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Steps to Effective Orientation

5 objectives for your orientation.

October 30, 2000
Related Topics: Policies and Procedures
Employee orientation begins the moment you hire someone and goes beyond theinitial introduction, according to Charles Cadwell, consultant and author of New Employee Orientation: A Practical Guide for Supervisors. It can take up to a year for anemployee to be fully integrated into the company. He offers five objectives fororientation:

  • Make the person feel welcome. "One thing I always notice is that whenan employee leaves there’s a party, but when they arrive there isn’t,"says Cadwell. Why not reinforce the excitement that the new hire hasarrived?

  • Develop positive perceptions about the employer. For one thing, thesupervisor should be personally involved in orientation, says Cadwell. Theboss should be present at the start of the workday, at lunchtime, and at theend of the day. If the supervisor has a lunchtime conflict, she shouldarrange a lunch partner for the new employee.

  • Confirm the job decision. The employee should finish his first day feelingthat he has made the right choice and has joined just the type of company hewants to work for.

  • Reduce training time. If the employee feels comfortable in hissurroundings and has taken care of details, such as signing up for benefits,he will be able to focus on training. "Don’t spend the whole daydoing paperwork and procedures," Cadwell says. "Spread it out anddo a little bit each day."

  • Put new employees at ease. The experience should make them feelcomfortable with their workplace and with their colleagues.

Workforce, November2000, Vol. 79, No. 11, p. 40 -- Subscribenow!

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