New employees often go through an orientation program which familiarizes them with their new company. This is a vital component in the development of a dedicated and focused workforce. Orientation also enables new employees to socialize and know their employer better. Unfortunately, underplaying induction programs results in an under-proficient work force. The reasons for this are minuscule and if rectified, would benefit both the employee and the company.
Many companies do not invest enough time and money in their orientation program. Much research and planning is required beforehand. There may be a need for repeated instructions, which leads to a waste of resources. A valuable program is well-researched, made interesting and carefully organized, taking into consideration the goals of both the employer and the employees.
With the orientation left to the human resource department, top level managers usually exclude themselves. Communication about the orientation does not take place well in advance. Often, the mere appearance of managers is their maximum involvement. Their role is not an interactive one. They fail to realize the opportunity to effectively communicate company goals to new employees. They can also be role models by emulating company standards. Above all, this could be an opportune moment to welcome the employees personally.
Handouts do not receive much attention. These usually resemble an itinerary containing the content of presentations for the day. A handout should ideally contain a brief synopsis of the topics covered during the orientation. Checklists of key points can be recorded. This way, it can be used as a reference by any employee later. Further, all the information can be placed on record at the company website.
Most companies do not have follow-up sessions after an initial orientation program. It becomes difficult to gauge whether the new employees are comfortable with company policies. Periodic follow-up sessions are ways of finding out how the employees perceived their workplace. Concerns or problems can be addressed at this time. These follow-up sessions can also be a platform for airing new ideas and suggestions.
Paul Pearson has been writing professionally since 1988. His work has been published with the U.K.-based Pennine Publications and "The Stata Journal." Pearson has covered landscaping, travel, sports and green living, among other topics. He holds a B.A. in journalism from City University London and an M.A. in broadcast journalism studies from the University of Sheffield.