Employment UP! Is your Mentor Program ready?

Today’s good news is that U.S. companies added 243,000 in the past month dropping the unemployment rate to 8.3%.    This means that 2012 is building on all 12 months of 2011 that saw a net increase in jobs.  So as industry begins to hire back the rest of the 12.7 million jobless we have an excellent safety education opportunity.  All these new people will go through induction as they join your company. 

So lets take a moment to review a best-practice of on-boarding for safety: 

Build your Mentorship Program - Create a list of critical tasks in each of your areas and identify the hazards and safe behaviors for each area. Choose your best employees in each area to be mentors and certify them on their knowledge and skills in these tasks.  Then when new employees are hired put them on a “probation” period where they get trained then are systematically observed by the mentors over a couple months.  The mentors then go through the critical task list for the area and certify the new employee for each task.  When the employee is fully certified (this may take 6 months) they complete the probation and enjoy full employment.

In our economy, underemployment is pervasive.  The number of people working part time because they could not find full time work was 8.2 million this past month.  This suggests that a substantial percentage of those getting employed may be part-time workers or temps.  Here is where the Mentorship Program is critical.  While it will not be possible to systematically go through the certification program, a Mentor can be assigned to part-timers who get a special set of eyes watching them giving them feedback and advice.

So as your company starts to ramp up, and we all hope it does, consider proactively making improvements to your induction process to grab those new full-time and part-time employees.  Get them on the safety path right away with a Mentor who can share not only experience but talk about the kind of safety culture your employees are trying to create.

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