Before I started writing this article, I looked up the definition of “Orientation.” In Wikipedia there are over 15 different definitions of orientation, which just goes to show you that when it comes to New Hire Employee Orientation it’s likely there are just as many, if not more, ways companies go about orienting their new employees. There is no “one size fits all” way to orient new employees; however, doing it wrong can leave a lasting bad first impression. Before setting out to develop your new hire orientation (we HR professionals refer to it as “Onboarding”), think about the goals of your program:
- Are you hoping to simply relay the necessary policy and procedural information and employee benefits or are your goals loftier aimed at integrating the new hire into the organization and educating them about the company mission and values?
- How do you want the new hire to perceive the Company?
- How much time do you have to deliver the information? An hour, a day? Can you pull new hires together at a later date to continue their orientation?
- Logistically, when will orientation be delivered and by who?
- What information does the new hire need to know up front to do their job?
- What information can wait and be given at a later date, in an effort to avoid information overload?
- How much do you want new employees to learn about other areas of the Company, not necessarily just their job function?
- Are there legal requirements to information new hires need to receive based on their job (for example, Right to Know Training)?
- Do you have a mentor program in place and how does that integrate into the Onboarding program?
Putting thought and time into developing a quality Onboarding program that fits the needs, values and culture of your organization will go a long way towards employee retention and success on the job.