New employee orientation (also called onboarding) introduces newly hired employees to the workplace and familiarizes them with some of the company’s basic practices. In addition to helping new employees understand your company’s operating procedures, a thoughtful and well-designed orientation program also serves to set expectations and can help new employees be more productive team members at a faster pace.
There are a number of items to consider when designing and preparing your new employee orientation program, from the written materials you will be providing your new employee, to the structure and duration of the program. Some of the topics you may wish to cover include:
Regardless of whether you distribute a full employee handbook, it’s a good idea (and in some instances may be legally required) to inform employees in writing of your company’s policies.
Onboarding should be conducted as soon after an employee’s start date as possible. The duration of the orientation program can range from 2 or 3 hours to several days, depending on the amount of information to cover and the complexity of the position. The best measure of the success of your program is whether the new employee has enough information to feel confident and productive in the new position. Be careful to avoid overloading your new employee with too much information on the first day. If you need to cover a considerable number of topics, consider extending the orientation over a second day. Another way you might organize your orientation agenda is to identify information your new employee needs to know on the first day, first week, second week, etc.
After orientation ends and during the first several weeks of employment, be sure to set aside time for informal meetings with the new employee to address any concerns and answer any questions that may come up.
This article was originally published at Execupay.