Orientation for New Employees
The first real experience new employees have with your company is their orientation. It pays to make a good first impression with your new recruits, so make a big deal out of it. You want them to feel your “organized and on purpose” approach from their very first day, so the orientation process should be worked out in advance. Taking the time to do this right sends a clear message of professionalism to your new recruit, plus it makes them feel valued.
Be certain your corporate culture is properly represented throughout this process. If your business is a “fun” place to work, for example, allow it to show through in their orientation. Some sort of welcome package is also a good idea. If your new recruit has moved from another area, you may want to provide them with some information on their new neighbourhood, for example. Of course you should also include any pertinent information relating to their new job such as where to go for supplies or where and when departmental meetings occur. Some of this information might be located in their employee manual as well (we’ll cover that in the following section), but a welcome package provides a place to start. Orientation is a good time to review what is expected of your new employees. It's also a good time to answer any questions they might have about their new job. By the end of the orientation process, your new employees should be clear about their position and, hopefully, excited about getting on with their new challenge.
Get the new employee working as soon as possible. They should be eager to show you what they can do, and you need to find out what they're made of as soon as possible as well.
Following is a sample Orientation Agenda. Note the items that apply to your company and use them to design a customized agenda.
Orientation Agenda Sample
- Company tour
- Orientation to work station/location
- Order any special tools and furniture (e.g.stationery, calculator, tape measure). Better yet, have them ready
- Receive company golf shirt and uniform
- Set up communications links (phone, voice-mail, e-mail, Internet, access codes or passwords, letterbox). Do this as much as possible in advance
- Personnel Introductions A. Introduction to their trainer B. Introduction to supervisor, co-workers, staff C. Breakfast or lunch with supervisor or co-worker
- Receive welcome package A. Welcome letter B. Employee manual C. Position contract
- Review your company's Mission, Values, and Vision
- View Corporate Video
- Review Policies and Procedures
- Question and answer session
- Administration A. Complete employment paperwork B. Complete employee data sheet (emergency contact info)
- Private time for personal organization
- Begin training for the position
- Assign some work
Post Orientation Follow-up
As your new employees become accustomed to their new working environment, they'll undoubtedly have more questions. Assign someone to answer their questions and “show them the ropes” during their first week on the job. It’s also a good idea for you or a senior manager to drop in on new employees after a week or so to see how they're doing.
It’s important for them to feel valued, plus it gives a tremendous first impression of your company.
For some companies this may be a simple system. This doesn’t make it an unimportant system, however. Your new employee’s first impression of your company will be a lasting one, so a carefully organized orientation system will go a long way toward ensuring a positive experience and a good impression.