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Business Operations / Sonny's-Carwash College™ Tip of the Month

Employee Orientation

CarWash College™ Tip of the Month

September 29, 2010
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Recently, my tips have addressed the interview process. Once hired, orienting an employee is crucial to the success of the employee so in this month's tip I am presenting an Employee Orientation outline that will help you bring your new employee on-board quickly.

Employee Orientation

There are several reasons why it is important to orient all new employees on their first day on the job. Let's look at the benefits:

  1. Benefits of New Employee Orientation are:
    1. Correctly documents a new employee into the company.
    2. Familiarizes the new employee with the site and the wash process.
    3. Better facilitates the new employee moving into their new job.
    4. Familiarizes the new employee with the policies of the car wash.
    5. Provides an opportunity for you to promote the company’s reputation as a good place to work.
    6. Provides the opportunity to point out areas of opportunity for growth and skill development.
    7. Builds confidence in ability to safely negotiate the property.
    8. Promotes retention.

    It's important to take the time to do a proper orientation of each new employee. We've talked about the many benefits, and once your plan is implemented, each orientation will take less than one hour. Many times, you will be able to orient several people at the same time.
  2. The actual orientation can be broken down into two parts:

    Paperwork

    This involves the completion of all paperwork and forms by the employee. All paperwork from the Employee Handbook and New Hire Packet are done in the office.

    1. Find a quiet place, preferably the manager's office.
      1. Tell the new employee that you are going to go over the paperwork in the office. Then you will be giving him a tour of the facility.
      2. At the end of the tour, you'll be answering any questions that he might have. In addition, you'll be asking him a few questions about what he learned on the tour in order to make sure that he understands everything that he needs to know as a result of the orientation.
    2. Give the new employee a copy of the Employee Handbook for his reading and understanding.
    3. Have a New Hire Pack ready.
      1. This should include all the forms necessary to document someone into the company. For example, I-9, W-4, sexual harassment, and any other specific forms that you want processed at this time.
    4. Take employee through each form and have them fill out and sign as appropriate.
    5. This process should take less than 30 minutes.

    Site Tour

    Plan out your tour to ensure that the tour is covering everything that ownership wants it to include. Most tours will take about 20 minutes — probably more time than you are used to devoting, but well worth the effort.

    1. The manager and the new employee walk around the site, covering the important points as they come upon them. Follow the processing of a car, beginning at the entrance of the wash, working your way to the exit end.
    2. Ask questions for clarification and understanding.
    3. Upon completion of the orientation, an employee can then be handed over to the supervisor of the area in which the new employee will work for job-specific training.
    4. This portion of the orientation should take less than 30 minutes.

New employee orientations go smoother with practice. Take every opportunity to orient new employees. And, don't forget your veteran employees. They may never have been on a tour, and giving them a tour would be a good way to get some practice. In addition, they may be able to suggest areas to include in your tour. On the other hand, you might be surprised at how many areas of importance your veteran employees are not aware of.

Robert Andre is the President of CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at RAndre@carwashcollege.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.CarWashCollege.com or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.