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Onboarding Key to Successful Start

GEAPS Exchange education session covers how to retain employees beginning Day One

Joe Mlynek resized

Hiring a new employee is similar to any introduction, first impression matters.

The first genuine interaction an employee has with a company, its culture and its employees is during the onboarding process.

During the Safety From Day One educational session at the GEAPS 2021 Exchange, Joe Mlynek, partner at Safety Made Simple, LLC, explained that, if done correctly, a company's onboarding process can lead to high employee productivity, retention and safety.

Some tips included:

  • Have a plan and stick to it. Freestyling your employee onboarding is a bad idea. There's a lot to cover, from your company culture, benefits and pay, job duties, and how things run at your facility.
    It's easy to miss something or overwhelm the new employee before they've even started working at their position.
  • Take it slow. Employees have just made a big life decision by choosing to work for you, and while everything seems normal to you and anyone they shadow, it is new and strange to them.
    Don't overwhelm them with unnecessary information at this point. An effective onboarding process may take weeks or even months to finish.
    Trying to compress the process into just a few days will result in the employee being unable to retain much of the information, a dangerous prospect when safety training is part of the onboarding process.
    Also, by trying to teach so much information at once may result in them being overwhelmed and quitting before the process is complete.
  • Use a variety of learning methods. There's a lot you want to cover but resist the urge to sit the new employee in front of a computer or read the company handbook all day.
    Mlynek recommended limiting these types of activities to two-hour blocks. Studies have shown that simply reading, being lectured to, and even videos have low information retention rates.
    Instead, break up the new hires day by including shadowing, hands-on work in their position and discussions with coworkers.

Those are just some of the ideas and tips shared during the session, part of the Expo's efforts to make the grain handling industry safer.

For more GEAPS Exchange 2021 coverage, visit

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