Suggestions to creating a successful new employee orientation

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The first few weeks of a new employment is not just a time for you, as a company, to determine the fit of the individual, but also a time where the new hire will make judgement on your company and their future within it.

Without a plan for bringing new employees on board, managers run the risk of miscommunication of goals and expectations, sub-par performance, lower morale, poor decisions and potentially financial loss in the form of employee turnover Inc.

A well thought out orientation program, whether it lasts one day or six months, will help not only in the retention of employees but also in increasing employee productivity The Balanced Careers.

Fail to onboard the employees correctly and you may merely be a stop on the way to their next destination.

The most common mistakes companies make when onboarding new employees include The Balanced Careers:

  • Overwhelming the new hire with facts, names and new faces.
  • Showing lengthy uninteresting orientation videos.
  • Failure to provide appropriate equipment such as a laptop and adequate assignments.
  • Failure to clearly set expectations, goals and responsibilities.

What is the purpose of Orientation?

Have you ever started at a new job and felt that some coworkers were ignoring you? That feeling of being unwelcome can transcend into other areas of your employment and leave you questioning whether you made the right career choice by going there.

This is what orientation looks to combat.

New employee orientation isn’t just a nice gesture from the company, it promotes integration and feelings of compatibility.

New employee orientation reduces:

  • Anxiety
  • Startup costs
  • Employee turnover
  • Negative attitudes

Before you introduce or completely revamp your employee orientation process, ask yourself the following question: “What do you want to achieve during new employee orientation?

Once you’ve determined what outcome you want to accomplish and the kind of impression you wish to make, you can begin to map out the process of new employee orientation.

1 – Start the process before they start work.

Send an agenda out to the new employee with the offer letter so that they know what to expect. Stay in touch after he or she has accepted the position to answer any questions they may have moving forward (The Balanced Careers).

2 – Reduce anxieties.

Starting in a new job can bring upon the same anxiety and jitters that many of us felt during our first days of school. The pressure associated with meeting new coworkers, learning processes and understanding job responsibilities can be stressful for both the manager and new employee.

To lessen the individual’s feelings of being overwhelmed, make the first day a celebration of their arrival. Rather than simply leave celebrations for goodbyes and farewells, your company should also promote new beginnings. A welcome breakfast is one such event that could be used to reduce early anxieties.

3 – Assign a new starter host - Having a person in the company who can answer questions, show the new recruit around the office and give the individual a true sense of the company and culture can have a profound effect on their sense of belonging.

4 – Establish clear goals and responsibilities from their work. A job title is never a clear descriptor for responsibilities and accountabilities. Every new (and current) employee should understand the key elements of their role: Sit down with the new recruit to clearly outline their everyday duties and how their role impacts the overall company mission.

5 – Don’t leave the new employee alone for lunch. While some people may enjoy eating by themselves, the first day is often the exception. Hold a luncheon or take the new employee out for something to eat, this is your chance to make the employee feel part of the team. Encourage other employees to say hello, introduce themselves and participate as well.

6 – Ask for feedback. Everything in business has an ROI and an objective. Gather feedback and analyse the results from your new employee orientation program. Make adjustments accordingly.

From increased productivity to retention, your new employee orientation is a main driver for future organisational culture and productivity. As the phrase goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your new employee orientation is the image of your company that the new recruit will keep with them long after their first day has passed – make it a good one.