Print Shop Management: 7 Tips for Onboarding New Employees

One of the biggest challenges in print shop management today is finding and hiring good employees. Whether you are seeking a press operator, customer service rep, designer, or someone to help with sales, marketing, or IT, it can be difficult to find candidates who meet your requirements.

So, when you do hire a candidate, it’s important to ensure that your new employee gets off to a strong start. According to statistics published by the Society for Human Resource Management, 17% of new hires leave within the first three months and 20% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment.

Jeff Hyman, the author of the book Recruit Rockstars, notes that while you assess whether or not you hired the right person, the new hire will be questioning whether they made the right decision accepting your job offer. They will be looking for evidence of three things: Does your organization have its act together? Is it a great place to work? Are you invested in their long-term success? Hyman believes that “Failure to invest the time and effort to onboard new hires is one of the most common — and most preventable — organizational mistakes.”

Follow these steps for effective onboarding.

Fully explain the role.

Make sure the employee knows how to carry out their responsibilities and get help when needed.

Provide an action plan.

Outline priorities for the first week, month, and quarter and explain why these items matter.

Clarify the extent and limitations of their authority.

Let them know which actions require approval and how to obtain it.

Talk about collaboration and communications.

Demonstrate the tools your company uses to collaborate on managing projects, meeting deadlines, and communicating with customers. If your company uses print-shop management and customer relationship management software, make sure new hires understand the importance of sharing information through these systems.

Explain the culture and business.

Your new hire needs to know what values and behaviors are most important to your company. Do you value sustainability? Top-notch customer service? Organization and efficiency? Continuous learning?

New employees should also have a sense of how their role fits into your overall vision for the business.

For example, make your press operator aware that he or she has a key role to play in keeping expensive equipment operating at peak performance. Your business could suffer costly downtime and expensive repairs if the press operator pushes the equipment beyond its capabilities or doesn’t attend to the details of daily maintenance. The best press operators are also software savvy and understand color management. So, offer incentives to encourage your press operator to continuously upgrade his or her skills.

Understand your new hire’s goals for career development.

What are his or her long-term goals? Find project management opportunities or committee assignment within your business that demonstrate your respect those goals.

In today’s lean printing business, every employee has an important role to play. As processes and equipment become more automated, every employee must be able to contribute to solving problems, meeting customer expectations, and keeping your business moving forward. Your employees also must be prepared to adapt as your business grows and changes. Let new hires know that training will be provided.

Spread the onboarding process over three to six months.

Don’t expect the new hire to absorb everything they need to know during a single four-hour orientation period. Questions are bound to arise as the employee starts work. Many employees don’t feel totally competent in a new job until about six months. It would be a shame to lose a new hire because he or she believed your workplace was different from what you had described during your recruitment process.

How a Print Shop Management Program Helps

At Ordant, we believe a print-shop management program isn’t just a decision-making tool for top managers and accountants. Your print-shop management system should be easy enough for everyone in your print shop to benefit.

Ordant software can be a great tool for sharing knowledge about customer expectations and the progress of orders as they move from prepress and proofing to production, finishing, and shipping. As your print-shop gets busier handling a higher-volume of shorter run jobs, Ordant software can keep all your new hires and long-time employees working together. For a demonstration, visit

Source: Onboarding Fail: How You Can Prevent Great HIres from Leaving Too Soon, Jeff Hyman

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