New Employee Onboarding: Top 10 Tips For Employee Orientation

Employee orientation is often tagged as overwhelming and challenging and is, therefore, at worst neglected and not given priority. This article will change that. 

But first, I want you to imagine it’s your first day at a new job – and if you are like most of us – you’re jittery and nervous. It’s 10 in the morning; you have high expectations from this organization and intend to put your best self forward. But all through the day, you felt left out, were bombarded with information, and dumped under piles of documentation.

By the end of the day, you feel confused and exhausted from your first day of training sessions, do not feel welcome in the organization, and doubt this is what you want. 

That’s exactly what an employee feels if you do not set-up a well-structured new employee orientation process. 

  • You must know that 82% of employees are most likely to keep working with a company if they have a great employee onboarding experience. (Research by Glassdoor)
  • And 88% of organizations fail at a great employee onboarding process. (Gallup)

What is Employee Orientation?

Effective new employee orientation is the well-structured process of introducing new hires to their new job. It includes an introduction to new job responsibilities, new role, work environment, company culture, company policies, organization hierarchy, employee benefits, organization facilities, new colleagues, human resource team, and team members. 

Why do you need Employee Orientation?

Why is the New Employee Orientation Important? 

There are two employees Sophie and Mark. They work at two different companies, and it’s their day one at work today.

When Sophie reaches her company, a friendly and prepared mentor greets her. She receives a handy welcome package containing all that she needs to know. Her mentor then guides her through the essential details, makes her comfortable in the new work environment, and gives her an office tour. Her mentor then tells her that she can learn about the organization’s culture and work responsibilities through the online orientation knowledge base at her own pace. 

When Mark reaches his office, the receptionist directs him to his department. On reaching the department, he receives a hefty (read: boring) 150 pages employee handbook. He is expected to go through the handbook as soon as possible. He then signs in to his email account where a new email pops up enlisting job instructions from the employer he didn’t even get the chance to meet. 

How difficult is it to figure out who, between Mark and Sophie, will grow loyal to their organization, be more productive, and experience job satisfaction?

That’s precisely why a new employee orientation is essential. It is not just another administrative task rather a process to ensure that the employees are given all the tools, resources, guidance, and support to seamlessly fit into their new job.

I’ll give you 5 more reasons before I rest my case. 

An effective employee orientation program:

  1. Reduces business costs as now the organization doesn’t have to invest in a dedicated training department for the new employees. It also speeds up the employee’s learning, thereby cutting down the learning costs.
  2. Reduces stress, makes the new employees feel at ease, thoroughly guides them, and leaves little to guesswork. 
  3. Minimizes employee turnover as it equips new hires with enough resources so that they turn into loyal employees.
  4. It saves the supervisor’s time and efforts in the long run as it covers all the important details around the organization and job role during the orientation itself.
  5. Aligns the new employees’ job expectations and ensures employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction.

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Employee Onboarding vs. Employee Orientation: What is the Difference?

Many companies find themselves wondering if they need an employee orientation program when they have a decent enough onboarding process.

Well, they are two separate entities. And you need both! Here’s why.

Orientation is when you welcome your new employees into the company and is a one-time event. While onboarding includes orientation and is a series of events to help the new hire understand their job role and responsibility.
Employee Orientation vs Onboarding

Orientation:

It is where the new employees are introduced to the company, their coworkers, and their new job. It is ideally conducted on the first day or early weeks of employment and is essentially done to prepare the new employee for the training.

An excellent and effective employee orientation doesn’t feel rushed and allows the new hires enough time to become comfortable in the new company, their role, and around their co-workers. A day is, thus, not enough.

Onboarding:

Onboarding includes orientation and lasts from 90 days to one year. This is where new hires undergo training and experience what their job entails. Here’s where they bond with their team members and work on performing and improving their job. At the end of the onboarding, employees must understand their role in the company’s success.


How to do a Great Employee Orientation?

I know by now you think that ok now I understand what employee orientation is, why it is so important, and how it is different from employee onboarding, but please give me some actionable steps to conduct an excellent employee orientation

So, here are some best practices.

