This morning we had 19 new employees attend GO – our General Orientation to the Association. They are paid for this four hour introduction to the organization. We bring in speakers from the departments that they will be working for, who explain what staff in those departments do, as well as who the clients they work with are.
The attendees are newly hired employees from different parts of the organization – Residential Services, Community Services, Child and Youth Services, and our Business Centre. We have a PowerPoint slide show, with narrators from the departments.
We put on the orientations because we are a large organization (600 employees) spread across many sites (50), and we feel it is important that employees understand what the other parts of the organization do, not just their own site.
We also talk about the Association’s mission and values, our history, the fact we are a non-profit organization, and who we are responsible to. In addition, we explain our health and safety program, explain standard precautions that are to be followed at all times, that the Association does not tolerate harassment of any kind, and how we resolve conflicts.
We usually have two additional speakers: a Staff Representative from our union, the BCGEU, and a self-advocate. The Staff Representative talks about the collective agreement in place here, what the union can help them with, and how to make a complaint to the union if they feel they are not being treated fairly. The self-advocate (one of our clients) talks about themselves, what services of ours they use, and whether they feel these are good services.
We also have goody bags that contain DDA newsletters and brochures, as well as DDA branded products such as lanyards, frisbees, pens, fridge magnets, keychain lights, and a lapel pin. Opening the bags is probably the most fun part of the meeting!