The New Training Program
The Carter Cleaning Centers currently have no formal orientation or training policies or procedures, and Jennifer believes this is one reason why the standards to which she and her father would like employees to adhere to are generally not followed.
The Carters would prefer that certain practices and procedures be used in dealing with the customers at the front counters. For example, all customers should be greeted with what Jack refers to as a “big hello.” Garments they drop off should immediately be inspected for any damage or unusual stains so these can be brought to the customer’s attention, lest the customer later return to pick up the garment and erroneously blame the store. The garments are then supposed to be placed together in a nylon sack immediately to separate them from other customers’ garments. The ticket also has to be carefully written, with the customer’s name and telephone number and the date clearly noted on all copies. The counter person is also supposed to take the opportunity to try to sell the customer additional services such as waterproofing, or simply notify the customer that “Now that people are doing their spring cleaning, we’re having a special on drapery cleaning all this month.” Finally, as the customer leaves, the counter person is supposed to make a courteous comment like “Have a nice day.” Each of the other jobs in the stores—pressing, cleaning and spotting, and so forth—similarly contain certain steps, procedures, and, most important, standards the Carters would prefer to see upheld.
The company has had problems, Jennifer feels, because of a lack of adequate employee training and orientation. For example, two new employees became very upset last month when they discovered that they were not paid at the end of the week, on Friday, but instead were paid (as are all Carter employees) on the following Tuesday. The Carters use the extra two days in part to give them time to obtain everyone’s hours and compute their pay. The other reason they do it, according to Jack, is that “frankly, when we stay a few days behind in paying employees it helps to ensure that they at least give us a few days’ notice before quitting on us. While we are certainly obligated to pay them anything they earn, we find that psychologically they seem to be less likely to just walk out on us Friday evening and not show up Monday morning if they still haven’t gotten their pay from the previous week. This way they at least give us a few days’ notice so we can find a replacement.”
There are other matters that could be covered during orientation and training, says Jennifer. These include company policy regarding paid holidays, lateness and absences, health benefits (there are none, other than workers’ compensation), substance abuse, eating or smoking on the job (both forbidden), and general matters like the maintenance of a clean and safe work area, personal appearance and cleanliness, time sheets, personal telephone calls, and personal e-mail.
Jennifer believes that implementing orientation and training programs would help to ensure that employees know how to do their jobs the right way. And she and her father further believe that it is only when employees understand the right way to do their jobs that there is any hope their jobs will be accomplished the way the Carters want them to be accomplished.
- Specifically, what should the Carters cover in their new employee orientation program, and how should they convey this information?
- In the HR management course Jennifer took, the book suggested using a job instruction sheet to identify tasks performed by an employee. Should the Carter Cleaning Centers use a form like this for the counter person’s job? If so, what should the form look like, say, for a counter person?
- Which specific training techniques should Jennifer use to train her pressers, her cleaner/spotters, her managers, and her counter people? Why should these training techniques be used?
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