In January 2016, an e-mail was sent to all staff to gather feedback on the DCHS orientation and onboarding process. The Workforce Development Committee reviewed the survey results and the current state process. These data were grouped into an affinity diagram to understand the root causes of an unsatisfactory orientation process, then solutions were brainstormed and prioritized. Work groups were developed, the "new state" process was mapped, and an action plan was developed to address priority solutions. To prevent a long lag time between hire and training, the orientation begins on the new employee's start date. To help avert information overload and confusion during the first few days on the job, the 2-day orientation was extended to a full week. A volunteer staff ambassador leads orientation. New staff ambassadors are trained the quarter before serving in that capacity and lead one new employee orientation per year. The ambassador guides employees through Welcome Week, provides tours of DCHS buildings and facilities, facilitates new employees’ discussion of orientation, and provides ongoing support for staff. To further decrease confusion and streamline the process, the Workforce Development Committee created several resources:
• A spiral-bound notebook with an agenda for orientation activities
• A binder with training material to provide the organizational “big picture“ (including an organizational chart with staff images, an introduction/training on the performance management system, and a video outlining the culture/purpose of the agency)
• A new employee page on the internal website (InsideDC)
• A new employee orientation roadmap
• A supervisor checklist
• An ambassador guide
In addition, all previous trainings were revised to ensure that information is current, engaging, and useful to new employees. Moreover, the management team meeting now has a monthly agenda item to meet new staff (helping to demonstrate leadership commitment to staff).
The Workforce Development Committee reviewed, tested, and revised each of these tools, resources, processes, and solutions. The new process was piloted in September 2016. After the initial pilot, additional areas for improvement for the tools and resources were identified, and some minor adjustments were made. The new orientation and onboarding process was fully implemented in October 2016.