As you hire new employees to staff your company, you need develop a formal and comprehensive employee orientation program. Not only does it reduce anxiety for your new hires, it limits the organization’s costs by reducing turnover. In turn, productivity will increase, employee satisfaction and referrals will go up, and the overall culture of your company will improve. Here are six key elements that must be included in any new hire orientation program.
Be warm and welcoming
Orientation should last at least a half-day and maybe even two days. Provide a mid-morning break with refreshments and a lunch break. Don’t let them get hangry! You also don’t want to overwhelm your new employees with long stretches or too much information, so provide several opportunities for your new employees to decompress and ask questions throughout the day.
Use an icebreaker to have the new hires introduce themselves to the rest of the group. Make them comfortable and confident. Show them their workstations, which should be neat, organized and welcoming. Allow enough time to collect paperwork such as I-9’s, W-4’s and any state income tax withholding forms.
Introduce the leadership
Have someone from your executive team, perhaps a COO, CEO, or human resources manager—someone important—do a five-minute welcome speech. Introduce the new employees to relevant managers and some of their new colleagues.
Review benefits and salary
Make sure new employees understand the payroll information and other benefits. At the very least, let them know who they should contact when they have a question or need to make a change. They should know their duties and how their performance might affect their pay grade. Be clear about what state and federal laws require you to share about benefits and salary.
Brag about the culture
Share an overview of your company’s history, vision, mission statement, values, code of ethics, and organizational chart. Each employee should know who’s above and below them on the food chain and how they go about working with other departments.
Share the company’s expectations
Distribute employee handbooks and have the new hires sign that they’ve received them. Go over guidelines about conduct and dress code. And policies related to attendance, paid time off, holiday and leave, harassment, lodging formal complaints, health, safety and security, flextime and telecommuting, and additional required training. Boring? Yes, without a doubt. But absolutely necessary.
Give the grand tour
Show your new employees around the building so that they know exactly where to go and where to find what they need on their first full day. Advise them on logistical procedures such as how to access service departments such as information technology or physical plant services. New hires shouldn’t feel anxious or waste precious time wandering helplessly on their first day. Make them feel comfortable and fully prepared to hit the ground running.
For more information on how to onboard new employees, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com/employers/.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh