Page 185 At a minimum, new employees usually receive either printed or Internet-based employee handbooks. These explain things like working hours, performance reviews, getting on the payroll, and vacations. Under certain conditions, the courts may find that your employee handbook’s contents represent legally binding Don’t underestimate orientation’s importance. Without basic information on things like rules and policies, new employees may make time-consuming or even dangerous errors. Their performance—and the firm’s—will suffer. Furthermore, orientation is not just about rules. It’s also about making the new person feel welcome and at home and part of the team, all potentially important if you want him or her to be productive. A successful orientation should accomplish four main things: The new employee should feel welcome and at ease; he or she should understand the organization in a broad sense (its past, present, culture, and vision of the future), as well as key facts such as policies and procedures; the employee should be clear about what is expected in terms or work and behavior; and the person should have begun the process of becoming socialized into the firm’s ways of acting and doing things.
Page 197 Many firms opt for prepackaged training programs. A sampling helps illustrate the wide range of programs available, as well as what global training programs actually involve. Executive Etiquette for Global Transactions: The program prepares managers for conducting business globally by training them in business etiquette in other cultures. Cross-Cultural Technology Transfer: This program shows how cultural values affect perceptions of technology and technical learnings. International Protocol and Presentation: This program shows the correct way to handle people with tact and diplomacy in countries around the world. Business Basics for the Foreign Executive: This program covers negotiating cross-culturally, working with U.S. clients, making presentations, writing for U.S. business, and using the phone in the United States. Language training: Language training delivered by certified instructors, usually determined by the learner’s needs rather than by the requirements of a predetermined curriculum or textbook.
Page 202 Diversity Training With an increasingly diverse workforce, more firms are implementing diversity training programs. As an HR officer for one firm put it, “We’re trying to create a better sensitivity among our supervisors about the issues and challenges women and minorities face in pursuing their careers.”96 Diversity training aims to create better cross-cultural sensitivity, with the aim of fostering more harmonious working relationships among a firm’s employees. Results include: improving interpersonal skills; understanding and valuing cultural differences; improving technical skills; socializing employees into the corporate culture; reducing stress; indoctrinating new workers into the U.S. work ethic; mentoring; improving English proficiency; improving basic math skills; and improving bilingual skills for English-speaking employees.
Page 204 General management development process consists of assessing the company’s strategic needs appraising the managers’ performance developing the managers
Page 205 Job Rotation Job rotation means moving management trainees from department to department to broaden their understanding of all parts of the business and to test their abilities. The trainee—often a recent college graduate—may spend several months in each department. The person may just be an observer in each department, but more commonly gets fully involved in its operations. Coaching/Understudy Approach Here the trainee works directly with a senior manager or with the person he or she is to replace; the latter is responsible for the trainee’s coaching. Normally, the understudy relieves the executive of certain responsibilities, giving the trainee a chance to learn the job. Action Learning Action learning programs give managers and others released time to work full time on projects, analyzing an solving problems in departments other than their own.116 Trainees meet periodically in four- or five-person project groups to discuss their findings. Several trainees may work together as a project group, or compare notes and discuss each other’s projects.
Page 206 The Case Study Method As most everyone knows, the case study method presents a trainee with a written description of an organizational problem. The person then analyzes the case, diagnoses the problem, and presents his or her findings and solutions in a discussion with other trainees. Management Games With computerized or CD-ROM-basedmanagement games, trainees are divided into five- or six-person groups, each of which competes with the others in a simulated marketplace. Each group typically must decide, for example, (1) how much to spend on advertising, (2) how much to produce, (3) how much inventory to maintain, and (4) how many of which product to produce. Usually the game itself compresses a two- or three-year period into days, weeks, or months. Outside Seminars Many companies and universities offer Web-based and traditional management development seminars and conferences. University-Related Programs Many universities provide executive education and continuing education programs in leadership, supervision, and the like. These also range from 1- to 4-day programs to executive development programs lasting one to four months. An increasing number of these are offered online. Role Playing The aim of role playing is to create a realistic situation and then have the trainees assume the parts (or roles ) of specific persons in that situation. Behavior Modeling Behavior modeling involves (1) showing trainees the right (or “model”) way of doing something, (2) letting trainees practice that way, and then (3) giving feedback on the trainees’ performance. In-house development centers needn’t produce all (or most) of their own training and development programs. In fact, employers are increasingly collaborating with academic institutions, training and development program providers, and Web-based educational portals to create packages of programs and materials appropriate to their employees’ needs.