When hiring technicians to operate an industrial vacuum truck, it is important that they get onboarded properly. Of course the primary point of logic behind this is safety, however, another major factor includes preventing turnover. About ⅓ of all new employees quit their job within the first six months. While there might be a handful of reasons why that is, getting your employees effectively onboarded can help reduce that statistic. Plus factor in the current job market that is currently struggling to fill positions and you have a recipe for disaster.
So what can be done? How can you streamline and improve your onboarding process? Here at FlowMark, we have put together a few tips for how to get your new industrial vacuum truck technicians to stick it out for the long run.
1.) Set Them Up for Success
While this might seem obvious, it is worth talking about more in depth. When welcoming a new employee to your ranks, you want to make sure that you are equipping them with all the tools and knowledge they need to be successful and perform well. After all, it is easy to get discouraged if you are struggling right out of the gate!
One of the best ways that you can do this is assigning them a peer to help act as their guide. Sometimes, working directly with a supervisor can be extremely intimidating. Even something routine or simple can feel overwhelming when a supervisor or boss is watching. Of course, a supervisor should make themselves known and be readily available to field questions. It is vital that you find balance between the two!
2.) Get Right to the Point
Operating an industrial vacuum truck is a hands on job. While human resources paperwork and formal safety training reviews are always necessary, try not to bog down the process too long. In this line of work, employees are eager to learn and get started working with a truck. While everyone has different learning styles and levels of experience, overly inundating this process can feel boring or discouraging.
Once again, it is important to achieve a balance here. Take the time to talk to current employees about how the onboarding process felt for them and allow them the opportunity to be transparent. This is the only way to truly see that you make the correct changes to streamline onboarding!
3.) Don’t Delay Feedback
When working with a new hire and showing them the ropes, don’t delay feedback. It is critical to correct any mistakes or errors as they crop up as opposed to waiting until the end of the day. For one, it might be easy to forget everything you wanted to say to your newest employee by that point in time. For two, you can provide an immediate solution or demonstrate the correction in real time. This will allow for better retention of the process.
That being said, it is very important to be mindful of your tone and approach. Coming across as overly critical or nitpicky is a quick way to lower someone’s morale. You don’t want to scare them off or make them feel like they are doing a poor job. Being supportive and providing feedback in the spirit of education will go a very long way!
4.) Make Your New Hire Feel Welcome
Joining an already formed team can be a bit intimidating. There is a lot to learn, including everyone’s names! While it might take your new hire a little while to become familiar with who they will be working with, you can prepare current employees by sending out an email about the new hire. In this email, include a photo of the employee, their name, their job title, and a few tidbits of personal information, if they feel comfortable sharing that.
When it comes to taking breaks or during the lunch hour, invite your new employee to sit with you and your group. This will surely help to make them feel more comfortable and welcomed! When an employee has friends and secure connections at work, the better their morale tends to be.
5.) Be Up Front When Hiring
If there is one mistake that employers are known to make, it’s being too vague about the job description during the hiring process. Being more forthcoming about expectations, duties, hours, and benefits can really help to make sure that you are finding the right fit for you, and in turn, the employee is getting the right fit for them. Remember, this is a two way street!
If you find a candidate you are seriously considering, you could even offer them a tour of your company and introduce them to people who they are going to work with. This will provide a better picture of the work environment they will be in and more importantly, allow you to be transparent.
6.) Value Feedback
When employees feel valued, they are more likely to be open, honest, and loyal. While it is highly likely that no process will be perfect, as each person is different, being open to feedback will serve you well. After ninety days, schedule a time to sit down with your new employee and pick their brain regarding their onboarding experience.
Here are a few sample questions you might ask:
- Did the process seem too long or too short?
- Was there anything that you wished we had done differently?
- Was there an element during training that was overlooked?
- Did the team make you feel welcome? If not, what are some things you might suggest we change?
- Did HR and your supervisor answer all the questions you had? If not, can we answer those for you now?
- Was the safety training that you received effective and informative?
- Do you feel like you are a valued member of the team?
There are certainly others you might think of, including ones more specific to your organization, but this can be a great place to start. Make sure to reiterate that this feedback is important, and that you will approach their answers with an open mind.
Working with an industrial vacuum truck is an important job, and you want to make sure that you are getting your new employee set up for success. Safety, retention, and having all the appropriate information right from the start will ensure that you have added a great new member to your crew.