What is Employee Orientation
Employee orientation is a program conducted by the HR department to introduce new hires to their workplace and respective departments. The new hires are introduced to their new role, responsibilities, company’s culture, and policies. This process resolves any concerns or questions the new hires may have prior to moving into their role.
Importance of Employee Orientation
Employee onboarding is crucial because it gives new employees the knowledge they need to fulfil their responsibilities. It also welcomes the employees and makes them feel comfortable with their teammates, work, and company. Employee orientations should welcome the new employees to the new environment as first impressions determine if the employee is going to stick around in the company. Some of the notable important points are:
1. Organizational Orientation
Orientation marks an excellent beginning for the relationship between the employee and the company. It helps the employees understand the company’s work culture and know about different programs and policies.
Employee orientation promotes a smooth transition to a new role for the new hires.
Clear communication of the company’s expectations helps the employee get started quickly.
4. Employee Training
Orientation makes sure that each employee receives all the information and the same training required for the job.
5. Employee Retention
Effective orientation can improve employee retention and reduce staff turnover rates, as negative onboarding can lead to employees quitting soon after starting.
10 New Hire Orientation Best Practices
New hire orientation practices should give the employee an idea of what they are going to handle in the company along with what they must brace themselves for. Simply, employee orientation practices should prepare an employee fully to work. Here are some of the best employee orientation practices:
1. Create a memorable first day
The first day of a new hire is crucial for their decision to stay, so make it unforgettable! Engage with them, take them on an office tour, treat them to lunch or coffee, and surprise them with a personalized welcome gesture from their team or company to make it fun and memorable.
2. Prepare an employee welcome kit.
New employee welcome kits vary from company to company. Make it more personalized by adding branded items or their favorite things. They should also generally contain handbooks, an organizational chart, list of contacts or glossary terms, etc.
3. Assign a work buddy or a peer mentor
New employees may feel anxious and overwhelmed. To ease their nerves and help them adapt to the work environment, assign them a work buddy or mentor. This supportive figure can guide them through work processes, show them around, and even take them out for lunch, making their transition more comfortable.
4. Provide emotional support and assistance
Providing emotional support to the new hires takes away any stress of an employee’s first day at work. This assures them that they can rely on their teammates for assistance.
5. Introduce the company’s culture and values
Every organization has its own way of doing things. To make the new employees more familiar with how the company socializes or operates, clarify the company’s culture in the employee orientation itself.
6. Host games and make it fun
Make your new employee orientation memorable and enjoyable by adding some fun and engaging activities. Consider hosting games on their first day to create a positive and lasting impression that they’ll cherish for years to come.
7. Create a new hire orientation checklist
A new hire orientation checklist is essential for HR professionals to ensure comprehensive and consistent onboarding. It should include crucial tasks, from paperwork to company culture and policy introductions, and can be a fun and creative way to welcome new employees.
8. Schedule one-on-ones with new hires
Managers must set aside some time to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the new employees from their departments. Communicate with them on a personal level and help them get familiar with everything.
9. Digitalize all the paperwork
Paperwork is tedious and may take away the original motive of the employee orientation – making it memorable. Use software that can automate paperwork.
10. Explain about tools and software
Make the new hire understand the tools and software the company uses to email, chat, call, etc., in the new employee orientation. If the software is role-specific, consider initiating software training.
Checklist for New Employee Orientation
Since new employee orientation is part of the onboarding process, it must include things that can help them settle into their role completely.
HR must document every new employee’s information needed in the orientation process itself to start their first day seamlessly. These are important as they can be referred to when deciding a benefit program for the new hire. It includes entering basic job information of the employee like:
- Employee title
- Department name
- Start date
- Employee full name
- Employee ID Number
- The company can add personal interests to plan fun activities, birth date or other special days of the new hire.
- Email (work and personal)
- Phone number (work and personal)
- Consider adding the emergency contacts of the new employee so that the employer knows who to contact when a problem emerges.