  1. Prepare the new employee for the first day: A great orientation program makes sure that the new hire is well prepared for the first day. It’s best to send them an offer letter that explains what is expected out of them and clarify their queries once they have accepted the offer. 
  2. Coworkers’ attention: Your orientation process must ensure that the coworkers especially the ones holding key positions make the new employees feel welcome on the first day.
  3. Assign a mentor/buddy: Make sure that you assign a mentor to the new employees to make sure they get personal attention. The mentor/buddy must have prior knowledge of this association to make the needed preparations. This helps in catering to individual questions.
  4. Piles of Information: Too much information is a thing so make certain you do not overwhelm your new hire with that. Also, don’t assume that the new employees are familiar with the basics – make their foundation strong.
  5. No Place for Guesswork: Leave nothing to guesswork. Make it as easy as you can for the new employee to fill forms by providing samples, required information, and enough description. 
  6. Make Them Comfortable: It is important to make the new hires comfortable by including fun elements – leverage storytelling and play games. 
  7. Use knowledge-sharing platforms: Make use of the KM platform to make it easy for your business and your new employee. A platform like CloudTutorial is a great example. It will act as a virtual buddy to your new hires, nurture them with all the necessary information, and take care of all the FAQs so that they can learn at their own pace.  
  8. Enhance user-experience: Focus on enhancing their user experience in every possible manner. Make sure they don’t feel left out during lunch. 
  9. Always take feedback: And perform an analysis. That’s how you keep on improving your process. 
  10. And finally, here’s the composition of great employee orientation. 
    • Documentation:

      This includes all the documents and information the new hires need to know. From company policy, employment letter, and employee handbook to work expectations.

    • Welcome pack and introductions:

      This includes a welcome pack, welcome letter, orientation schedule, guided office tour, and introduction to the company, job, human resources, and team members.

    • Office access: 

      The new employee must be given easy access to the office space along with the official id.

    • Resources and tools:

      This includes all the tools, technology, software, resources, and facilities that the new employee needs to be productive. 

    • Induction training:

      The new employee must be given all kinds of training relevant for his position including job-specific business skills and soft skills training.

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10 Tips for a Successful Employee Orientation

Employee Orientation: Tips

Here are 10 quick tips I want you to take away from here today:

  1. Make your new hire feel welcome. I cannot stress this enough – Do everything in your power to make your new hires feel welcome.
  2. Know what you intend to achieve. Prepare a plan that includes an orientation checklist and objectives.
  3. Be thoroughly prepared before the new employee arrives.
  4. Organize the orientation in a way that is easy on both you and the new employees. Make a list of the activities that new hires must do and the organization members responsible for each activity.
  5. State your goals and expectations clearly. At the end of the orientation, the new hires must know about the company, their role, and their co-workers.
  6. Beware of overwhelming the new employee with too much information.
  7. Do not rush the orientation.
  8. Cater to their questions and queries. Ask for feedback and suggestions.
  9. Ease the procedures by incorporating harmless fun.
  10. Creating a dedicated department to train your new hires is so 2010. In 2021, we use knowledge-sharing platforms that simplify the complicated (and costly) learning curves and allow the new employees to learn at their own pace while catering to all their FAQs.

FAQs

  • Self-directed:

    Where the new hires go through a series of orientation videos, online training modules, and handouts at their own pace.

  • Mentored:

    Where the employer assigns a mentor/buddy to support and train the new employee.

  • Formal:

    This is a classroom learning model where a leader guides the new hire through a series of predetermined lessons.

A knowledge-sharing platform is like a virtual mentor to new hires. It contains all the training material, documentation, SOP, and FAQs the new hires need. This saves the business cost, time, and effort, and eliminates overwhelm and stress for new employees.
Definitely! CloudTutorial is here for you. For starters, TCT allows you to organize the information in categories and subcategories which makes it easy to grasp and doesn’t overwhelm the new employee. The new hires also have the advantage of going back to the knowledge base anytime they face confusion – all they have to do is type in the question keywords on an AI-powered search engine and the solution will be on their screen.

Conclusion

It’s time to bid you goodbye but I believe this answers all your questions around new employee orientation. I have served you with all the information and tools and tips. I now hope you prepare a great orientation out of it. Happy orientation!

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