Successful Onboarding Takes Training, Technique, and Trust

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Many companies in our industry are trying to hire new career-minded, long-term employees, but the hiring process is costly, especially if you hire someone who doesn’t work out. How do you ensure that your new hire stays on and becomes a happy, long-time employee? 

We recently spoke with Ventec’s Frank Lorentz about his company’s onboarding processes. Frank is the general manager of Ventec’s customer and technical service, warehouse, and quick-turn facility in Germany, and he’s made a career out of logistics. He walks us through his exhaustive onboarding process, which includes letting new hires make mistakes so that they can learn from them. He also discusses why company culture matters, the need for trust between managers and staff, and why managers must remember that they’re dealing with human beings, not machines.

Barry Matties: Frank, let’s start with an overview of your onboarding process.

Frank Lorentz: We have different grades of onboarding. If it’s a shop floor person or a supply chain manager, for example, it’s a little bit different. It doesn’t matter if you work on the shop floor or in the office, you have to understand the ERP system. Therefore, we have a really detailed checklist, and this is point one. We get straight to work on the first day new employees come in. After a tour of our facility to meet the entire team, they get their checklist, and start with the training.

Everybody is assigned a mentor, an experienced employee who has been with us for a while. Then you’re put to work immediately and, during that time, you get a deep understanding of our processes, which is the most important thing. It goes without saying that you must know how to correctly use the ERP system and the tools required for your job, but understanding all our processes is the most important thing. That’s the secret.

How does Ventec Germany operate? We use an efficient and effective job-card system, so it’s essential to know where job cards originate from and what purpose they have. What happens with a job card when you are working on the shop floor, in the office, or once you’ve added your information to it? First, you must understand the whole process to work effectively within our system. This is the basis of everything. If you understand the process, then you are free to work within that process, because you get everyone’s full trust and you are allowed to make mistakes.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the April 2023 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.


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