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New Employee Orientation: Things you should know

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New Employee Orientation

New Employee Orientation: Definition

A new employee orientation introduces them to their work environment. It gives employees the basic organizational information they need to feel prepared for their new team, department, and role within the organization. Before they start working in a new position, employees need to be aware of company policies and expectations, handle necessary paperwork, and ask any questions they may have.

Onboarding vs. new employee orientation 

As one can easily confuse new employee orientation with onboarding, it is necessary to clarify the difference. 

When a candidate signs the offer letter – and thus becomes an employee – the onboarding period begins. This process ends when the employee is able to do the job autonomously. 

However, new employee orientation focuses on new hires during their first day/week. Due to this, NEO plays an important role in onboarding.  

To put it differently, when it comes to onboarding and new employee orientation, the former entails a (much) longer process. The same goal is achieved by both, which is familiarizing new hires with the organization, its people, and its job. 

Benefits of new employee orientation

Among the benefits of employee orientation are:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety. That’s probably the biggest benefit of new employee orientation. You can never prepare candidates so well for their first day that they won’t be nervous.
    The orientation helps to reduce that stress and offers clarity about what will be on the agenda on the first day, and beyond. 
  • Increase commitment to the organization. Right from the start, new hires will feel appreciated and welcomed through a proper orientation. As a result, their commitment will grow.
  • Increase productivity, and decrease mistakes. It is important to do new employee orientation well to get employees up to speed quickly. Also, it will help you avoid making mistakes (unnecessarily).  
  • Reduce turnover. The three benefits just discussed should result in lower employee turnover; employee orientation shows individuals that the organization cares and equips them with the skills needed to do their jobs well.
  • Contributing to a positive relationship: Assisting in the development of positive relationships between the new hire and their colleagues and manager.

Planning your new staff orientation program

After learning about the purpose of induction training, we will explore how to make ways to make new hire orientation more effective and engaging.

What to include in new employee orientation?

It can seem impossible to decide what to include in your orientation program. There is so much to learn about the company and the job, and so many different people to meet. Where do you begin?

During their onboarding, new employees will have 90 days or more to get acquainted with tasks, people, and processes. For orientation, you may want to stick to these practices.

New employee orientation: Best practices 

Here are some tips for new employee orientation. Wanous and Reicher claim that new employee orientation should focus first on teaching coping skills to newcomers facing the most important stressors. They recommend the following practices:   

  • Include realistic information. Again, it is about managing expectations and avoiding disappointment. Once again, you have to present realistic job previews to candidates during the recruitment process to prevent unrealistic expectations. Incorporate your expectations of the new hire into the cover letter, for instance in the form of a 90-day plan.
  • Provide general support and reassurance. Most of us find it stressful to start a new job. In new employee orientation, we seek to relieve this stress for people and reassure them.
    It has been proven that having social support helps you cope with stress (Fisher 1985, Nelson et al. 1991). Assigning each new employee a buddy or peer mentor is one way to create such support. Besides socializing newcomers, they can also guide them around the organization. 
  • Include the organizational culture. Even though some things (such as eating lunch together and addressing colleagues by their first names) might seem obvious to those already in the organization, they are most likely not so for newcomers. Make sure your employee orientation includes this organizational socialization.  
  • Prepare for the first day of orientation. Organizations, managers, and new hires all face similar challenges. Make sure that the new hire’s workspace is fully ready (this includes both hardware and software) before orientation takes place, and that his or her manager is as well (this means being present on the day).
    In terms of new employees, make sure you provide them with all the information they need to get to the office, to park if applicable, and that they are able to enter the office.
  • Explain the software. New hire orientation ought to include information about the software and tools they will use. And also this will most likely require an explanation of the tools everyone at the company uses (think of internal chat systems, email, expense forms, etc.).
  • Be consistent. If people aren’t consistently using the checklists provided, creating structure is of no use. To put it differently, make sure managers use (the latest version of) your checklists for every new employee orientation.
  • Use checklists. Checklists are an excellent way to establish structure and to make sure that all the necessary steps are followed.  
  • Colleagues, fun, and games. Plan some time during orientation to get to know the new hire’s future colleagues. An introduction to the office can take place when a new employee arrives at the office for the first time, during lunch, or during an office tour.
    Adding some fun elements to someone’s first day can make it a memorable experience. It can be fun to introduce new employees to games like orientation, such as Photo Hunt. The idea is to give the new hire pictures of another employee’s picture and a list of names they have to match.
  • Evaluate & improve. Make sure you gather feedback from new employees. It will help you optimize your new employee orientation.

Did you know Amazon spends $700m on reskilling its workforce?

Top trends for onboarding employees

Take a look at some of these recent trends for onboarding practices:

Preboarding 

Introducing pre-boarding activities to future employees can make them excited to join your company. If a candidate accepts the job offer, send these activities before or after. Your company can introduce the onboarding process to candidates using a mobile device. You can also send merchandise to their homes, or send motivational text messages to their homes. It is equally important that your company shows its willingness to engage prospective employees and commitment to hiring them. 

Personalization

The process of personalizing an onboarding process can enhance the productivity of a new employee. You can also choose a variety of methods that help them become successful in their new position, such as creating workflows. Additional personalization examples include:  

  • A video of an employee’s day at work 
  • How to succeed in your role with your organization 
  • The importance of your role in the organization 
  • An overview of the policies and procedures of your company
  • Communication guidelines at work 

Socialization

Employees’ relationships with coworkers are increased through socialization activities. Your employees will be more likely to enjoy work and stay at your company if they have good relationships with their coworkers. You can also reinforce your company’s values and help employees thrive through team lunches, buddy programs, and mentorship programs. 

A new hire’s orientation is an exciting time for them as well as for the organization. It goes a long way to build a lasting relationship with your people when a well-structured and thoughtful process considers the emotional and human side of starting a dream job. Can you share some of your experiences with employee orientation? Are there any suggestions you’d like to share? If so, please let us know in the comments.

FAQ

What should I do differently when holding an orientation for remote employees?

You should include the company culture in new employee orientation, reassure new hires, provide online fun activities with colleagues, and teach them about software.

What companies have the best new hire orientations?

Companies like Google, Meta, LinkedIn, Quora, Zapier, Buffer, Twitter, Digital Ocean, and Netflix have the best new hire orientations programs.

What are three types of employee orientation?

Traditional orientation, interactive orientation, and reorientation.

What is the purpose of new employee orientation?

Worker introduction activity advantages both companies and unused enlists. Their part is to assist modern workers to feel comfortable with the work and get what's anticipated of them. Organizations that execute such programs report lower turnover rates, progressed execution, and more profitable working connections.

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