Job Training: Orientation and Training Program

On the Job Training: Orientation and Training Program

Any company that has hired employees knows how important orientation and training can be. Without the proper training employees will always be one step behind. The proper training early on can save countless hours of error correcting and re-training. Explaining the company policies and expected work ethic early on can make the difference in a new hires attitude toward the job (Rue & Byars, 2004).

I am the training supervisor of a large retail company. My responsibilities include training the new salesclerks effectively. I have designed an orientation and training program designed to orientate, train, and evaluate the new hire. This program is quick, lasting only 3 days, and effective, utilizing many different concepts in the process. By following the techniques laid out in the following model, new employees will feel comfortable and knowledgeable from their very first day on the sales floor. Supervisors will also feel comfortable, knowing that the new employee has been thoroughly trained and is ready to begin work.

The program is broken down into three days. On the first day orientation is at the fore front. Day two is reserved for training, not only on the computerized system, but also on the merchandise and floor plans of the store. The last day is set up so that the trainee can be supervised while performing the job associated tasks. Each day is broken into manageable sections, utilizing checks, questions, and review periods. Beginning with an orientation will enable the trainee the gain a feel for the company and why each step of the training process is necessary.

Day one of the program is dedicated mostly to orientation. Introducing the clerk to the crew they will be working with and familiarizing them with the layout of the department will enable the clerk to feel comfortable on their first day. Explaining each function and responsibility that is required and a necessary aspect of the job will ensure that the clerk is fully aware of their duties. All of these tasks are performed by the clerk's direct supervisor. This technique provides for a relationship to be built between the employee and supervisor. The day is spent in the store and the trainee is encouraged to make use of this time to gain a better understanding of the operations of the store.

During the orientation a short video has been created to explain the benefits, promotion procedures, safety and fire prevention measures, dress code, and other company wide procedures in effect. During the video employees are encouraged to take notes and ask follow questions. The information given during the video is also followed up in a handbook that is given to each employee on the first day of orientation. The employee is required to sign the last page and return it by their first day on the job. This technique enables the employee to retain a copy of the policies for future reference.

Once the supervisor and trainee feel comfortable with the information provided during the orientation, formal training can begin. Formal training consists of having the trainee learn the specific tasks that the job will require of them. The first step is having the employee familiarize themselves with the stores merchandise. We have created a virtual store, accessible through our intranet. The trainee will be required to log time on the system which will ensure that they have received the information. Once the virtual training has been completed the trainee will be required to show what they have learned via a questionnaire provided at the end of the session. It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor to revue this information and follow-up with the trainee if necessary. This will conclude the first day, and possibly lead into the second day. Either way at this point the trainee should be well prepared for the next step.

The second day of the program is dedicated completely to training. During this phase the employee is taught how to use the register, pricing gun, intercom system, and any other device necessary to perform the job requirements. The first part of the training consists of the clerk learning the operation of the cash register. This takes place in our offices utilizing 'vestibule training'. The clerk uses the same equipment that is located on the selling floor (Rue & Byars, 2004). Supervisors are on hand to lend instruction and lead the training. Our system is completely computerized, with each sale being registered in the main office and warehouse. The register itself is seemingly simple enough to operate, and most employees do not require much time learning the unit. A hand held scanner is used to scan the labels and the information is fed to the system. The systems ease has cut down training time, and employee error.

Once the clerk is comfortable using the system, we move on to the merchandise. We ask that each employee make themselves orientated with the layout of the store and the merchandise available. We provide each employee with a map of the store and ask that they spend time acclimating themselves to the store. Having an employee that is knowledgeable makes for a more professional atmosphere, and tends to keep customer service on a high. Each employee must have a general idea of the stores merchandise and a full understanding of the merchandise in their respective departments. The employee's knowledge is checked throughout the training



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