What is employee orientation?

Employee orientation is a process used by organizations to introduce new employees to the workplace. It typically includes activities such as introducing new employees to the team, providing an overview of the organization and its culture, providing an overview of policies and procedures, and helping new hires understand their roles and responsibilities. Employee orientation is important in helping new employees become productive and successful team members.

Types of employee orientation

  1. Group Orientation: Group orientation is introducing a group of new employees to the organization and the team they will be working with. It’s also a great way to build relationships between new and existing employees.  
  2. Formal orientation: Formal orientation is an organized introduction to an employer, workplace, or job role. It usually consists of a series of activities and information sessions designed to provide new hires with the resources, knowledge, and contacts they need to succeed in their new job.
  3. Individual orientation: It is quite the opposite of group orientation. The process of introducing a single new hire to the company is called individual orientation.
  4. Serial orientation: Serial orientation takes place when an executive personally takes care of the orientation process.
  5. Disjunctive orientation: Disjunctive orientation is when employees receive no orientation and must do things individually.
  6. Informal orientation: Informal orientation is an introduction to a new job or organization that does not follow a predetermined program and is typically less structured than a formal orientation.

Importance of employee orientation process

For employees

  • Helps new employees adjust to their new environment and become comfortable with the company culture.
  • Helps build trust, respect, and cooperation between new employee and their colleagues.
  • Helps employees clearly understand the job role, responsibilities and expectations.
  • Allows employees to ask questions and receive feedback about their job role 
  • Helps to reduce anxiety and stress related to starting a new job

For employers

  • Allows employers to set expectations from the start and to establish a positive working relationship.
  • Makes employees feel welcome, connected, and valued, which leads to higher retention rates.  
  • Gives employees an overview of the company, its policies, and procedures, reducing the time needed for training.  
  • By providing employees with the necessary resources and training to do their jobs effectively, the company enhances job performance of the employee.

Orientation vs onboarding

Activity 

Orientation

Onboarding

Definition

Introduction to the organization and its culture.

Integrating a new employee into the organization, as well as their role.

Time span

Generally one-day event or upto a week

Lasts typically a few weeks or months

Purpose

The primary goal of new employee orientation is to provide new employees with information about their new workplace and to make them feel comfortable in their new environment.

Onboarding is about equipping new employees with the information, skills and relationships necessary to enable them to perform their job successfully.

Activities

Provide an overview of the company, its mission, and values

Outline job expectations, provide job-specific training, and review company policies 

Best practices of Employee Orientation

Employee orientation is the first step in employee development and is crucial to an organization’s success. The new employee orientation process has many variations and can be conducted in many different ways. We will examine what makes an effective orientation program and discuss best practices for orienting employees.

  1. Establish Clear Objectives: It is important that the objectives and goals of an employee orientation or training program be clearly understood before developing or conducting it.
  2. Develop an Organized Plan: Developing an organized plan for the new employee orientation or training program is important. This plan should include the topics that will be covered, the activities that will be used, and the timeline for the program. 
  3. Use Engaging Presentations: When developing employee orientation and training programs, it is important to use engaging presentations. This can include visuals, video clips, interactive activities, and other creative approaches to engage the employees. 
  4. Provide Opportunities for Questions: It is important to allow employees to ask questions and receive feedback. This can be done through discussion forums, question-and-answer sessions, or other forms of communication. 
  5. Follow-up and Evaluation: After completing the employee orientation or training program, it is important to follow up with employees and evaluate the program. This can be done through surveys or other forms of feedback.

Checklist of new hire orientation

Here are some tips for creating a successful employee orientation process:

  1. Introduce new hires to the team: Allow the new hire to meet their team members and key personnel in the organization so they can start building relationships.  
  2. Provide a tour: Give the new hire a tour of the office or workplace. Show them where they will be working, where they can find important amenities, and whom they can contact if they have any questions. 
  3. Explain the company’s mission and values: Make sure the new hire understands the mission and values of the company so they understand why the company exists and what it stands for.  
  4. Provide an overview of the organization: Explain the organization’s structure, departments, roles, and responsibilities.  
  5. Explain policies and procedures: Review all the company policies, such as dress code, attendance, vacation, and sick days. Be sure also to provide any documents or forms related to these policies. 
  6. Review job expectations: Explain the job duties, expectations, and performance standards.  
  7. Provide job training: Provide any necessary training, including any software to use.  
  8. Explain benefits and compensation: It is also important to explain the company’s benefits and compensation package to the new hire. This should include any health insurance options, retirement plans, and other employee benefits. 
  9. Discuss job advancement opportunities: Explain any available job advancement opportunities, such as promotions and other career paths.
  10. Questions: Allow the new hire to ask questions and provide any additional information or clarification they might need.

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