Training Tract: Onboarding for Success

By Mike Monde, Director of Culture and Training

Onboarding is a critical process which helps new employees become motivated and educated about their role and our company. If carried out successfully, it increases employee retention and leads to employees who are committed to the company’s success and feel like a member of the team. Too often, people think that onboarding is just a one-hour orientation video that a new employee watches on their few day. And while the orientation video is an important component of this process, as you can see below, the Ruppert onboarding process involves many more steps that are equally as important for a new employee to feel connected with our company and comfortable with their team.

In a nutshell, our onboarding process aims to accomplish the following:

  • Allows a new employee to get acquainted with their direct supervisor and co-workers
  • Gives them the opportunity to meet and become comfortable with branch leadership
  • Gives them the basic lay of the land, from where the bathrooms are to where to meet up with the team in the morning
  • Helps them understand fundamental policy issues, from uniforms and vacation time to incentive programs and pay raises
  • Enables the new employee to understand and fill out necessary paperwork, such as emergency contact forms, health/dental insurance forms, and tax forms
  • Gives the new employee a good understanding of what job skills will make them successful in their role
  • Explains how the evaluation process works
  • Underscores the importance of our company values, including key topics like safety, empowerment and innovation and how they help propel our company forward
  • Provides the basic training to complete their day-to-day job tasks

I would like to specifically highlight two of these steps which, if done effectively, could have a long-lasting impact on all new hires:

The Ruppert Welcome:

To be completed no later than one to three days after the hire date. This step is key in starting an effective relationship with the company. This step also should help our new employees to feel welcomed and part of the team. It is completed in the field with the direct supervisor and the team. The suggested topics to address during the Ruppert Welcome are as follows:

  • Share your history and experience with Ruppert
  • Review list of “first day” priorities if needed
  • Set safety expectations
  • Facility tour and introductions
  • Introduce a buddy and get them comfortable with the team
  • Set performance expectations and guidance
  • Begin skills training
  • Ask and always be available to answer questions.
  • Begin the Ruppert Orientation (Step 5) if time allows

The Ruppert Orientation:

This step is completed no later than 1 to 10 days after the hire date. This training is completed at the branch and is conducted by the branch manager and/or the branch training representative. Our newly updated orientation videos do a great job of giving our new employee’s the basics, but more importantly, it is meant to be an interactive experience with leadership to help explain and answer questions during this step. Our branch managers, when available, will participate in the History, Mission, and Values portion to help all new employees become familiar with this critical portion of the orientation. This will help our new team members get comfortable with the journey that they are about to begin.

These expectations may vary by division, but we see this as a great opportunity for all of our new employees to meet the leadership and team within their branch and to help with the transition to their new career. When done right, we’re helping that new person become acclimated and comfortable with the organization. If you’re someone who is doing hiring and giving orientations, I encourage you not to shortchange this process, as it’s a cornerstone for success. If you’re a new employee, don’t allow yourself to be shortchanged. You are now part of the Ruppert team, and if you have questions or would like to revisit anything that you don’t quite understand, please feel free to ask your manager. Ultimately, our goal is to make information and expectations accessible and to make everyone feel comfortable and better prepared for a long career here at Ruppert!