Fleet Maintenance - 16

want you to work for a couple of days. I'll see what
you're made of,'" Spurlock says.

Skip the trial by fire

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Photo courtesy of TechForce Foundation

Best practices for
onboarding new employees
Steps for the first day, and first
month, of a new hire's training.
The failure to integrate a proper onboarding process is one of the
most common mistakes that employers make, as well as being
one of the most detrimental to retention. The onboarding process sets the stage for success for a new employee, giving them
confidence in what is always a stressful situation. Onboarding
should always begin immediately with a "Day One" orientation.
Some best practices in orientation are:
* Arrange for the employee to meet the owner or general
manager. This ensures the owner meets each new employee when they first start and gives the new employee the
feeling they are valued as a member of the organization.
* Introduce the new hire to a contact in human resources so they know who to go to with questions on
payroll, vacation, and other related issues.
* Assign them a "buddy" or mentor whom they can go to for
answers to questions that may arise. Do a personal "walk
around" the workplace, introducing them to their co-workers.
* Ensure that they have a written job description and sit
down and review that job description with them.
* Your organization should already have an Employee
Handbook in place. If not, this is a good reminder that
you should have one. Speak to your HR department
about developing one if you don't already have it. They
are very useful in answering frequently asked questions
and ensuring company policies are fully understood.
Having a comprehensive day-one orientation starts a new
employee off on the right foot and helps set them up for success, but you also need a 30-day check-in to ensure things are
on-track for them. Some best practices for that check-in are:
* Speak with their assigned "buddy" or mentor and see
what they have to say. Find out how your new employee has been adjusting, what questions they have been
asking. See if there are any questions or concerns that
have arisen that you should step in and answer.
* Be sure to set up the 30-day discussion with your
employee at least a day or two ahead of time. That
gives the employee time to prepare for the discussion
and think about what they may want to bring up.
* Give them feedback on how they are doing - if there are
any developing habits that are of concern, you are much
better off to address them right away. End the conversation by asking what you can do personally as their
manager to help them be successful in their role.
Information provided by Greg Settle, TechForce Foundation

16 Fleet Maintenance | July 2019

Gone are the days of letting a new hire fend for
themselves, to try and figure out the lay of the
land. To retain talent, it is critical to establish a
clear and detailed onboarding process and training program for new hires.
"The failure to integrate a proper onboarding
process is one of the most common mistakes
that employers make, as well as being one of the
most detrimental to retention," says TechForce
Foundation's Settle. "The onboarding process
sets the stage for success for a new employee,
giving them confidence in what is always a
stressful situation."
While there should be a standard training
process in place, it is important to assess the abilities of each new hire individually to tailor the
amount of training needed.
"There is no magic number for how much training a new employee will need to get them fully
up to speed, " Settle adds. "A very straightforward approach is to inventory the training and
skills your new employee already has, match that
against what work you are planning to assign
them, and do a gap analysis. Then for the resulting
gap you find, put together a training plan along
with a timeline that is realistic."
When a new hire comes onboard, Settle
suggests having a plan for both the first day and
continued through the first month to help establish a good foundation for success. The first day
should include meeting key contacts within the
organization, such as the direct supervisor and
other employees within the department, the general manager or company owner, and the human
resources department.
Continually checking in with the employee
throughout his or her first month allows for the
employee to establish a line of communication
and follow up on questions about the organization
and procedures. They can also receive feedback
regarding their performance.
Establishing a partner or mentor to help guide
the trainee through the first several weeks can
also help.
Duncan Polytech's Rubio suggests a way of
utilizing current shop resources to establish a
company mentorship program: tap retiring technicians to fill a training role within the organization.
"These in-house apprenticeship programs, when
run correctly, are invaluable to shop retention
rates and technician proficiency," he says. "I see
too many shops that have a few 'lead technicians'
that diagnose the problems, and the rest are parts
changers. This creates an unsustainable culture in
the shop where new skill sets are not being gained
or honed and there are zero wage increases to be
had for the parts changers."
"Any on-boarding should include a mentoring
component," Arrants adds. "Proper selection, training, and compensation of a mentor is key to the
success of on-boarding any new employees to your
organization and the specific facility culture."
Mentorship can play a big role in not only helping
to train new technicians but also to provide insight
and a different point of view for veteran techni-

cians. For instance, an entry-level technician may
be more tech-savvy and intuitively understand how
to use a diagnostic scan tool, while a veteran technician may be more inclined to diagnose based on
sight and sound. With the proper encouragement to
support one another, a partnership or mentorship
program can help both entry-level and veteran
technicians share knowledge with one another.
"To some degree, the experienced techs will
still have an advantage because they've seen so
many different things that have happened," says
SP/2's Holt. "Entry level techs are going to have
their own set of advantages though because they
are so technologically entwined. It shouldn't be
an 'us-against-them' mentality between technicians." Working together can help create a united
front when it comes to understanding new vehicle
technologies, he adds.

Commit to development

SP/2's Holt says that hiring entry-level technicians requires more upfront planning and further
nurturing of qualified candidates, but the additional attention provided to these new hires can
pay off in the long run.
"[Employers] have to be ready to mentor a candidate, show the young technician a career path,"
he says. Examples of this include providing an
outline of certifications, benchmarks, and goals
to set for the new hire, so they can assess their
progress and advance in the position.
"That's the kind of employer that I want to work
with because they're the ones that are going to
keep young, entry-level technicians, they're going
to help grow them into experienced techs and help
keep them in this industry," Holt adds.
When it comes to setting a path for employees, American Diesel Training Centers' Spurlock
agrees. His organization focuses on a "grow
your own" approach when it comes to employee
"The days of hiring someone and kind of throwing them into the fire and just letting things
happen are completely over, you just can't do it,"
says Spurlock. "Companies have to assume more
responsibility for bringing someone in with a lot
of aptitude, a high ceiling, and then setting that
progression path so that they get from a C-level
technician to an A-level technician."
Spurlock suggests the industry is overtraining
students looking to enter the profession.
"I don't care what school you went to or even
what certifications you have, nobody is going to
trust the 20-year-old kid to rebuild a Cummins
engine," Spurlock says. "They're either going to
send that engine back to the factory or there's
going to be an individual [at the shop] who's gone
through five years of certification who is going
to touch that engine. What companies want is
- and I'm talking dealers to fleets - they want
people who can hit the ground running and can
do the basics."
He suggests starting out entry-level technicians on areas such as brakes, fluid changes,
light engine work, [and] minimal electronics and
diagnostics. Train them to be proficient with the
basics before they continue with additional certifications and training, designed specifically for
the organization.


Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - 34
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - 42
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - 46
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - 50
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - 52
Fleet Maintenance - 53
Fleet Maintenance - Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 56
Fleet Maintenance - 57
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 59
Fleet Maintenance - 60
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 63
Fleet Maintenance - 64