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Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development (SCID) Company is a large worldwide company that concentrates on the manufacture and provision of paperbacks and cement as well as mining of siltstone and milestone at quarries. The company is based at Sharjah Region. The company has a large capital base, following the merging and the incorporation of several cement industries by the Sharjah government in 2002. Today, the company has four production units spread across the region. The company employs about 5,000 workers in these four units (Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development Company, 2012).
Though the Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department lacks a formal employee orientation program, it is arguable that the company fares relatively well. This argument draws its impetus from the company’s corporate strategic goals, which are focused on the creation of “Five-Type Enterprise” under the auspices of “intrinsic safety, quality and efficiency, technology and innovation, resources conservation and harmonious development” (Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development). Apparently, this goal is pursued through sheer hard work, practicality, striving for excellence, honest and trustworthy, mutual benefit and win, accuracy, strictness, safety, and efficiency.
A testimony to the success of the company from a five-type enterprise standpoint can be traced to the reality that, over the last few decades, the corporation has not experienced any significant accidents in its cement mines due to its strict safety measures that are tailored around strict adherence to natural laws. Though the IT department lacks a formal employee orientation program, it is committed to attracting and retaining the best talents in the world to form a strong Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development Company staff. It achieves this through the encouragement of learning, commitment, creation of knowledge, innovation, cooperation among employees, and real-time resolution of interpersonal differences among employees. In essence, the company encourages its employees to do the right things, rightly and accurately.
The performance and satisfaction of workers in the IT department of Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development Company have drastically declined. This is due to the lack of socialization sessions when they hire new staff. The employees are not imparted with critical knowledge and skills concerning their tasks, workplace safety regulations, code of conduct as well as organizational culture. As such, the employees who does not undergo orientation lack a sense of belonging to the organization and most importantly, they are unable to join other members of staff to form groups. In addition, the existing and newly recruited employees lack regular training; thus, they are not acquainted with the recent job-specific skills.
The situation in the IT department is that there are no clear guidelines on how employee orientation should be carried out, and the company performs a quick briefing session and concludes the orientation program. In addition, new employees do not take a written exam as a measure of evaluating their achievement; and sometimes, new employees are not properly welcomed into the department.
Analysis of the Problem
The current employee orientation approach at Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department is ineffective. This is because it does not lead to the reduction of interpersonal conflicts in the workplace; it does not help to instill a sense of belonging among new employees, and it does not help in the creation of a bridge between new and old employees. In addition, the existing employee orientation program at Shenning group was found to lack practical solutions for instilling employee discipline, particularly in regards to the inevitable conflicts between new and existing employees.
Moreover, the study found that the existing employee orientation programs at Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department do not help new employees to understand the changing role of mind and capacity requirements and to establish a positive professional attitude, especially for people from school to the enterprise. It was found that though the existing employee orientation at Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department has helped to increase overall production capacity, it does not lead to the development of realistic expectations. Existing literature posits that employees who are not well trained about what their tasks entail might at some point find work experiences unbearable and, therefore, opt to resign voluntarily (Washington, 2009).
Resolution of the Problem
As such, a new, vibrant and well coordinated employee orientation program at Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department will help add value to every single moment of time spent at the company: employees will develop a sense of commitment to the company after learning about its history as well as its organizational culture. This is in line with Sonnenburg (2006) opinion that an orientation program should not be looked at as a one-sided two-day affair, since it touches on a large number of organizational culture aspects. For instance, managers will utilize a new, vibrant and well coordinated employee orientation program that will serve as a real-time human resources management tool to take an inventory of the capabilities of both the existing and new employees at Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department.
In fact, a new employee orientation program will reduce employee turnover and interpersonal conflicts, enhance productivity, and reduce duplication of efforts and workplace anxiety. In addition, it will enhance a sense of belonging among new employees, create awareness on organizational goals, instill a positive professional attitude, enhance the process of creating and disseminating information, and most importantly, it will reduce time wastage; therefore, it is wise to argue that it is indeed a strong human resource management tool.
Implementation and Communication of the Solution
A new employee orientation program that incorporates new measures such as collectivism, continuity, and most importantly, that embraces the gains made in the realm of information technology will go a long way in helping new and existing employees learn how to address the ever changing technological needs. It is clear that a new employee orientation program at Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department will enhance the company’s profit maximization endeavors, as it will reduce employee turnover. This is because newly employed workers will gain valuable information regarding the company organizational culture as well as the expectations of their respective tasks. This will tend to make them more independent and hence useful to the company. Again, it indicates that employee turnover will be reduced, because newly engaged employees will develop a sense of belonging to the company after learning its organizational culture, its key people as well as its rules and regulations.
Thus, it is prudent that the company consider reviewing its existing newly-engaged employee training and socialization curriculum to incorporate the following elements: updated work-place safety regulations, updated company organizational culture, and task-specific regulations as well as company rules and regulations, privacy regulations, public relations guidelines, employees’ expectations, and performance appraisal guidelines.
To successfully implement a new employee orientation program, Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department should show genuine commitment. From a different standpoint, this new employee orientation program should be continuous for at least two years following engagement of a new employee. Moreover, employee orientation programs in high tech and heavy manufacturing industries should continue throughout the span of an employee’s service in a company. This is because there is always a higher technological turnover among high tech and heavy manufacturing industries than other industries. As such, Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development IT department should consider instituting new frameworks that allow for a continuous employee orientation program.