Getting Off To A Good Start: New Employee Orientation

We know that employee turnover is expensive and that it is important to retain valuable employees. One necessity in ensuring that your business has a successful retention program is to evaluate your orientation strategy. Is your orientation strategy creating the desired results? Is it decreasing turnover?

It is easy to understand that adapting to an unfamiliar work environment is one of the largest challenges encountered by a new hire. It is important to remember that an orientation program's purpose is to help new hires overcome their fears, fit into the workforce, and become productive employees.

What employees really need and want to know during those critical first days of employment is often very different from what many employers focus on. Employees first need to know about the issues that impact them individually and feel secure on a personal level before they can look beyond their needs to the needs of the organization.

You can set the stage for an employee's initial experience with your organization even before the new hire reports to work on the first day. Consider some basic information such as:

� Where should I park?
� What should I wear?
� Where should I report?
� Whom should I ask for?

Other basic issues include communicating the work schedule, the location of restrooms, and how to use the telephones and computers. Also, what should be said when answering the phone?

To look at the effectiveness of your organization's orientation program, you may need to ask the following questions:

� Is there an established written orientation program for new hires?
� Are new hires provided with the appropriate handbooks, policies, and job description?
� Are there specific follow-ups planned to ensure new hires are adjusting to their work and environment?
� Is an orientation checklist utilized to ensure that all areas have been covered and the program is administered consistently?
� Are new hires given the opportunity to provide input and rate the orientation process?

SESCO Management Consultants is available for assistance should you have questions about the orientation process. You may contact us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com .