Finding enough time to properly onboard new employees is challenging. The initial orientation has a lot to cover with paperwork and overview of company policies in a short period of time.
Assigning new employees with orientation buddies can help get them off to a safe start. Orientation buddies can show new workers around the workplace while pointing out safety elements the company has built-in, such as, the location of the fire exits and extinguishers, first-aid kits, eyewash stations, SDS, and equipment usage. By imparting safety knowledge along the way, there is a secondary effect of making newcomers feel “valued and informed,” leading to more engaged and productive employees.
To carry out these important duties successfully, orientation buddies should:
- Have been with the organization for at least one year.
- Have a good performance history and a safe work record.
- Be skilled in the new employee’s job.
- Possess broad knowledge about the organization, operations, and safety programs.
- Have the time to spend with the new employee and be willing to take on the assignment.
- Be patient and communicate well.
- Serve as a positive safety role model.
New employees are hesitant about asking questions for fear of appearing incompetent. But, building relationships through this type of mentoring is another way to ensure new employees have the resources they need to succeed. Seasoned employees can help new employees on the job and provide support.
The company’s orientation program should include easy access to resources to reduce new employee frustration and to provide essential, effective safety training to new hires as soon as they come on board.
Our safety team is available to help members improve their safety program beyond compliance toward quality safety practices. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.