New Hire Orientation: A New Approach

Topics: Learning styles, Learning theory, Constructivism Pages: 7 (2446 words) Published: April 8, 2014
New Hire Orientation: A New Approach
It is the first day of your new job. After arriving, suddenly you flashback to the last time you were in this situation. A dreadful feeling comes over as you recall how boring and useless that first week was. Five days of your life you will never get back. It was so awful; the thought of turning around and leaving crosses your mind. Is this job really worth it? Little do you know that this time it will be different because you are working for Peabody Energy. They have just launched an innovative New Hire Orientation program that will leave a positive impression. Never again will the words New Hire Orientation cause drowsiness! New research has proven that there are better ways to introduce new employees to a company than have been practiced in the past (Hemsley, 2012). Seeking out the most efficient and effective programs is becoming common practice with most Fortune 500 companies. It is important that they get the biggest return on investment possible in this economy (Hemsley, 2012). While there is no easy answer, the process of changing and implementing any training program is no easy task. The following analysis of Peabody Energy’s New hire Orientation will describe the process in which it was developed, the content, the format in which is administered, and finally the evaluation. After consulting with Katie Schaller, Learning & Development Representative at Peabody Energy, there were many considerations that had to be assessed before they started. Taking into account all of the negative baggage that is associated with a New Hire Orientation, they started with reviewing past surveys. They also interviewed subject matter experts from each department to identify the scope of information the new employees should receive about their respective areas. These responses helped guide the new program development. Objectives are important in any project. Starting out with solid list of expectations increases your chances of success by 300% (Morris, 2009). The first step in the process, before creating the objectives, is to perform a needs assessment. This is critical to determine if the training is even necessary (Noe, 2013). This first step should confirm that the need is not a performance issue, that it covers the correct content, and that the expectations are defined (Noe, 2013). In this assessment, it is presumed that the new employee could not have a performance issue, they need to know certain information in order to function at the company, and a timeline and budget were established. History

In the past, the New Hire Orientation at Peabody consisted of spending three full days in a conference room going over procedures, watching videos, and trying to keep your eyes open. It lacked engagement and consideration for different learning styles. This was a simple evolution of the company growing much bigger and faster than was planned. The old traditional training for a company of 50 employees needed to be restructured for a company of thousands located throughout the world. Not only did the physical locations grow, but the spectrum of talent matches. The company employs everyone from miners who work below the Earth, to Vice Presidents who hardly see the sun. Understanding that there is some common knowledge that they all need in order to be effective on the job is important. Fifty years ago, the company had less than 100 people and operated in three states. Technology was hardly a consideration. Most of the general company information was learning on the job. Having such a small pool of resources, it was fairly easy to navigate policies and procedures in different departments. In 2002, the company began expanding internationally. This brought with it many new challenges. Cultural difference, communication barriers, and logistics are just a few. It was during this time of growth that the Human Resource Department created a designated person to...
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