FREDERICK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Most organizations spend considerable time and money identifying and selecting talent, but some fall short once the person starts with the organization. Think about your own orientation and onboarding strategies. What is the candidate experience once the offer is accepted and a start date is determined?
An effective orientation creates a positive experience that lessens anxiety, encourages enthusiasm and helps socialization of the new hire. These factors contribute to higher productivity and staff retention.
Ideally, you want a new hire’s first day to be the very best experience that it can be. Although there are always some transactional activities of completing I-9 forms and other administrative documents, an orientation program provides an opportunity for you to showcase your organization and lay the foundation for why you are an employer of choice. You want the new hire to affirm his/her decision to join your staff.
Orientation also provides a great opportunity to present your workplace culture. Be creative in selecting anecdotes about the work you’re doing in the community. What are some of your success stories? It’s also great for new hires to hear from multiple perspectives, so think about the people who can present your unique story during orientation. This may be senior leadership, board members or staff members at various levels of the organization.
Most orientation programs last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The length of your program doesn’t matter as much as the message. The new employee’s first day is a starting point and you want an upward trajectory for performance and excitement about your organization.
You also want to have a solid plan in place for the new employee’s first few weeks with the organization. Consider the things that you would want to know if you were starting with the organization. Even basic things like when and where to have lunch or find office supplies are important to making the new hire feel comfortable.
Amanda Haddaway is the managing director and lead consultant and trainer for HR Answerbox. She specializes in resolving difficult employee relations situations, designing and facilitating interactive training solutions and advising small businesses on how to effectively manage their human capital.