Proper Orientation (orientation or familiarization program and manual) is a very important part of quality. It is important for the staff to know what is the brand of a company, the promise of customer service, safety instructions, and how responsibility is taken into account in doing things. Staff should also know from the beginning the values of the company, as well as the strategy of the business development. Proper orientation is also about equality; all employees should have the same understanding of their role at work.
From Orientation to Onboarding
It's no matter what you call your way of giving the proper information to all employees, just remember to do so and take enough time.
The Importance of Dialogue
The interview or the familiarization of the employee should be designed properly and offer the material in writing or in digital format. To reach a level of communication where both parties can withhold their integrity and save faces, it is good to understand the basics of the culture from where the employee is originating.
In general, the Finnish way in the tourism markets is found to be agreeable. “The Finnish have been nice to me, I can always find help and feel comfortable”, says a Chinese travel guide. “It is important to feel being part of the team”, says a Russian travel professional. “Generally I have not experienced any troubles related to my nationality or my cultural background”, she continues.
Key points are the following:
- understanding the differences and show appreciation
- making clear no discrimination is accepted
- trying to find the best possible job and position to each employee so that the strengths can be utilized
- ensuring an open and trustful atmosphere
- naming mentors and pay them extra to do extra work helping others
- making sure every employee studies the orientation program
Please, Note these Challenges
We have asked foreign employees to point out the challenges they have faced in Finland.
The most frequently highlighted were the following:
- Difficulty to get networks and opportunities to get proper work when not speaking fluent Finnish.
- The necessary paperwork is a big challenge if you don't have any Finnish speaking person helping you.
- Very hectic and stressful atmosphere at work (especially in restaurants).
- New employees don't dare to ask for help – especially if they have done it once and got an unpleasant response.
- Some are afraid of losing future working opportunities if they ask too much.
- Dialogue is needed.
- Continuously changing working teams in the hospitality business.
- Employees don't know each other, neither do the managers know employees.
- Skills and background are underestimated
- If you don't have time for conversations, you don't really know one's skills and background
- Lack of being interested in the staff's wellbeing
- When managers don't have real contact with staff, they don't care so much about one’s feelings and mood.
- Even the smallest instructions are needed (like what to wear, how to talk to customers)
Do you think you could take these challenges into account in your company and make an action plan? Do you find solutions to these challenges?
Updating the Orientation Plan
Because of the constant changes in working life, the orientation materials will also be regularly updated. When talking to employees they also pointed out the fact that orientation material could be more attractive visually and it could be found in a digital version.
Your task for this module is to update the orientation material of your Company.
Maybe you could invite employees to join the co-creation workshop and use Service Design as a method to update your orientation plan.