New employee orientation is the process of introducing new staff members to their tasks, co-workers, and the company. During this process, they will understand the company and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. Consequently, they will be able to effectively contribute their work skills and experience toward the success of your company.
Organizing an employee orientation program is necessary for ensuring new hires fully understand their role in your business. What’s more? It provides them with a solid foundation as a new staff member and helps ensure they are productive right off the bat, whether they’re a permanent addition to the team or a seasonal hire.
What is the Difference Between New Employee Orientation and Onboarding?
Many human resource professionals use the terms onboarding and orientation interchangeably; however, they are two different concepts. Where new employee orientation is a short-term event that helps employees feel welcome and at home in your company, onboarding is a longer-term process that can span weeks or months.
The onboarding process helps integrate new hires into the company and provides them with the skills and tools they need to succeed. The length of this process differs and can last anywhere between 90 days and 1 year. It starts when the new hire accepts the employment offer and ends when they are fully settled into their roles.
Research shows that almost 4% of new hires quit after their first day, 33% within their first month, and 50% within the first 18 months. In contrast, organizations that have an effective onboarding program have employee retention of up to 50% and higher productivity of up to 54%.
New employee orientation is a part of the employee onboarding process; it is essential you do it right.
Why Should You Organize New Employee Orientation?
There are several reasons why you should organize a new employee orientation. Some of these reasons are:
- It will help your new employees get comfortable in their new work environment.
- Orientation is an avenue to ensure the completion of the necessary paperwork.
- It presents an opportunity to learn about, and review, vital company policies around safety and health.
- It helps the new employee gain an in-depth knowledge of the company’s mission, values, and culture.
How to Organize Your New Employee Orientation
If you are organizing a new employee orientation for your new hires, here are some basic steps to take and things to consider including as part of the event.
Prepare for their Arrival
Before your new hires walk through your front doors, start preparing for their arrival. Clean and stock their office with everything they will need to get off to work without any hassles.
Lay out the paperwork they will need to fill out and have someone on hand, preferably from the human resources department, to guide them through it. Provide the supplies they will need to do their job. Then, equip their computer system with the necessary software programs, set up their email, and make login information available. Don’t forget to arrange for a building and parking pass, as well as their identification tag.
Also, provide them with a list of acronyms, buzzwords, and FAQs used on a day to day basis in the company. This will give them a good grasp of the company’s culture and jargon, and it will make it easier for them to get up to speed. (For examples of what we mean, check out our blog posts on payroll terms and restaurant jargon.)
Organize a Class
Organize an induction training to provide them with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed on the job. If there are health and safety procedures to follow and technical skills, this is the place to introduce them.
Don’t forget to state the purpose of new employees explicitly. Delineating their duties will help them perform well since they will know what is expected of them.
Throw Them a Party
Nothing communicates a warm welcome to a new employee like a party. If your company can spare the time and effort, make a culture of organizing a celebratory “party” for your new hires. This can be a dinner at the end of their first week/month or lunch with their co-workers. If possible, have members of their family present. (Tip: During COVID, have a video party, instead!)
Give Them a Tour
Take your new employees on a guided tour. Show them the common areas people frequent, such as the kitchen, cafeteria, and meeting rooms. Make sure they know where the restroom are. Also, show them the different departments in the organization – especially the HR and IT departments – and introduce them to the people working in these departments. You should take extra care to point out the departments they will frequently collaborate with and their members.
At the end of the office tour, introduce your new employees to their team members, and have them – the team members – welcome them.
Give Them a Welcome Package
Another essential element of successful employee orientation is a welcome package. Items you should consider including in this package include a personalized and thoughtful welcome message from the CEO, a branded company t-shirt, pens, headphones, or branded stationery. If it is possible, have a senior staff member personally welcome them to your organization. This practice shows new hires that they are important, thereby boosting their morale and encouraging them to give their best to the company.
The new employee orientation process is vital to ensuring your new employee feels right at home in your organization. When done right, it will equip your new hires with the tools and info they need to work effectively. It will also set the mood for the development of a healthy relationship with their co-workers.
As a result, your new hire will be productive right off the bat. In fact, if you have a structured onboarding process, which the new employee orientation process is part of, 69% of them may still be working with you in three years.
A word of advice: have an employee orientation checklist. This checklist will formalize the new employee orientation process and ensure your employee receives a comprehensive introduction to their new workplace.