Process of Orientation and Onboarding

02/06/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Process of Orientation

Your business will only be successful if you hire the right people and give them the proper training. One of the most important parts of that initial training is the employee orientation process. Orientation typically refers to the process of induction of new hires or the introduction of current employees to new technologies, procedures and policies at the workplace. The employee orientation process must be comprehensive and must provide information that includes expected performance, working hours, benefits, breaks, regulations and other important matters. Understanding the stages of the employee orientation process can help you improve the way you handle this all-important aspect of your business.

  1. The Pre-Orientation Stage

Although all the levels of orientation are essential, some companies skip the pre-orientation stage for new hires, and that could be a mistake. Pre-orientation begins before the start date of your new employees and involves sending a package of information via email or postal service. This package typically includes documents such as an organizational chart, vision statement, mission statement, explanation of benefits, annual report and a checklist of what the actual orientation will cover. Sending a pre-orientation package increases the level of comfort your new hires will have when they arrive to work on their first day, and it allows them to prepare questions in advance. Some companies also include a small giveaway in the package, such as a company mug or T-shirt, which can help create a sense of camaraderie.

  1. The Introduction to the Job-Site Stage

In this orientation stage, your goal is to make new hires comfortable in their new work environment. In the first part of this orientation stage, new recruits are given information about your company’s aims, objectives, culture, organizational structure, strategic plan, customer base and future goals. The second part of this orientation stage typically is a tour of the workplace, including seeing equipment, identifying potential safety hazards, and meeting some of the managers and supervisors in each department. The purpose of this job-site orientation is to make your new hires familiar with the basic layout of the company and to understand the general precepts that govern how the workplace functions. This orientation usually takes a day to complete.

  1. The Job-Specific Orientation Stage

In this stage, new hires are given job- or task-specific orientation, typically by their immediate supervisor. New employees learn details about their specific department or team, including information about breaks, absences, parking facilities, personal phone calls, email and internet policy, as well as the standards of performance for their work. The goal is to shrink the orientation to the actual tasks that the new employee will perform, with an understanding of the normal workday processes that will ensure maximum efficiency. In some instances, you may want to assign a “buddy” to your new hire. This buddy’s job is to become a guide during the new hire’s first weeks or months of work, answering questions, acting as a sounding board, and relaying critical information about projects and deadlines.

  1. The Follow-Up Orientation Stage

Although there are multiple levels of orientation that last several days, the truth is that new hire orientation is a months-long process. That’s why the follow-up stage is so critical – it allows you to determine how well your new employee is adjusting to the job. Follow-up usually occurs on a weekly basis. Supervisors or managers meet with the new employee to discuss any issues and problems that have arisen. Supervisors should encourage new employees to ask questions and honestly express challenges they are facing. The follow-up orientation stage lets you determine how well your employee is performing assigned duties and also reveals how well your company has done in providing all the tools and help necessary for new hires to flourish. Of all the levels of orientation, this one is most critical to long-term success.

Process of Onboarding

First impressions can have a lasting impact. Your company’s employee onboarding process is your chance to make a good first impression with new employees. This process should be about making the new employee feel welcomed, valued and prepared to succeed in their new role. A recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that 1 in 25 employees leave their new jobs because of bad onboarding experiences. 

Poor onboarding can have many disastrous effects. It can set a new employee up for failure, inhibit workplace efficiency and change an employee’s outlook on your company. The result can be high cost and even higher turnover rates.

Here are seven ways to improve your onboarding process for employee success.

  1. Prepare colleagues for the new employee

Prior to the new employee’s first day, send an announcement to all employees, either in-person or via email, welcoming them to the company. The announcement should tell them the new employee’s role, a bit about their experience, what they’ll be doing at your company and encourage other employees to welcome them.

When employees are aware of a new staff member ahead of time, they can be prepared to assist them on their first day. This will go a long way to making the new employee feel welcomed.

  1. Have the new employee’s workstation ready to go

Having a “home base” that is ready for your new arrival is crucial to an employee’s first impression of your company. As a new employee, nothing is worse than not having the tools you need to be successful. Setting up the new employee’s computer, email and phone numbers ahead of time, and providing any necessary office supplies, can help a new colleague feel valued from day one. This gives the new employee the tools to perform at their best.

  1. Make sure your new employee has access to any necessary programs

In line with getting their workstation ready, make sure the new employee has access to any programs, software or electronic files they will need before their first day. Skipping this step can stunt the new employee’s training, stall their ability to get to work and, in turn, affect their outlook on your company.

  1. Make introductions

Schedule some time for the new employee to meet with key people and departments on their first day. Although they may not remember everyone’s name, this will give them a good overview of where to go to get what they need. These introductions will also help them understand how your company works and how their role plays in the overall picture.

  1. Plan a team lunch

Arrange a lunch meeting or after-work gathering for the new employee and their immediate team members within the first week. This will help break the ice and allow the employee to get to know their new colleagues in a relaxed environment. You don’t even need to leave the office for this step – employees can bring their lunch and gather in a conference room. Take the time to learn a little bit about your new employee outside of the interview process. When an employee feels valued by their team on both a personal and professional level, they are more likely to stick around for the long haul. 

  1. Allow plenty of time for training

The first week or so with the new employee should focus on training. Even if the employee has performed the same job function elsewhere, there are bound to be differences between companies. Having a training plan in place is a vital part of helping new employees find their feet in an organization. Your training should cover company rules, processes, procedures and expectations. Detailing what is expected for new employees sets a precedent by which they can measure their comfort in their new role.

Assigning a mentor from the employee’s department can also help them acclimate to their job by giving them a person who is ready to answer their questions and walk them through some of their assignments.

  1. Don’t forget to follow-up

This step is the most important and often the most overlooked by employers. Commit to your 30, 60 and 90-day check-ins with the new employee. Even if the employee is doing well and you feel like they don’t need an evaluation, meet with them. This is your opportunity to learn more about your company’s onboarding process from the employee perspective. Find out what they liked and didn’t like about your process and make changes as you see fit.

Successful onboarding processes reflect the time and effort put into them. Take the time to be thoughtful and do your homework. The first few weeks are the most influential to a new hire’s outlook on your company – positive or negative – and sets the tone for their relationship with your business in the long-term.