A new approach to employee orientation

Games and team-building exercises, presentations from members of the Executive Leadership Team, a meet-and-greet at Pizza Bar, tours of Louisville Water facilities — these were all part of a recent effort to welcome new employees.

Louisville Water is striving to become an Employer of Choice, a company that attracts, retains, motivates, and develops exceptional employees “who make significant contributions to its success,” according to the company’s 2019-2025 Strategic Business Plan.

A new approach to employee orientation is designed to support the Employer of Choice goal, and about two dozen new staff members participated in the first revamped orientation session, which lasted a day and a half last month. Highlights of the first day, hosted at the Third Street office, included welcoming remarks from President & CEO Spencer Bruce, vice presidents talking about the departments they oversee, and details on our union from AFSCME Local 1683 President Adam Carter. The Pizza Bar reception, held in the evening, included appetizers, games and prizes.

On the second day, the new employees boarded a bus that took them on tours of Louisville Water Tower Park, the Crescent Hill Reservoir and Gatehouse, the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant, and the Allmond Avenue Distribution Facility.

Chrissy Roe, Senior Learning & Development Specialist, said this new approach to orientation was designed to accomplish several goals, including helping new employees …

  • Learn Louisville Water and industry terminology
  • Identify the tangible and intangible benefits of working for the company
  • Learn how various departments contribute to Louisville Water’s goals
  • Identify our core values

“A large portion of my position with our Learning & Development team is not only to develop a high performing and well-rounded workforce but also to think strategically about where Louisville Water employee’s will be best retained and advanced in their careers in the next three to five years and beyond,” Roe said.

“One of Louisville Water’s strategic priorities is to become an Employer of Choice,” she noted. “As a new employee myself, I saw immediate opportunities to integrate and motivate our new employees in a participant-focused orientation event.

I’ve modeled this approach after several of my past employers, two of these being consistently named as Best Places to Work in Kentucky.”

One of the employees who participated in the new orientation session was Erika Brown, Communications & Marketing Manager, who had been with the company only one day.

“Louisville Water’s new employee orientation is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the organization’s rich history and to meet colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds,” Brown said. “I very much enjoyed meeting all the new hires! It was wonderful to see the quality of talent and broad range of perspectives in one room.”

Brown also noted that “the facilitators did an excellent job describing the organization’s rich history and current practices in a fun and interactive environment.”