A new employee’s perception of the organization will be formed within their first few days of employment. The best message to send is one that is genuine, and indicates that employees are valued and supported.
Most companies have an orientation program in place. Nearly half of all companies have Human Resource Departments that are responsible for coordinating the program and process. Many programs involve top management. The two objectives of an orientation program are to welcome and to train the new employee.
Welcoming new employees to a company reduces the stress of a new job. The focus is on the employee’s comfort. Prior to the first day of employment, information regarding work schedule, dress code and the supervisor’s contact information should be provided, as well as having a prepared work space. Current employees should be informed about the new employee in advance. An email to employees about the new hire’s qualifications and position are easy steps that encourage a friendly welcome. Many companies provide a company shirt or related gift on the first day. This is a great way to start, but will be viewed as superficial if there is no program that supports the gesture.
By the end of the welcoming orientation, the new employee should have a good idea of the physical facilities, know basic rules and policies; how to use the phone and computer and a basic understanding of work flow. The new employee is now acclimated to the company on a personal level and is ready to learn about the company’s needs and goals.
Typically, the immediate supervisor is responsible for training the employee. Establish a connection between the company and the new employee by discussing how the talents and qualities of the employee will satisfy the needs of the position. Discuss how the position achieves the department’s purpose and how the department works toward the company’s goals.
Communicate expectations and values from the start. Provide a list of key outcomes and work with the new employee to develop their training program. Determine together how to disseminate the information necessary to make the employee succeed and feel a sense of contribution.
An effective orientation will provide a competitive advantage. Less voluntary turnover, higher morale and employees reaching full productivity more quickly result from this upfront investment.