Employee Orientation: Prevent New Hire Or “Buyer’s” Remorse

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    How much money do you spend on hiring the right people and then waste by pouring cold water on their enthusiasm on that very first day?

    Almost all companies do an employee orientation for new hires but few pay much attention to them. Often workers come to work excited about the prospects of a new job and new friends only to get cold water in their faces the first day or week on the job. Many companies miss an opportunity to make a great first impression.

    Research has shown that improving orientation can increase retention rates by as much as 25%. Like any major decision such as purchasing a new house or a new car, new hires are looking for assurance to the question: Did I make the right choice to come here? Let them know from day one that they did. Below are 3 employee orientation tools to boost their productivity and commitment.

    1. Tools to “Celebrate a New Hire”

    The “celebration” approach assumes that the first day, week, or month is crucial to getting a new hire “signed on” to the company’s mission and committed to the job. Managers and team leaders need to take a larger role in “closing making the new hires feel welcomed and important.

    • Have the CEO, general manager, or department head make a “glad you’re aboard” phone call or send a welcome email.
    • Have a surprise welcome party in the new hire’s work area with coffee and pastry or arrange a potluck lunch.
    • Take a team picture on the first day and have it signed by all or put the new hires’ picture on. the company website or newsletter.

    2. Tools to “Jump Start” Productivity

    Many workers encounter delays and frustrations in getting the tools and training they need to start off running in their new job.

    • Have someone show the new hire around (location of supplies, copier, restroom, coffee machine, lunch places,, phone system, expense account procedures so on).
    • Make sure new hires have all needed information and supplies from day one (passwords, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, furniture, computer, tools, etc.)
    • Assign a buddy from their own department so they can ask “stupid” questions and learn “how things are done around here.”

    3. Tools to” Make Them Part of the Team”

    Quickly assimilating and developing new hires into productive employees can make a significant contribution to your group, team, or department.,

    • Plan an hour or so of uninterrupted time with the manager during the first week to go over the new hire’s expectations, assignments, role in the department, etc.
    • Have a short team-building activity so that the new hire gets to know team members and what they do.
    • Make sure the rest of the team is open, friendly, and cooperative especially if the new fire is taking a team member’s place.

    Management Success Tip:

    The good news is that a new hire orientation program offers an opportunity to build a lasting impression of the new company. The bad news is that that is going to happen whether you plan it or not. Isn’t it better to plan the new recruit’s impressions than to have it happen haphazardly?

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?