New hire orientation programs have a significant effect on the success of the new employee
It was Melissa’s first day at her new job. She was so excited for this new adventure, but also nervous! After being directed to her new workstation, she was handed an employee manual and was told to read it while the other employees went about their daily work. During lunch, Melissa was left to eat alone. After lunch, Melissa went back to reading the employee manual. For the remainder of the week, Melissa was told to do this and then that with little to no training to support her efforts. She made mistakes which made her more nervous than she was before. By the end of the week, the hiring manager was wondering if she had made a mistake and Melissa was thinking the same thing. Melissa quit the job at the end of the day on Friday.
With all of the resources invested in hiring a new employee, this is an example of how those resources were wasted. This was not Melissa’s fault, but rather the fault of the office for not having an effective new hire orientation program in place.
New hire employee orientation should provide new employees with the basic information such as policies and procedures, position specific training, individual mentoring, and organization integration.
- Policies and Procedures – Helping the new employee understand these basic rules will help them understand the organization, while knowing what is expected of them (behavior, attendance, organizational processes, etc.).
- Position Specific Training – In order to do their job effectively, a new employee must receive training that is designed for their specific position. During this training, expectations should be communicated as to what type of performance is expected from the person in this position.
- Individual Mentoring – Each new employee should be assigned a mentor for their first 30 days. This mentor is a current employee who is familiar with the position that the new employee is now in and is the person who the new employee turns to with any questions about the position or the organization. It is also the responsibility of the mentor to ensure that the new employee does not eat lunch alone during their first few days on the job.
- Organization Integration – Helping the new employee smoothly integrate into the organization and its culture is a vital part to having the new employee feel welcome and become productive quickly. This integration begins when the employee walks through the front doors for the first time. They should be warmly welcomed and introduced to everybody in the office where they will be working. It is also important to have their workstation setup for them specifically. This setup should include all technical items (email, workstation, network, etc.).
Having an effective new hire orientation program will help a new employee by reducing their jitters, their entry shock, and employee stress of the new employee. Putting them at ease early will help them become a functional and contributing member of the office quickly and smoothly.