If you’re like most employees, you probably showed up for the first day at your first job unsure of what was in store for you. You probably had a flock of questions about what was expected of you, how things worked in your new workplace, and how you’d fit in, get along, and accomplish what you should. From “What exactly is expected of me” to “where’s the restroom?” and “how do I work the copy machine?”
If you’re now charged with introducing new employees to the team and “grooving them in,” it’s helpful to put yourself back into a new hire’s shoes and recalling all those questions and confusions you faced as a newbie. Having those things in mind should help you design an onboarding program that’s effective for everyone involved.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all orientation program, suitable for every company, we’ve assembled a list of the broad topics applicable to onboarding in most organizations.
In this age of information, a new hire will most likely have at least a general idea about your company, especially if you have an updated website and active social media networks. However, (re)introducing a newcomer to your vision, mission, history, organizational structure and values is still a wise move. This reiterates important points, and gives the person the chance to look at things from his or her new perspective as a team member, rather than an outsider looking in. It’s also your perfect opportunity to:
- Give the new hire a fresh overview of your company’s operations, and the role(s) they’ll play
- Orient them to your company culture and share tips for becoming part of it
- Share inspiring stories of your company’s journey, and about present and past team members
- Correct any misconceptions you might find the person has, or set the record straight re: any negative rumors
Employee Conduct and Responsibilities
Team member policies, rules and expectations are another area for discussion. Attendance, appearance, code of conduct, privacy expectations, work schedules, performance appraisals, and other work arrangements are included here. Whether covered by an HR representative, or a more direct manager or supervisor, orientation to such basics is crucial to a new hire’s successful assimilation into the team.
Some companies follow an established program for this area. For instance, Facebook conducts a six-week boot camp for new engineers, irrespective of their educational attainments or professional experience. Former employee Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth shared on Quora that new Facebook employees are “exposed to breadth of code base, exposed to core tools of engineering, and indoctrinated culturally.” Watching the video below, you can get an idea of how they build their foundation right after basic orientation.
Compensation and Benefits Package
Considered two of the most important job motivators, pay and perks are vital topics in any employee’s orientation. When team members feel secure for themselves and their families, they tend to be significantly more productive in their work. Good pay and perks also help reduce employee turnover.
When discussing this topic, the following questions are often answered:
- What health and wellness benefits do employees enjoy?
- How many days of paid vacation and sick leave are available, and what are the conditions for using them?
- How does the company handle travel or other expense reimbursements?
- What type of retirement savings plan does the company offer?
- Does the company offer paid or unpaid sabbatical programs?
Other Employee Orientation Tips
While there are many employee orientation best practices out there, we’d like to share a few here:
- Give your employee orientation program a memorable name. Twitter calls their onboarding program “Yes to Desk;” it’s a series of defined steps and handoffs between the recruiting team and other concerned departments.
- Make your new hires feel welcome. They’ll probably be in the workplace most of their waking hours; it’s best if they have the feeling of being a welcome, important part of the company family.
- Make it fun to be a new hire. Apple gives their new employeesT-shirts that say, “Class of ___,” with the year they came aboard.
- Gather all orientation materials in one easily accessible place. A new hire won’t be able to remember everything he sees, hears and reads during orientation. Gather all the materials in one place (digital or print), show the newcomer how to find it, and let him know he can refer to it whenever needed.
- Use top-quality slides. Effective, eye-catching and memorable visuals make the orientation process easier, “stickier,” and simpler to review, too.
Employee Orientation Deck
We’ve designed a special PowerPoint deck to speed and smooth the employee orientation process. It’s easy to tailor to your own company’s onboarding process, and you can even customize it with your organization’s logo, colors and other branding. Check it out – you might just find it’s a perfect fit for your resource library.