HR Insights


5 Quick Tips to Improve Employee Orientation

Posted by Tatiana Spears on June 22, 2016

5227678166_ee8008f5b3_z.jpgLooking to revamp your employee orientation process? Here’s how to ditch the dull and get new talent on-board and sold-out.

Tip #1: Make it Count Before Day One

Leverage the time in between the official offer and the first day on the job. Compile a digital welcome packet that includes anything that might help tackle the learning curve and instill excitement.

Think beyond the datasheets and the one-page company overview. How about a 3-minute video featuring existing staff sharing what they love about working at the company?

Think about creating a cheat sheet of company terminology or acronyms. link to basic tutorial videos on frequently used programs. make an introduction on LinkedIn. and suggest industry thought leaders to follow on social media. This is your chance to set the precedence.

Tip #2: Make it Standard, Not Boring

It’s important to make sure you effectively communicate and efficiently reproduce your orientation process. By providing the same experience, whether in a group or individually, you ensure that company information and culture are properly communicated.

Draft a standard operating procedure for your orientation process and review for any gaps. Support orientation with a comprehensive information packet complete with a branded notepad and pen. If you’re providing orientation for a group, consistently a standard agenda and update as necessary.

Providing training for an individual? Provide them a copy of their training schedule along with who they are meeting and at what time. Your new hire won’t skip a beat – and will feel like you’ve anticipated their every need.

Tip #3: Make it About Them, Not You

Employee orientation is most effective when it is less about the company and more about the employee.

"Organizations will talk about recruiting from outside the company because they need new ideas and new blood, but then there is this tendency to shut off the new and basically transfer the corporate culture over to the new employee," says Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School who co-wrote a paper on the subject.

The research team concluded that by shifting the focus to an employee’s personal identify leads to an increase in both employee retention and customer satisfaction.

The take-away? Make orientation less about fitting in and more about celebrating their unique strengths and how their individual contribution will make a difference.

Tip #4: Make it Memorable with Personalized Swag

Another way to make orientation memorable is by preparing some goodies in advance. Get basic information like their favorite candy, beverage, and t-shirt size.

Put together a welcome goodie bag complete with branded swag and sweet favorites. Though seemingly small, this encourages a great sense of welcome and belonging to your new hire.

It also does something else powerful well known in marketing psychology – reciprocity. If someone does something for you, you naturally want to do something for them. Turn a new hire into a raving fan by thinking of the details. 

Tip #5: Make it Even Better with a Survey

Make the last step of orientation a survey. Ask what they liked and didn’t like about the orientation. If they could do it differently what would they do? That thing you thought was the best part of orientation might actually be a dud.

Conducting a survey will keep your ear to the ground and help you make the fine tweaks needed to make the experience even better. Use a free tool like Survey Monkey to get results fast and easily export reports. 

What are some of your tried and true employee orientation tips? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Shimer College via Foter / CC BY
Tatiana Spears

About The Author

Tatiana Spears

With an MBA mind for analysis and strategy development, Tatiana loves transforming creative ideas into practical application for innovative companies and professionals. She is also the proud owner of an overworked Nespresso machine.

Post Topics Resources for Managers, Staffing & Training