Placement is the actual posting of an employee to a specific job. It involves assigning a specific rank and responsibility to an employee. Placement is an important human resource activity. If neglected, it may create employee adjustment problems leading to absenteeism, turnover, accidents, poor performance, etc. The employee will also suffer seriously. He may quit the organization in frustration, complaining bitterly about everything. Proper placement is, therefore, important to both the employee and the organization.
Placement, it should the remembered, should be made with as little disruption to the employee and organization as possible. To this end, new recruits must be oriented properly so that they become productive contributors. There should be a conscious and determined effort to adapt the new recruit to the organization’s culture (the rules, jargon, customs and other traditions that clarify acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in an organization) by conveying to the employee how things are done and what matters. When new employees know what is expected of them, they have better organisational performance and less frustration and uncertainty.
The HR department may initiate the following steps while organizing the induction programme:
- Welcome to the organization.
- Explain about the company.
- Show the location/department where the new recruit will work.
- Give the company’s manual to the new recruit.
- Provide details about various work groups and the extent of unionism within the company.
- Give details about pay, benefits, holidays, leave, etc. Emphasize the importance of attendance or punctuality.
- Explain about future training opportunities and career prospects.
- Clarify doubts, by encouraging the employee to come out with questions.
- Take the employee on a guided tour of buildings, facilities, etc. Hand him over to his supervisor.
Socialization is a process through which a new recruit begins to understand and accept the values, norms and beliefs held by others in the organization. HR department representatives help new recruits to “internalize the way things are done in the organization”. Orientation helps the newcomers to interact freely with employees working at various levels and learn behaviours that are acceptable. Through such formal and informal interaction and discussion, newcomers begin to understand how the department/company is run, who holds power and who does not, who is politically active within the department, how to behave in the company, what is expected of them, etc. In short, if the new recruits wish to survive and prosper in their new work home, they must soon come to ‘know the ropes’. Orientation programmes are effective socialisation tools because they help the employees to learn about the job and perform things in the desired way.
Despite the best efforts of supervisors, certain dark areas may still remain in the orientation programme. New hires may not have understood certain things. The supervisors, while covering a large ground, may have ignored certain important matters. To overcome the resultant communication gaps, it is better to use a supervisory checklist as shown in Box 11.1 and find out whether all aspects have been covered or not. Follow up meetings could be held at fixed intervals, say after every three or six months on a face-to-face basis. The basic purpose of such follow-up orientation is to offer guidance to employees on various general as well as job-related matters – without leaving anything to chance. To improve orientation, the company should make a conscious effort to obtain feedback from everyone involved in the programme. There are several ways to get this kind of feedback: through roundtable discussions with new hires after their first year on the job, through in-depth interviews with randomly selected employees and superiors and through questionnaires for mass coverage of all recent recruits.
Proper placement and Induction is very important as they serve the following purposes:
- Removes fear: A newcomer steps into an organization as a stranger. He is new to the people, workplace and works environment. He is not very sure about what he is supposed to do. Induction helps a new employee overcome such fears and perform better on the job. It assists him in knowing more about:
(a) The job, its content, policies, rules and regulations.
(b) The people with whom he is supposed to interact.
(c) The terms and conditions of employment.
- Creates a good impression: Another purpose of induction is to make the newcomer feel at home and develop a sense of pride in the organization. Induction helps him to:
(a) Adjust and adapt to new demands of the job.
(b) Get along with people.
(c) Get off to a good start.
Through induction, a new recruit is able to see more clearly as to what he is supposed to do, how good the colleagues are, how important is the job, etc. He can pose questions and seek clarifications on issues relating to his job. Induction is a positive step, in the sense, it leaves a good impression on the company and the people working there in the minds of new recruits. They begin to take pride in their work and are more committed to their jobs.
The challenges for organizations in induction and placement with the diversified workforce come in a form of language, culture and different working method. The changing business scenario and workforce trends have made employee retention a crucial problem that needs to be offset. An effective employee induction program is one such tool that is used for a successful employee on boarding and employee retention. The Employee Induction Program should be designed in such a way that it provides relevant information to the employees. Provision of reality checks through surveys, feedbacks, and appraisals help the employer ensure the effectiveness of the induction program. The companies that invest more time and resources in induction enjoy the highest degree of employee engagement, which has a significant impact on the company’s bottom line. [Employee Induction ]
Socialization of Employee
The socialization of a new employee is a critical part of the induction and can reflect in the employee’s satisfaction in their new working environment. Managers need to arrange a departmental meeting on the first day of the new employee to formally introduce him to the team. Arrangements should also be made for the new employee to visit other departments with which he needs to work closely in the course of his duties.
Cultural fit is very important. Hence, briefing the new employee about the management philosophy and the organisational culture is vital. New employees also need to be coached on organisational sensitivity, grooming and business etiquette. Besides responsibility orientation and support goals, new members of the family need to learn how to be an effective brand ambassador of the organization.
Care should be taken that the new incumbent is not bombarded with details or bulldozed with an overdose of talks and power point slides. A good corporate induction should incorporate case studies, role plays, video films and simulated exercises that are fun and yet serve the purpose. [ Employee Induction ]