Why do I need an orientation process?

Effective New Employee Orientations: Fast Track to Retention
Why do I need an orientation process?
To save your department money, time, and resources – through retention of new employees by
up to 25%.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it the best by:
Integrating your new employee into the office culture
Communicating goals and expectations
Clarifying the standards used to measure success
Empowering the new employee to be confident
Your department’s orientation process is an opportunity to be seized, not a chore to be shoved
to the sidelines.
Page 1 of 4 – 2/29/12
Employee & Organizational Development
Human Resources
What goes into an orientation process?
Is ongoing, even up to six months or more
Ends after the first day
Builds relationships and integrates the new
employee into the department
Only includes the required paperwork
Shows genuine excitement – by the whole
department – that the new employee has
joined the department
Is planned ahead in detail
Leaves the new employee somewhere,
ignored until someone “has a minute” to talk to
Is made up as you go along, leaving huge
gaps in engagement and involvement
Includes a mixture of media and methods,
intensity, and levels of engagement
Hands the new employee a thick stack of
manuals and literature for them to read
Includes current videos and presentations that
are relevant and concise
Overwhelms the new employee with facts,
figures, names, and irrelevant lectures
Includes mission, vision, values, and history of
the whole organization.
Ignores the organizational culture.
Builds in periodic review segments throughout
the entire orientation period
Expects the new employee to remember
everything, the first time around
Provides a workplace buddy to help guide
them through the departmental culture and
basic work routines
Expects the new employee to know everything
already, including who to ask when they need
Page 2 of 4 – 2/29/12
Employee & Organizational Development
Human Resources
Some simple things that can be done:
Before the new employee begins:
 Prepare the required paperwork and other administrative details.
 When possible, complete the paperwork before the start date.
 Pre-plan any training needs and schedule the training.
 Write an agenda of what can be expected during the first three months on the job.
 Hang a welcome banner on office door of the new employee.
 Assign each new employee a Workplace Buddy.
 Create a “Welcome Aboard” letter and have it signed by everyone on staff.
 Mail the “Welcome Aboard” letter to the home of the new employee before they start.
 Distribute an announcement to current staff and include some details about the new
employee; include a photograph of him or her.
On the first day and in the first week:
 Greet the new employee in person – by the immediate supervisor.
 Review a current job description on the first day to avoid an embarrassment over
 Give your new employee a card with the names of everyone who works in the department.
 Give new employees a "passport'' and assign a certain number of days in which they
should get their passport stamped (signed by everyone in the department).
 Provide shirts or promotional items with your department name on them.
 Plan a welcome lunch for the new employee, just like the kind we give when employees
leave the department.
 Provide a video that includes all the current employees giving a personal introduction.
 Provide a glossary of your department (and Texas A&M University) with abbreviations,
acronyms, or buzzwords.
Beyond the first week and ongoing:
 Ensure the new employee has met everyone, including other staff members who might
have been absent earlier.
Page 3 of 4 – 2/29/12
Employee & Organizational Development
Human Resources
 Demonstrate all office equipment and provide clear instructions, including who to contact
for help.
 Provide the already written agenda (proposed above) to help both the manager and the
new employee stay focused on the expectations of the job during the first three months.
 Meet with the new employee to evaluate progress and determine addition training that
may be needed.
Page 4 of 4 – 2/29/12
Employee & Organizational Development
Human Resources