What Is Employee Orientation?
Employee orientation is the process of introducing newly hired employees to their new workplace. It provides the basic organizational information employees need to feel prepared for their new team, department, and role within the company. Effective employee orientation makes employees aware of company policies and expectations, handles essential paperwork, and answers any questions or concerns they may have before they transition into their new positions.
Why Orientation Is Important for New Employees
Orientation is important because it signifies the beginning of the relationship between employee and employer. The first day of work is the most important, as new hires are seeking to affirm their decision to accept your offer of employment.
A smooth transition into a new role benefits both new employees and their new managers and colleagues. By clearly communicating expectations and responsibilities to a new employee, they can start being productive quickly. As part of an effective onboarding process, a thorough and engaging orientation can also help reduce new employee turnover due to misunderstood or unmet expectations. Additionally, a clear policy for employee orientation will ensure that all new team members receive the same training and information.
How to Train New Employees in Your Organization
The key to successful new employee training is to make your new colleagues feel welcomed, appreciated, and productive from day one. To help employees feel welcomed, avoid overwhelming them with facts, figures, flowcharts, and new faces on their first day. Make sure their office and equipment such as phone, laptop, and email account are set up and ready to go, and that someone is prepared to show them how everything works. Don’t forget to be enthusiastic about their arrival! You can make the day feel special by planning a team lunch outing and by providing a welcome kit that includes a company T-shirt or other freebies.
On the more practical side, offer a map of the facility, a list of nearby restaurants, a glossary of company jargon, and an outline of the structure of your company and department that the new hire can refer to easily. Discuss how the employee’s own responsibilities fit into the bigger company structure.
Make sure the employee understands expectations, and invite them to offer ideas for improvement on current processes relevant to the job. On the first day, if appropriate, give them a simple project or two to get started on.
As part of training new employees, consider assigning a mentor to check in with the employee over the first few months. That way new employees know who to ask questions, have a built-in friend, and can be trained and mentored in their day-to-day tasks.