‘Tis the season! The season of hiring, training, more hiring… and even more training! While your Operations and HR teams are striving to increase throughput capacity for this busy time of year, it can be easy to put operational efficiency on the back burner. We all know sheer volume during the holiday or peak season can cover up poor process execution. We’d be willing to bet that the influx of seasonal help, and the impact it has on your training resources, is an excuse that you’ve heard (or maybe used yourself) on multiple occasions. It’s a tough one to argue, especially if there is no evidence to say otherwise.

But what if onboarding temporary or full-time new hires was measured and no longer could be used as a vague reason for labor inefficiency for your teams?

If the cyclical onboarding of temporary (or all new hires) is an expected occurrence each year, your team should be prepared with the tools and skills to make sure each new associate is successfully integrated into your facility and culture, and becomes a positive part of the team.

So, how good is your training program? Ask yourself these 3 questions.  

Do you track training hours per new hire?

Training can typically be the largest bucket of indirect time associated with labor, upward of 30% during peak season in a facility with 40-45% turnover. While turnover and seasonal hiring can be difficult to control depending on your local labor market, it’s still no reason to not measure the impact training has on your cost per unit. A function that garners this much time and attention deserves to be captured and managed on a daily basis to understand how to better improve training utilization.

If a cyclical boom in hiring is expected, and you do not track the time it takes to onboard a new hire, it’s time to think about what system is needed to measure this. For starters, a simple spreadsheet and a weekly performance review meeting is enough to measure progress.

Do you measure the quality of training a new hire receives?

While any department in a DC can get away with a few great trainers during most of the year, an influx of seasonal help requires additional training resources and will test the capabilities of inexperienced trainers.

How can you be sure that the additional labor you’ve added, during the time of year where building performance is critical, is being given the proper training the first time around? Do you have standard operating procedures, or a regimented training program? Are audits available and understood by trainers? Are there clear expectations to what great performance looks like?

Following up on these questions to make sure your team has the right answers and support can make all the difference in what type of training you deliver to a new hire. A clear set of agreed-upon best practices can remove alternative training methods for the same process in your facility. If you need more information on SOPs, check out our “Creating” and “Sustaining” SOP posts. Having a method of auditing the work your trainers do is also a great tool to ensure consistent training experiences as well as give proper feedback to newer trainers. And lastly, having clear, understood expectations for performance establishes the new hire’s goal.

Do you measure the progression in performance of a new hire?

Onboarding is difficult to manage. Floor leaders all too often rely on qualitative measures to determine training progression simply because they do not have a tool to measure progression against the expected performance. While training progressions for new hires will differ, having a measurement tool to recognize when someone is off track can be very useful in understanding the root cause, and thus how to approach the situation as a floor leader.

Few can answer these questions with confidence. If you can, you’ve taken the steps required to better understand the impact training has on your facility, especially during this time of year. You will reap the rewards, and your associates will, too.

If you can’t answer these questions with confidence, don’t worry. We can help. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you take the next step toward developing a performance management program that addresses the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.