Human Resources (HR) development is a term often used by development economists and education administrators to denote productive investment in human beings (formal and non-formal education, short-term and on the job training) that enhances their knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform day to day tasks. Beginning with the orientation of new employees, HR development also includes job-skill training. As jobs evolve and change, ongoing retraining is necessary to accommodate technological changes. Encouraging development of all employees, including supervisor and managers, is necessary to prepare organizations for future challenges. Career planning identifies paths and activities for individual employees as they develop within the organization. Assessing how employees perform their jobs is the focus of performance management. The competitive pressures facing organizations today require employees whose knowledge and ideas are current, and whose skills and abilities can deliver results. As organizations compete and change, training becomes even more critical than before. Employees who must adapt to the myriad of changes facing organizations must be trained continually in order to maintain and update their capabilities. Also, managers must have training and development to enhance their leadership skills and abilities. The efficiency of any organization depends directly on how well its members are trained. Newly hired employees usually need some training before they take up their work.
Orientation: Training for New Employees
This is the most important and widely conducted type of regular training done for new employees. Orientation is the planned introduction of new employees to their jobs, co-workers, and the organization, and is offered by most employers. Progressive companies have long recognized the need for properly introducing new employees to their jobs. Not only do companies familiarize new people with the tasks they will be expected to perform, but they also provide information about company rules and personnel policies, introduce fellow workers, and give them an idea of how their jobs fit into the total operation. New employees presumably arrive with knowledges, abilities and skills needed by the organization. In order to meet the expectations of the organization, however, new employees must learn both the nuts and bolts of their assigned jobs and the cogs and wheels of the organizational process they are becoming a part of. New hires also have needs and expectations—to be welcomed into the organizational “family” to settle into their new work with a minimum of stress and anxiety, to find satisfaction in the exercise of their talents and in relationships with co-workers. An effective orientation program brings these various needs and interest together.
Benefits of an Orientation Program
In the absence of a planned orientation program, new employees usually will make some attempt to figure out the system themselves, with help of course from their supervisors, and often with the “help” of considerable hazing by co-workers. This kind of impromptu orientation is likely to be long drawn-out, stressful for everyone, and costly to the organization. By controlling the orientation process through a structured program, an organization can reduce new hire start-up costs, minimize the negative effects of hazing, and reduce turnover. For a time, new employees will be less efficient or effective than their experienced co-workers. This period of relative incompetence obviously will be prolonged if getting the needed information is left to chance that co-workers or superiors will think to provide needed information at the right time and/or that the new worker will ask the right questions of the right people. An uncontrolled orientation process thus wastes everyone’s time. By helping new employees learn the ropes an effective orientation program can