Most companies provide a new hire orientation for new employees as a means to help them assimilate into the organization more quickly. During the orientation, the new employee may complete required employment documents and also may be given an overview of the organization's business focus, policies, benefits or other information related to his employment. Employers know that reducing the stress of the unknown by providing information and resources can increase the speed with which the new employee becomes a fully functioning member of the team.
An effective new hire orientation process provides several benefits. The orientation is a tool that can help new employees begin to identify with the organization and to increase engagement. It helps build employee loyalty and promotes staff retention The new hire orientation can set the stage for open communication and helps to foster strong relationships. "This is the best time for you to create the attitude you want your workers to have in performing their jobs," explains William H. Truesdel of The Management Advantage Inc.
Standardized New Hire Orientation
Companies that do business in various locations may wish to standardize some components of the new hire orientation. For instance, some common forms -- such as IRS Form W-4 or certain human resources forms -- usually are required, regardless of location. Information on policies or benefits may be similar in more than one location. It is important to ensure that all employees are receiving the same information relevant to their job and work location during orientation.
Customizing the Process
It may be necessary to customize the orientation for employee groups who are covered under different benefit plans or who work at locations where specific laws or policies apply. The purpose of the new hire orientation is to provide information that is relevant to the employee or employee group to which it is being presented. Cutting out information that does not apply to the particular location or employee group reduces confusion and allows the new hire to focus on the information that will help her do her job better.
New hire orientation should not end after the first day of employment. It is important that the supervisor, team members and a human resources representative continue to follow up with a new hire. This will ensure that the employee feels he has a support network from which to gain information needed to perform the duties of the job, ask questions about policies or procedures and to reduce the stress of the new position. Through an integrated effort, the new team member can begin to add value quickly and with a minimum of disruption to the operations.
Barbara Falkenrath holds a master's degree in human relations and an undergraduate degree in English. Falkenrath has earned the SHRM - SCP, SPHR and GPHR certifications. She has over 15 years of human resources leadership experience in global organizations and consults as a subject matter expert on human resources issues.