Employee Orientation

What is Employee Orientation?

Employee orientation is the process of introducing new hires to their jobs, co-workers, responsibilities, and workplace. It allows employees the chance to feel comfortable within their new teams, departments, and roles within the company. Effective employee orientation answers any questions or concerns a new colleague may have, makes them aware of company policies and expectations, and eases them comfortably into their new positions.

Why Orientation is Important for New Employees

Orientation officially begins the relationship between employee and employer. 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. This will also reduce new employee turnover due to misunderstood and 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

It takes more than flashy visuals, colorful handouts, and an enthusiastic presenter to train new employees. The key to a successful new employee training is making your new colleagues feel welcomed, appreciated, and productive from day one. The first day of work is the most important, as new hires may either regret or affirm their decision to accept your offer of employment.

To help employees feel welcomed, avoid overwhelming them with facts, figures, flowcharts, and new faces on day one. Make sure their office and equipment such as phone, laptops, and email accounts 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, perhaps planning a special team lunch outing and a welcome kit that includes a company T-shirt or other freebies.

On the more practical side, offer a map of the facility and 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 him or her to offer ideas for improvement on current processes relevant to the job. On the first day, give new employees some time on their own to examine these materials—and, 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.

What is the purpose of new employee orientation?

The purpose of new employee orientation is to officially begin the relationship between employee and employer, as well as to introduce employees to their new roles and responsibilities.

A set schedule and procedure for employee orientation will also take strain off of managers and training personnel, allowing them to remain productive in their day-to-day work while still getting a new employee started.

What is an employee orientation checklist?

An employee orientation checklist describes a formalized orientation process to make sure each new employee receives an adequate introduction to the company, meets the right people, and has the correct tools to quickly become a productive employee.

What is an alternative term for employee orientation?

Employee orientation is often referred to as onboarding. An onboarding program may consist of first-day orientation, along with an ongoing training program to ensure a smooth transition into a new position.

Do you get paid for orientation at a new job?

Typically, employee orientation at a new job begins on day one of employment. Because of this, employees are typically paid their agreed-upon wage or salary for the time they spend training. Some companies may offer raises once an employee has completed specified certifications required to complete their job. Because there are costs associated with training new employees, it is crucial to create a streamlined process that welcomes new colleagues and empowers them to become comfortable and productive as soon as possible.

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