Starting a new job is often nerve racking for a new employee. There are a lot of new people, a lot of things to learn and possibly a lot of catching up to do. Just as important as getting a new employee started on his daily tasks is making him feel comfortable and acclimated to his new job. With a new employee orientation, you can do just that.
What Is the Purpose of Orientation?
New employee orientation sets the tone for a new hire’s career at your company. The importance of orientation is equivalent to the importance of training, and you want to make sure you give your employees the information and tools they need to succeed at their job. Orientation serves to help new employees:
- Learn about your company and its policies and procedures
- Become familiarized with their role and responsibilities as well as benefits and salary
- Quickly get acquainted with the company
- Relieve stress and anxiety because questions get answered quickly
- Understand the organization’s values and feel valued as part of the team
- Get familiar with the people in the office, the layout of the office and the company structure
- Read through and sign all relevant new-hire paperwork
- Get organized and ready to get to work
Altogether, employee orientation helps a new hire know what to expect at the company and how her role plays a part in the company’s success. The orientation should introduce her to all of the people, departments and materials needed to perform her job.
The Importance of Orientation
The importance of orientation goes beyond the benefits to the new employee. Employee orientation is just as important to the company itself. With a set orientation that all new employees go through, you create uniformity throughout the company and encourage all employees to feel like part of a team.
When employees feel empowered and as though they are working as part of a larger team, they are more likely to be productive. They are also more likely to be less stressed, have more job satisfaction and be less likely to leave the company.
For example, using hospital new employee orientation best practices where hospitals stressed a culture of caring, patients were happier, and the nurses were less likely to leave. Through hospital new employee orientation best practices like this, even the customers benefit.
What to Include in Employee Orientation
Taking the time to create a useful employee orientation experience is very important. When you bring on a new employee, and you don’t introduce him to anyone or anything about the company, you can appear disorganized and like you don’t care about the employee or his success. Your employee orientation is essentially the first impression you make on new hires, so you need it to be engaging and effective.
When coming up with a plan for employee orientation, it’s important to include at a minimum:
- An introduction to key staff and departments
- An overview of the employee’s role and how the position works within the company
- A rundown of the company’s policies and procedures
- A discussion of the company’s values
When possible, provide your employees with a new-hire handbook that includes all relevant company information. That way, they can reference it when needed if they are unsure of anything you told them during orientation or if they need a reminder.
How Long Does Employee Orientation Take?
How long your new employee orientation takes depends on how large your company is and how many policies you have in place. For example, a larger corporation may spend several days going over relevant policies and providing training, while a smaller company may only need a few hours.
Hospital new employee orientation best practices may include centralizing hiring information into a portal where new hires can access all of the relevant information before their start date instead of spending their first several days at a job reviewing paperwork.
Leslie Bloom has worked in upper-level management positions in both publishing and the mental health field. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications, including Metro Magazine. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.