Everyone has been new at work and been in need of information and knowledge to be able to complete our new work assignments and learn our world places routines. Many of you can agree that it feels difficult if you receive too little information on your first day, especially when you do not know where to find information for yourself.
Because of this, lots of time is wasted on finding out where to look. It can be just as bad to get too much information to keep track of. In both cases, it is good to know that the information is documented and accessible when needed.
Search Engines Create Comfort and Curiosity
Even though it is a supervisor’s job to help new employees get going, knowing where to find information on your own can feel good, especially today when many of us are used to googling for answers. This opportunity encourages the will to learn something new. For example, while watching a film or show I can google a name or event that has been mentioned. In this case I often need to rewind a few minutes because I became engrossed in looking at different articles. Thanks to collective wells of knowledge like Google, Yahoo and Bing it is possible to find information in a few clicks and even discover new things we never would have thought about. So why not use the same principle in our organizations?
Having an internal search engine where all work related information and knowledge can be found raises the effectivity in the organization because the disruptions caused by looking for the right place to search disappears. This also gives employees comfort in knowing that the information is stored in one place. As a new employee it is pure gold to hear that ”you can find answers to all your questions here!”. Because of this it may be good to analyze the organization’s information an knowledge documentation to see how easy it is for, mainly, a new employee to find what they are looking for.
Digital = Benefits
Electronic learning, or the more widely used term ”e-learning”, is becoming more common, both in everyday life and the workplace. The reason is probably because of the many pros digital information and knowledge comes with; and it saves time and money. Digital courses have shown to be time and cost efficient compared to teacher led course because teachers do not need to be booked, participants can take part when it suits them and evaluation is automatic. New participants can complete the introductory course before they have started work, because it can be taken at home.
In todays society, most people have access to a mobile device with internet access and it can be profitable for an employer to provide employees with one. One of the reasons is that the information becomes easily accessible when it can be searched for and be shared online. Additionally, it is possible to collect information in the same place. This saves employees time that would have been used to find the right place to search for their information, and you also simplify and make work days more effective.
A Great Start
Imagine that it is your first day at your new job. When you arrive at the office building your supervisor meets you in the foyer and shows you the office, introduces you to your new coworkers and gives you your assignments. You attend a course for new employees with others. Even though you feel welcome and the introduction went well you feel nervous about starting work.
The supervisor gives you your assignments and shows you how to do them. Before they leave they say ”If you need anything, just ask!”. But what really calms you down is hearing your supervisor say: We also have this system where all our information can be found, even material from the introduction.” and shows you how it works. The supervisor also tells you that handbooks and other education material regarding the workplaces workflows and work methods are created continuously and can be found by searching in the system.
You sit down and are about to send your first email when the email site stops working - the mail cannot be sent! Instead of becoming irritated and calling a technician you turn to the internal search engine, you search for ”send email” and find an instructional video that a college has made. You realize that you had missed a step and learn something new, and it only took two minutes instead of twenty in a telephone queue, explaining the problem and finding a solution. You can now lean back an think that this is a good work place and ”I will enjoy it here”.
What Can Help Make New Employees More Efficient?
To give new employees a positive start at their new job it may help to:
- Document and systemise information and knowledge. Preferably digitally, accessible via the internet and access from the same place. Less time spent on finding information means more time working, whilst new employees can feel comfortable because they know where to find their answers.
- Share educational material after the education has taken place so that employees can use it as a cheat sheet in their work.
- Make self-help guides and handbooks that describe the workplaces system, workflow and way of working. This way you minimise the risk of missteps and unnecessary support calls. The business also becomes more efficient because halts during work stop.
These three points give the new employee comfort and a good impression of the businesses capability to share information and knowledge — something that might be useful when creating a successful workplace.