Importance of new employee orientation
For many employees, orientation is the first time they see themselves as part of the company. For employers, it’s a chance to set clear expectations for your new employees and welcome them to the organization.
New employee orientation typically covers important information such as company culture, employee benefits and safety on the job. If you approach this information the right way, you can make an employee feel welcomed and eager to start working. An employee’s integration into a company is a success when they feel like they made the right decision in applying for the job. New employee orientation should focus on this integration by concentrating on the employees and how they will fit into your company.
Related: Onboarding Guide
Key factors for successful new employee orientation
When you are planning your new employee orientation, follow these steps to make it a success:
- Make a great first impression
- Make orientation a celebration
- Make new employees feel like part of the team
- Listen to feedback
1. Make a great first impression
Before your new employee orientation begins, ask yourself what impression you want to make. This involves deciding where orientation will take place, what activities you will do during orientation and what literature you will distribute. This orientation will give your new employees a sense of what it will be like to work in your company, and you want them to feel welcomed and excited.
In order to make a good first impression, you should focus on having a positive and helpful attitude during orientation. You want the employees to clearly understand their roles in the organization, but try not to overwhelm them with dates, facts and figures about the company. This introduction is more about understanding the overall company culture they will be working in.
2. Make orientation a celebration
Your responsibility as an employer is to make training fun and high-spirited while also explaining the employee’s duties and your company’s policies. Fun and informative activities you can do to make orientation more exciting include going to lunch as a team, giving them a tour of the office and inviting them to happy hour after work.
The celebratory atmosphere doesn’t have to end after the first day. One way to continue the celebration is to put new employees’ photos on the wall for everyone to see. In general, it helps to include other coworkers in the onboarding process so they can make new employees feel welcomed and more comfortable in the workplace. As you learn more about the employees, try to personalize their experiences. If they’re athletic, introduce them to the person who runs the company softball team. If they’re interested in marketing, introduce them to the marketing team.
Related: New Employee Announcement
3. Make new employees feel like part of the team
One way to make new employees feel welcome is by making them feel like productive members of the company. They’ll want to know how their positions will impact the organization, and a good way to help them understand this is by giving them an overview of the company. This could mean presenting a video or interactive lecture, but it could also mean introducing the employee to the department heads.
Assigning a buddy or mentor to new employees is another excellent way to fully immerse them in the company. This gives them a go-to person whom they can ask detailed questions about the job. It’s important to carefully consider who should be a mentor, as you want someone who is passionate about the job and has excellent communication and interpersonal skills. It is also beneficial to choose someone from the same department as the new employee.
4. Listen to feedback
When orientation ends for an employee, it’s not quite the end for the employer. It’s important to find out what worked and what didn’t work during orientation. This can be done by giving a survey to those who attended the orientation or through a brainstorming session with other coworkers who helped plan the event. Analyze the positives and negatives of the orientation in order to improve the process for future employees.
Orientation is not just beneficial for new hires. It can also be a way to inspire and include employees who may feel a little disconnected from the company. On the first day of orientation, try to include other employees in the activities in order to create a sense of togetherness and reimmerse them in the culture, history and mission of the company.
Employee orientation FAQs
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about new employee orientation:
- How many days should be allocated for a new employee orientation?
- What are some appropriate gifts for new employees?
- What paperwork is usually filled out during new employee orientation?
- What departments are typically involved in new employee orientation?
How many days should be allocated for a new employee orientation?
It depends on the company, but you should generally make orientation longer than one day. Receiving so much information in one day can be overwhelming for new hires, so it’s helpful to spread out the training over multiple days. A longer orientation is also beneficial because it can incorporate more employees in the process.
What are some appropriate gifts for new employees?
If your company has the ability to give a small welcome gift, focus on office essentials like a new coffee mug, pens or notebooks. You could also get creative and give them a sweatshirt with the company logo.
What paperwork is usually filled out during new employee orientation?
New hire paperwork usually involves I-9 and W-4 forms. You might also have employees fill out a direct deposit form.
What departments are typically involved in new employee orientation?
New employees should be introduced to all departments. However, the departments involved in the technical aspects of new employee orientation are IT, HR, security and payroll.