The main thing that stood out to me with training employees was the orientation piece. The initial training an employee goes through before beginning a job. I went through an orientation with a job once that lasted almost one full week. The training would last approximately 8 hours a day, and all new employees to the company would be in the same training. It was grueling and very difficult to stay focused. It seemed as though the trainer would come in each morning with the company policies in a binder and read page to page. There was no interaction, no participation, and for me, no understanding. I went through the whole orientation process and ended up leaving the company very early into my employment there. It seemed to me that that orientation set the tempo for the demeanor of the employees. No one seemed to be enthusiastic or even interested in the company, in fact, the company's employees were very distant from each other.
I compare that to another orientation that lasted the same amount of time, but took on a very different approach. In this orientation, we worked in groups, participated in activities, and were involved in many different training tactics. The orientation was much more engaging and easy to follow. There was much more camaraderie when the orientation was over, and therefor much more commitment when starting the job. I enjoyed working there and made many great friends while being there.
If orientation sets the tone for an employees experience with a company, then what is more important with orientation training, ensuring that policies and practices are taught, or generating interest and loyalty to prevent high turnover. If there should be a balance, where is it found and how is taught to not lighten any information that should be taken seriously?