Exchange of Information

Enterprises install ways and means for creating and/or improving information exchanges with employees and their immediate families. This activity is called exchanging information with employees.

The exchange of information begins with the joining of new employees in the form of Orientation/ Induction and continues in the form of formal and informal communication channels.

 

New Employee Orientation

Orientation or Induction involves familiarisation of the newly appointed employees to the work environment of the organisation as well as to the fellow employees. The new employees should be oriented to the organisation and to its policies, rules and regulations.

Generally, the process of orientation begins by taking the new employees around the factory and offices of the company. The supervisor gives new employees' introduction to the fellow employees and provides the immediately needed information about others as well as about the organisation, so that he feels comfortable in the new surroundings.

Lectures and discussions may be arranged to provide the necessary information and guidance. Handbooks, manuals and pamphlets may also be supplied for the orientation of the new employees. The information provided to the new employees, during the orientation process may include:-

  • Brief history of the Company
  • Operations and products of the company
  • Company's organisational structure
  • Location of departments and employee facilities
  • Personnel policies and practices
  • Rules and regulations
  • Employee activities
  • Grievance procedure
  • Safety measures

 

This orientation programme should not be very lengthy and it need not necessarily be given on the same day when the employees join the organisation. It may be given formally after some time. In case of small firms, the induction programme is likely to be more informal and of short duration.

Orientation programmes may also include providing induction training to the new employees where besides being familiarised with the work environment and the fellow employees, the new employees are taught basic techniques or methods to do the work.

 

Source: Adapted from “Managing Business” in Business Portal of India

To view a sample checklist for new employee orientation, click here.

 

Employee Communication

The manager of small business has not only the day-today responsibilities of operating the business, but also the responsibility to establish and administer the disciplinary procedure and to effectively handle grievances and complaints. Communication provides the "key" to successfully meeting these responsibilities.

Large corporations recognize this responsibility and use many different media to assure that employees understand, and are kept informed of all matters of interest to them. Small businesses often fail to recognize this need, even though, when compared to large organizations, they have a distinct advantage.

It is certainly much easier to communicate with 5, 10, or 100 employees, than with thousands. Yet, in spite of their advantage, many small companies have poor and inadequate communication with their employees.

Part of the problem lies in recognizing what your employees need to know about the work they're doing, and the company itself, and part of it is that owner/managers often believe that they do keep employees informed. The more employees know, the more they feel part of the company.

There are many things on which employees should receive information, either regularly or when the occasion arises. These include:

  • vacation plans

  • holiday plans

  • benefits

  • overtime and other special work schedules and

  • any plans about changes in the work or work environment such as:

    • new products and services
    • change in furniture or work places

 

In addition, it is desirable to keep employees informed about matters affecting the company:

  • how it is doing, and where it is going

  • improvements in company operation

  • laws or regulations affecting company operations

  • new contracts

  • new product plans

 

There are two channels of communications through which employees obtain information:

  • The informal communications network which includes any conversations you have with individual employees or small groups of employees. The informal network also includes the rumours which spring up when there is concern about something but no direct information.

  • The formal communications network includes such methods or procedures as:

    • Regular meetings held with employees to brief them on matters of interest and to discuss anything of concern to the company or to them, including problems with production, standards or rules, as well as any concerns they may have. Such meetings provide considerable feelings of belonging to employees and bring many suggestions on how specific projects, as well as overall operations can be improved.

    • A small employee manual, which proves useful in the orientation of a new employee to your company, but also serves as a reference on policy benefits, important rules, safety programs and procedures for handling grievances.

    • An organized bulletin board with current information. Notices of holidays, changes of shift or work schedules, new policies, emergency telephone numbers and any other information that would prove of interest to employees can be posted on such a bulletin board. Notice of personal information regarding employees - congratulations on birthdays, births, marriages - can also be posted.

    • Posters promoting safety, health, and good housekeeping procedures can also add to a good communication climate as long as they are kept clean and neat, and changed regularly.

 

Source: Small Business Management, bizmove.com