Employers: How to Take Your New Hire From Orientation to Integration
First impressions are lasting impressions. That’s why a good orientation is an indispensable step in ensuring that your new employee starts off on the right foot. Beyond getting the paperwork completed, this is an opportunity for you to communicate important information about the organization, your products or services, key corporate values and policies and procedures. If done well, an orientation will instill confidence and motivation.
The checklist below provides an overview of important topics to cover in an orientation. The process should include a tour of the worksite, an introduction to co-workers and time for the new employee to ask questions and clarify expectations (yours and theirs). Ensure new employees know you promote fair treatment and resolution of conflict. Let them know from the beginning that you have workplace policies regarding ethical practices and harassment.
Make sure all relevant personnel (co-workers, supervisors) know the new employee will be starting work that day and that his or her work space is prepared and supplied. There is a lot to cover here—consider whether your orientation could be phased in over several days.
____ Products or services
____ Mission and values
____ Organizational policies and expectations
____ Organizational structure
____ Facility layout (map, parking)
____ Facility tour
____ Names of key people
General Information for Employees
____ Employee records
____ Pay schedule
____ Pay scales
____ Vacations and holidays
____ Sick leave and absentee policy
____ Training and promotion policy
____ Employee development opportunities
____ Disciplinary policy
____ Job location
____ Job description
____ Job tasks
____ Salary and wage information
____ Probationary period
____ Introduction to the work unit
____ Safety requirements
____ Operating procedures
____ Work standards (performance criteria)
____ Tools and equipment
____ Hours of work, scheduled breaks
____ Where to go for help
Integration is the process of a new employee becoming a part of the family, so to speak. Fostering positive work relationships and a sense of belonging are key to retaining workers. Employees who are strongly connected to the workplace socially are less likely to want to leave. Here’s how you can encourage strong links among your employees:
- Introduce workers to the whole operation, not just their work unit.
- Explain how the work units relate to, serve and support each other.
- Set up mentoring or buddy systems, especially for new hires.
- Have regular staff meetings, with time for employees to talk.
- Plan staff social events (parties, breakfasts).
- Support employee clubs or recreational teams and volunteering in the community.
- Cross-train or create cross-functional teams.
- Provide new hires with information about community activities and resources.
- Encourage and support staff participation in community events.
Well-planned orientation and integration strategies will help your new employee make a smooth transition into their new role. And over the long term, your organization will save money and stay competitive by reducing time and costs related to employee turnover.
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