February 3, 2020

Still Waiting For Two Phone Calls—And a Blog

By Paul Bieber

Last week I started my blog with the comment that I was waiting for the call to join the Red Sox in Boston as their manager. The other call was to travel to New York City to meet our new granddaughter. It is now Monday morning and neither call has arrived. Here is the problem. Elaine and I are going to New York on Tuesday and then the Red Sox will want me to come to Boston to sign the contract. I won’t go to Boston; granddaughters come first. So, I will give up the Red Sox job, have a beautiful granddaughter and continue to write blogs. I will still be the happiest man in the world.

Back to building your team at work, starting with your new employees. You have finished the first couple of hours filling out paperwork and explaining the depth of your employee benefits. Now it is time for an in-depth tour of your business. Whether you fabricate glass in a factory or are a five-man installer, this is important. Let the hire ask questions and give solid answers. If you’re hiring for the office, take her or him out to the shop so they get a full understanding of what you do. The opposite is true for a shop worker. Introduce the office team, so that she/he knows who to visit with a question, be it purchasing, payroll or whatever.

Show the new person your lunchroom or where the best lunch places are in the area. Explain your rules about coffee breaks, when the lunch truck shows up and where to park. Go over safety in-depth, including what to wear when on the shop floor, where the first aid kits are (which should include gloves to be worn while helping an injured worker) and the consequences of breaking a safety rule, which is a suspension for the first mistake and termination on the second. Give them the required safety gear and make sure they know how to put it on. Write their names on their gear in a heavy black marker. A good employee will appreciate how far you go to keep everyone safe.

Introduce the new person to their supervisor if that person is not you. Let the supervisor go into depth about their department and the job the employee is filling. Introduce all the employees in that department. Have it prearranged that one person will be their job buddy for the first couple of weeks. The job buddy will really go into the details of the job along with the foreman or department manager. The job buddy should have lunch every day with the new person for at least a week, preferably two, so they don’t sit alone in the break room.

By the way, if your new employee does not speak English well, have a translator join you in all aspects of the training. This is critically important to your business, plus it shows that you respect the employee’s knowledge and heritage. Also, have the name and number of a recognized English-as-a-second-language (ESL) program available and recommend strongly that the employee register for the class. You should pay for it. Your employee will be very grateful and you will be well repaid by having a strong employee.

We’ll go further with this series next week. Thanks for being a reader.

PS: Why is the third hand on your watch called the second hand?