10 Things to Cover in an Employee Orientation

After you hire new employees, they come into your office and begin going through a new hire or new employee orientation program. The program is designed to help introduce employees to your company and their responsibilities. They are 10 key topics you should cover during employee orientation sessions, whether your new hire is an entry-level employee or a part of your management team.

Goals and Expectations

Employers should take time to discuss goals and expectations with their employees during their employee orientation. During this time, discuss their job descriptions, but provide them with specific tasks they need to accomplish in their roles. Work with employees to develop specific, measurable, attainable, realist and timely goals.

Compensation and Benefits

Although you may have discussed salary with your new hire, remind her of the salary you plan to pay, your company's pay dates and payment options. Review health insurance, long-term disability, tuition reimbursement and any other benefits you offer after the employee probation period.

Work Hours and Breaks

While companies increasingly embrace flexible work hours, it's still important to make schedule arrangements with new hires. Let them know which work hours your expect them to work, as well as their lunch and break times.

Code of Conduct and Ethics

Your code of conduct likely exists in your company's handbook and is filled with information on your company's mission, values, expectations of employees and responsibility to employees and customers. It may cover harassment and discrimination policies and provide consequences for employees who violate the rules.

Technology Policies and Procedures

Technology policies and procedures are increasingly important at company's as the popularity of social media soars, virtual and flexible employment options increases and employers' place greater emphasis on privacy and appropriate disclosures. Let your employees know the passwords they need to gain access to their email, online time sheets, the intranet, company blog and any other web-based programs your company uses. Let them know your social media policy and the consequences for misusing the company's technology.

Employee Assistance Program

When employees are plagued with personal or work-related problems, they may want to turn to a third-party for advice. Let your new hires know about your employee assistance program and how it can benefit them and their families. Remind them that it is confidential.

Tour the Building

From finding the copy machine to locating the waiting area and break room, new employees need to receive a tour of the building. During the tour, take some time to introduce new hires to their new co-workers.

Training Schedule

Beyond getting oriented, new employees typically receive training to ensure that they know how to perform the major functions of their jobs and can use the company's technology. If you have a training plan or schedule, print out a copy and give it to the employee but also send him meeting reminders he can add to his online calendar.

Share Your Experiences

New employees are often anxious on their first days, afraid that they'll make detrimental mistakes or fail to impress their new co-workers, or feel like they don't know where to begin. During orientation, let new employees know why you decided to work for the company, how long you've been with the company, your experiences during your first week, your successes and how you made it through unfavorable circumstances.

Area Attractions

It is important to let employees know about the nearby stores, restaurant and businesses, so that they can become acclimated to the environment surrounding your business. You can suggest favorite spots for breakfast and lunch, entertainment venues, dry cleaners, drug stores, banks and supermarkets in case employees need to run errands during their lunch breaks.

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About the Author

Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Towson University and is working on a master's degree in publications design at University of Baltimore.