- Avoid information that an employee may find discriminatory (like disabilities, sex, religion, etc.)
- Add health information related to the new hire (especially if he will have a health benefit plan in the company). It could be information related to any allergies, special health requirements, or other needs.
Documents and forms
Any documents and forms related to the company and the employee must be included beforehand to avoid any unnecessary paperwork on their first day. These papers must get signed and filed.
- Employment Offer
- Employment terms and conditions
- W-4 form
- 1-9 form
- Background check form
- Employee acknowledgement form
- Any consent forms
- Direct deposit form
The company must make sure the new hires get to know everything about the company’s policies, processes, essential compliances, and other things.
- Explain about the company leave policy, overtime, vacation, time off, and other leave-related policies
- Add information related to the working hours and shift timings
- Health benefit plans, insurance, and other health-related company policies
- Remuneration benefits and other benefits
- Policy of the company when it comes to termination of an employee and the process
- Add information related to code of conduct, dress code, and disciplinary procedures of the company
- Anti-discriminatory, harassment, and other policies
- Anything related to internet, email, and mobile phone policies
- Employee grievance policies
- Explain about performance standards of the company
- Tell the new employee about smoking policy, theft, and other workplace policies
Add forms that an employee has to fill out before their first day. Before the employee can legally work for the company, HR must make sure that all the required forms are filled out. These include both business and government forms.
- Forms that have to be filled out as per the government’s requirements.
- Make sure the new employees fill out income tax forms so that no problems emerge during the payroll process.
- Include forms of compliance (EPF, ESI, Gratuity, and others)
- Mention business related forms the new hire must fill (like employee handbook, bank account information, and other benefit forms)
- Confidentiality agreement
- Non-disclosure agreement
- Explain about the company benefits, insurance, and perks
- Health and safety
Provide information as to whom the new employees should be looking for when they need help with something.
- Send a new employee a welcome email and brief them about the company, its culture, mission, vision, and other relevant things.
- Welcome to the new team email (Introduce the new hire to their team members briefing them about the roles and responsibilities of the people they are going to primarily work with)
- Manager introduction (Consider conducting a one-on-one session)
- Introduce the new hire to their department
- Acquaint the new employee with their assigned work buddy or mentor
- Explain when the employee can reach out for the IT, HR, and other departments
Office access and tour
Make sure the new employee receives access to everything prior to their first day. No access must be blocked to ensure that they have a positive first day experience. This includes giving all the necessary access cards to the new employees and giving them a tour of the building.
- Parking access card
- Building/cabin access card
Office tours should not be missed out on to ensure that the new hire knows where to go or where to find things.
- AS you give a tour of the office, tell the new employees about the different divisions to make them understand their part in the organization.
- Give a quick tour of the meeting rooms, facilities, breakrooms, etc.
- Explain about the workplace security and emergency procedures (Like fire procedures, first-aid rooms, personal safety, calling for help, emergency exits, or basic training)
- Point out the parking area
- Kitchen and cafeteria
- Supply and copy rooms
- Set up the new hire’s laptop, desktop computer, keyboard, mouse, printer, and other related equipment to start working.
- Schedule sessions on IT security guidelines
- Make sure that everything is in place (Desk and chair, telephone, cables, plugs, etc.)
- Wi-Fi, Intranet, and other access
- Fax and other appliances
Software and applications
Software to install:
Make the new hire understand how to use company tools and software needed to perform their work.
- Microsoft Office
- Video editing software
- Antivirus software
- Design software
- Other relevant software
- LMS tools
- CRM tools
- Tools for collaboration
- Productivity tools
- HR tools
- Communication applications
- Consider providing preliminary training
- Role-specific training courses
- Training materials
- Onboarding courses
- Company overview (customers, competitors, vision, partners, etc.)
Key elements of Employee Orientation Checklist
Employee orientation checklist should provide detail for every step to make sure nothing is missed in the onboarding process. Including all the necessary elements will ensure that the new hire transitions into his role smoothly.
- Assigned people
- Interlinked process documents