Orienting employees to their workplaces and their jobs is one of the most neglected functions in many organizations. An employee handbook and piles of paperwork are not sufficient anymore when it comes to welcoming a new employee to your organization.
Often times when the new employee orientation is neglected, employees feel as if the organization has dumped too much information on them to which they were supposed to understand and implement in much too short of a time period.
The outcome is often a confused new employee who is not as productive as they should be. He is also more likely to leave the organization within a year. This is costly to both the employer and the employee. Multiply this by the number of employees that you hire each year, and the cost of turnover becomes significant.
With an ongoing labor crunch, developing an effective employee orientation experience continues to be crucial. It is critical that new hire programs are carefully planned to educate the employee about the organization’s values and history and about who is who in the organization.
A well thought out orientation program, whether it lasts one day or six months, will help not only in the retention of employees but also in increasing the productivity of the employee.
Purposes of Orientation
Employers have to realize that orientation isn’t just a nice gesture put on by the organization. It serves as an important element of the new employee welcome and organization integration.
Here are some of the benefits of carrying out employee orientation.
- To Reduce Startup Costs Proper orientation can help the employee get up to speed much more quickly, thereby reducing the costs associated with learning the job.
- To Reduce Anxiety Any employee, when put into a new, strange situation, will experience anxiety that can impede his or her ability to learn to do the job. Proper orientation helps reduce anxiety that results from entering into an unknown situation and helps provide guidelines for behavior and conduct so the employee doesn’t have to experience the stress of guessing.
- To Reduce Employee Turnover Employee turnover increases as employees feel they are not valued or are put in positions where they can’t possibly do their jobs. Orientation shows that the organization values the employee and helps provide the tools necessary to succeed in the job.
- To Save Time for the Supervisor Simply put, the better the initial orientation, the less likely that supervisors and co-workers will have to spend time teaching the employee. You can effectively and efficiently cover all of the things about the company, the departments, the work environment, and the culture during orientation. The manager and co-workers will then need only to reinforce these concepts.
- To Develop Realistic Job Expectations, Positive Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction It is important that employees learn as soon as possible what is expected of them and what to expect from others in addition to learning about the values and attitudes of the organization.
While people can learn from experience, they will make many mistakes that are unnecessary and potentially damaging. Some of the main reasons orientation programs fail are as follows: The program was not planned; the employee was unaware of the job requirements; the employee does not feel welcome.
Employee orientation is important—orientation provides a lot of benefits and you can use feedback from participating employees to make your orientations even better.
All new employees should complete a new employee orientation program that is designed to assist them in adjusting to their jobs, work environment, and to instill a positive work attitude and motivation at the onset. A thoughtful new employee orientation program can reduce turnover and save an organization thousands of dollars.
An effective orientation program or the lack of one will make a significant difference in how quickly a new employee becomes productive and has other long-term impacts on your organization. The end of the first day, the end of the first week, and the end of each day in your employment, is just as important as the beginning.
Keeping everything discussed in mind, help your employees feel that you want them to come back the next day, and the next, and the next.