Tag Archives: Orientation

How Do You Simplify a Firm-wide Software Roll-out? Five Ideas

Situation: A company plans to implement a new CRM system. They have a project road map and have assigned a manager for the implementation. However, the CEO has concerns because this is the most significant software roll-out that the company has ever attempted. She wants to assure that the roll-out proceeds smoothly, and that and that sales, marketing and customer service functions are not hampered. How do you simplify a firm-wide software roll-out?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Focus on company business objectives as you plan and implement the roll-out. Optimize the system to company business objectives, not just what the team wants.
  • Scope this out as a project management exercise.
    • Identify objectives.
    • Build and test.
    • Roll the system out to preliminary production and collect feedback on functionality.
    • Rebuild and test.
    • Plan and conduct system orientation training.
    • Set a date for the roll-out.
  • Don’t immediately roll the new system out company-wide. Conduct an initial implementation with a small scale test team. Make sure that everything works as planned and that day-to-day function is not compromised. From the information that you gather during initial implementation, tweak orientation training so that everyone is comfortable with the new system.
  • During initial planning sessions to set system objectives, meet first with managers whose teams will be impacted by the roll-out. Managers may not speak freely if their support staff are present.
  • Have a roll-out celebration and be generous complimenting personnel who have been involved in planning and roll-out.

How Do You Discourage Personal Work on Company Time? Three Solutions

Situation: A company recently hired two employees. In their first weeks of work, they were observed using company computers, on company time, to do personal work – in one case to monitor a personal web-based business. What is the best way to communicate company policy to these individuals?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Everything starts with the orientation on the first day of employment and the atmosphere established in the first weeks of work.
    • Particularly in a small company, new employees should meet with the CEO whose job it is to describe the culture of the company, the vision for the future and broad expectations of the role and contributions expected from employees.
    • Matters concerning personal work on company time and with company equipment should be clearly addressed in the employee handbook. Key points should be reviewed by a representative of upper level management, along with a conversation to assure that these key points are clearly understood.
    • Particularly during the initial weeks of work, new employees should have frequent meetings with their immediate supervisors to assure that they have the resources they need, that any questions they have about their work are addressed, and that they are performing to company and role expectations.
  • Given what has been observed, you, as CEO, should definitely speak to them about the behavior observed, and give them the opportunity to explain what is happening.
    • Clarify expectations of all employees, and ask whether these individuals understand these expectations.
    • Document the meeting. If the behavior continues, take action.
  • What is being done by other employees, and is there a broader issue to be addressed? Are other employees behaving similarly? If so, the new employees may just be responding to what they perceive as allowable behavior within the company.
    • Start with a company meeting or a letter to all employees. Highlight relevant passages from the employee handbook, and speak in terms not only of company culture but of the destructive impact that this behavior has on company performance and viability. The future of everyone in the company is tied to company performance and success.

Key Words: Leadership, Team, Expectations, Personal Work, Company Time, Policy, Orientation, Culture, Expectations, Employee, Handbook, Evaluation Period, Supervision, Documentation

What are Best Practices for On-Boarding a New Hire? Eight Guidelines

Situation: The Company has identified a good candidate for a critical role. What are best practices for assuring successful on-boarding of the new hire?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Provide a fair salary:
    • Review local salary surveys and pay a salary that reflects competitive realities.
    • Consider the impression that the offer makes on the spouse. If the spouse is unhappy, there won’t be peace at home and the employee may continue looking even after accepting your offer.
    • What about a 90 day evaluation period?
      • You won’t look like a serious employer. Increase chances for success by paying a fair salary from the beginning. If the individual doesn’t meet your needs, let them go.
  • Provide clear, concise direction from the start.
    • Provide an orientation to positively introduce the manager to the others in the company.
      • One-on-one meetings between the manager and key employees plus anyone who will report to the manager to establish initial rapport, and establish shared expectations.
      • Consider a lunch to introduce the new manager.
    • Set SMART performance objectives:
      • S – Specific
      • M – Measurable
      • A – Achievable
      • R – Realistic
      • T – Time-bound
    • Meet weekly with the new manager. Teach them what you’ve learned about the company, employees, and how things work.
    • Avoid shifting early objectives.
      • This is distracting and diminishes the chances of success.
      • Sudden or frequent changes in priorities make it difficult to generate momentum – particularly for a new employee.
  • Don’t expect instantaneous results.

Key Words: Best Practices, On-boarding, Salary, Objectives, SMART Objectives, Orientation, Expectations