Employee Orientation: A Need To Know Guide

Employee orientation acts like a warm welcome for your new hires.

It sets everyone up for success, providing your new employees with the resources and information they need to start working with you.

employee orientation

Source: HelpJuice

Plus, employees with great onboarding and orientation are 18X more committed.

In other words, it will help you boost employee’s performance, productivity, retention, and job satisfaction – so it’s a win for everyone!

In this post, you’ll discover how to create the best employee orientation experience.

Employee Orientation vs. Employee Onboarding

Before we jump into details of employee orientation, you should understand the difference between employee orientation and onboarding. Although many people use these terms interchangeably, there are differences between the two. 

Let’s now take a closer look at both of these so we remove any confusion you might have.

Employee Orientation

Employee orientation is like an introduction to a company.

It’s about getting a new employee familiar with the basics, such as company rules, where things are, and an introduction to your team. You can think of it as a day one at a new school, where you’re discovering everything. 

Employee Onboarding

Onboarding is much more than employee orientation.

It includes orientation, but goes further than that – helping you settle into your role, learn new skills, and become a part of the team. It’s more about getting you comfortable and confident in your new job over time.

The Benefits of Employee Orientation

Employee orientation plays a crucial role in welcoming new employees.

In fact, when you nail employee orientation, you can increase your team’s productivity, retention, and satisfaction.

Easing New Hire Jitters

Getting a new job can be a great achievement – but it can also feel overwhelming. Employee orientation can act like a friendly welcome, helping new employees feel more comfortable, instead of lost or anxious.

It will help you with employee performance, too.

In fact, an effective employee orientation and onboarding process can improve employee performance by 11%.

Establishing Clarity in Role Expectations

Orientation sets the stage by letting your employees know what’s expected from them. It clarifies job responsibilities and company culture.

It’s also vital for employees’ commitment to your company.

Boosting Employee Retention

Giving your new employees a solid start can make a huge difference in retention. When your new employees understand their role, they’re more likely to stick around. In fact, an effective orientation and onboarding process can boost retention by 82%.

organizations with great onboarding can increase retention

Source: Exploding Topics

Building Blocks of an Effective Orientation Program

You’ve learned why an effective employee orientation is a must-have.

Now it’s time to go into the step-by-step process of creating an effective employee orientation that will set your employees up for success.

Welcoming Gesture and Introduction

A warm welcome and a thoughtful introduction sets the tone for a positive experience. If you yourself have ever had a great introduction to a firm, you know just how important and appreciated it is. It eliminates any guesswork and lets you get up and running quickly.

It’s vital to do the same for your employees!

Personalized Welcome

To make a perfect first impression, we recommend giving a personalized welcome to your employeeswhether it’s just a simple greeting or a welcome package.

No matter which one of these you do, it’ll make your new employees feel valued.

Plus, employees who feel that a company cares about them are more engaged and productive.

Introduction to a Company Culture

A great employee orientation introduces newcomers to the company’s values, missions, and work culture. This helps your new hires understand what’s important and how to align their efforts.

It also helps your new employees adapt faster.

That’s vital too, since employees who fit well into a company culture are more likely to stay with a company long-term.

Building Relationships

The last step of a great introduction to a company is about building relationships.

You should let your team meet a new hire and create a friendly working atmospherewhich improves job satisfaction tremendously.

a friendly work enviroment can motivate employees

If you can, we definitely recommend pairing new hires with mentors during orientation. We’re a big fan of that and have seen great results from doing so – our new hires got set up quicker and started working almost immediately without any issues.

Quick Tip: We suggest doing team building activities especially when hiring new employees. It will help improve your work environment significantly. 

Providing Essential Resources

The next step is to provide all documents your new employees need.

If you haven’t got these documents, we suggest creating them for your future new hires – it will get everyone up to speed better.

Employee Handbook

The employee handbook acts like a go-to resource for employees.

It contains crucial information about your company’s policies, procedures, guidelines, as well as expectations. It also outlines legal rights, responsibilities, and compliance requirements – protecting both you and your new hires.

Explanation of Policies

The next step is to explain to your employees precisely what you expect of them.

This does not include just the amount and type of work, but also work hours, behaviors, dress code, and leave policies. This plays a major role in preventing any conflicts and resolving issues when they arise.

Training and Development Resources

The last resource is training materials and development resources. 

The access to resources and training materials lets your new hires sharpen their skills or fill in the gaps in their knowledge – massively improving the quality of work. Aside from that, it should also contain styling guides. 

For instance, if you’re a web designer, a style guide could include details, such as:

  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Layout and grid system

Make sure to include these in your training resources.

Empowering through Goal Setting

To keep your new hires dedicated to the work, it’s vital to set clear goals.

Setting Personal Goals

The first step is identifying and defining the goals of new hireswhat are their professional aspirations within your company, for example. This might include skill development, career advancement, or personal growth. 

Defining Job-Specific Goals

Of course, you should also set job-specific goals with each of your new hires.

This should include both short-term, and also long-term goals. Doing so will let your employees know what your expectations are from them.

This can also foster a sense of belonging.

Showing your employees how their individual goals tie into company objectives can make them feel like they’re part of your companynot just working for it.

The SMART Formula

No matter what goal you set, you should always use the SMART formula. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

SMART goals

Source: Indeed

Using this approach will let you and your employees be clear on every aspect of goals, which maximizes the chances of a goal coming to a reality. 

In our experience, such goals are almost guaranteed to come into reality!

Feedback Mechanism & Communication Channels

97% of workers say communication impacts their task efficiency on a daily basis.

That’s why you have to be clear on how to communicate, when to do so, and what channels to use.

Communication Platforms

Make sure your new employees know what channels you use for communication.

Sure, you might have communicated with them via email during the hiring process. However, as they start working with you, this can change (you might be using other apps such as Slack or Mattermost).

You should also do the same for other platforms such as project management tools.

Training on Constructive Feedback

This step is extremely critical!

Feedback is vital to maximize the performance and quality of your employees. However, when you can’t provide feedback properly, it might do the opposite…

In some cases, it can even lead to employees leaving the company.

That’s why you should offer guidance or best practices on providing and receiving feedback from others. 

ways to give constructive feedback

Source: The College for Adult Learning

You should also encourage managers to be open to feedback – leading by example.

Ongoing Check-ins

Schedule follow-up meetings after the initial orientation to gather feedback on how well your new hires are adjusting to the job and new working environment. 

But a few follow ups are not all we recommend…

You should also encourage managers to schedule regular catch-ups with new hires. This will allow new employees to discuss progress, challenges, and feedback.

Conclusion – Amplifying the Impact of Employee Orientation

The right employee orientation is vital for improving employees’ job satisfaction, retention, and productivity. We definitely suggest you create a lasting first impression!

To learn more tips and tricks, take a look at what other design agencies have been reading on our blog recently:

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