10 Things You Need to Know as an Orientation Manager

08 February 2017

If you are working as an orientation manager in the heavy industry (e.g. construction, mining, forestry), you are probably aware of the reasons why it is vital for the entire management plan to flow seamlessly, with the constant change in contract workers remaining united.

Here are the top 10 points to remember to help the orientation process perform more successfully.

Orientation Manager

1. Specific Training for Each Worker

Each worker will have weak points and strong points when it comes to what they need to learn and which subjects need the most time spent on by the orientation manager. Boredom may be a big problem in the classroom being told something they already know, but someone else may not. Training which does not seem exclusively for their benefit in one particular job could cause a lack of interest immediately.

2. Specific Training for Each Location

A common complaint made by construction workers is receiving the same information and safety rules for each different location. It is important for them to be aware of the specific stage of the project that they have entered into and the others involved, who are constantly changing. Different safety risks will be more important in certain locations and at different times.

3. Self-paced Learning Confirmed More Successful

With fewer distractions and at the most suitable time, self-paced learning allows a contractor to focus more on any details that don’t make sense to them, without growing bored from the questions of others that they can already answer.

4. Knowing if Training Was Unsuccessful

If successful reviews have been made and feedback has been analyzed, which is quite rare, problems will be possible to discover. As soon as training is finished, asking new workers to complete surveys explaining which parts of the training they found most helpful and the least successful will be a great benefit to future courses.

5. Repetition May be Necessary Down the Line

Self-paced learning already makes the recalling of information easier to retain and revisit. Important subjects may be necessary to repeat on the day of arrival and maybe within 3 to 6 month gaps. Providing tests with rewards for a high score are a way to ‘gamify’ this.

6. Have All Required Paperwork in Order

Orientation Manager

The contents and size of the paperwork required will depend on the job and time-period of the person involved, e.g. safety pass, health and safety contacts and expiry details which need to be carefully stored and remain up-to-date. This should take place before the job begins and is an important part of the job for an orientation manager.

7. Offer a Variety of Learning Methods

A range of different videos, photographs and audio methods, are more likely to trigger your new contractors’ interests, maintaining their attention span.

8. Explain Details from a Human Viewpoint

Some details are simply provided to new workers in text format, without videos, or even a photo. Putting humans in a similar position in an online video, is part of the learning process and presenting an orientation manager and other employees are a great way to introduce them. It is important for you to talk to the camera, as if you are talking to a friend.

9. Learn Any Skills Gaps on the First Day

On their first day on site, become aware of any relevant skills gaps, but also confirm their strengths, e.g.:

Please give me some thought to your own special skills and unique potential that you’d like to develop (outside your job function), and if there’s a way for us to help with this, especially if we see that there’ll be benefits for the organization too (Safe Work Australia).

10. Successful Orientations Make Workers More Likely to Stay

successful orientation can make a worker more likely to feel like part of a team from the beginning, without all the usual nerves of a new job.

Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfillled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability. (Anne M. Mulcahy, Xerox Chairman and Chief Executive Officer)

Jenny Snook
Jenny Snook

Jenny Snook is content executive at GoContractor with the job of researching the latest health and safety trends in the heavy industry. Her past-experience includes the research of large museum collections such as the Louth County Museum, many from the industrial age.

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