Orientation Your Way – Not the Dollar Menu


Let’s face it, new employee orientation comes in as many different shapes and sizes as there are fast food joints. Like a fast food menu at midnight, sometimes you don’t know what you want or even need. Some companies offer little guidance at the beginning. The new employee is expected to “sink or swim.”  Other organizations follow rigid protocol right off the bat where new employees learn the details their jobs, but little else. There has to be a better way to welcome a new employee other than with paperwork.

While some methods are more effective than others, the orientation process can represent a lost opportunity. Its purpose is to align new hires with the business’ mission and core values. Orienting a new employee is not having them fill out a W-9 and showing them where the bathrooms are. Instead, it’s time spent welcoming newcomers with open arms as part of the family. It should help new employees go from being outsiders to members of the team.  You need to make a good first impression, and you can do so by creating a formal process that is tailored to your company’s specific needs.

Orientation Processes Suited to Your Business

Orientation makes sure that you’ll retain the best employees you spend time, money and energy attracting, selecting, hiring, educating and training. But what makes them know they made the right choice in coming over to the team? This is where orientation is make or break.  By creating an orientation process that informs new hires about the organization and their place in it, you will affirm the employees’ importance and value in achieving the organization’s goals.

Therefore, your orientation processes should be based on your specific needs and designed to assure that new employees are supported in every way. Thus, you guarantee that they have an opportunity to succeed.  Your orientation should cover a range of topics including:

  • The History of Your Industry
  • The History of Your Company
  • The Company’s Vision, Values & Mission
  • Welcome to the Company
  • The New Employee’s Place in the Organization
  • Functional Information
  • Mentor Programs
  • The First Days and Weeks on the Job
  • Supervisor Checklists

The Benefits of a Proper Welcome

Research shows that properly welcoming new hires assimilates them to the organization, builds loyalty and reduces employee turnover.  Thus, you should use creative ways to help your people transition from new hires to dedicated team members.  But, don’t stand there blankly staring at the dollar menu. Know your orientation needs and go from there. Orientation isn’t an event. Rather, it’s a process and should be viewed as such.  It is the critical time when you and new hires distinguish whether you both made the right choice. Orientation should be your way, not off the dollar menu!