Making Your Departmental Orientation A Success

Making Your Departmental Orientation A Success
Adapted from A Good Start For New Hires by Gene Geromel, from the CBS Interactive Business Network.
When welcoming a new employee, here are seven ideas to insure that the new employee receives the
information they need to be successful and also feels included and integrated into the department.
1) Make first impressions count. An orientation program can begin to have an impact on a person
even before he or she reports for work; it starts with the job interview. To prevent new employees
from becoming disillusioned, make certain that during the interview process they are given correct
information about the duties and benefits connected with their jobs. Don't make impossible
promises to them, and don't treat applicants with indifference.
2) Help with the transition. Your treatment of employees in the period between the day they are
hired and the day they report for work is crucial. Employees who are moving to a new location
may need help getting to know the community and finding a house or schools. Some studies
indicate that the most important factor in a new hire's decision to stay with the job or leave it is
whether the person's spouse and family are happy.
3) Handle paperwork deftly. Some applicants and new hires need help filling out employment
forms, while others manage on their own. Make sure all are treated courteously. New employees'
attitudes toward the company will begin to reflect what they perceive as the company's attitude
toward them. If applicants or new employees are treated impersonally during the paperwork stage,
they will assume that they will be treated that way throughout the time they are with your
4) Introduce new employees to the company. A most important goal of your orientation program
should be to transmit the company's and the department’s vision to your new employees. You want
them to feel that the institution knows where it is going and that they can be part of the effort to
reach the college's goals.
5) Employees should be introduced to college and departmental policies and procedures as well
as departmental expectations. If your department has a dress code or an ethics code, explain and
discuss such subjects during the orientation. If there are important safety procedures, make sure the
new employee is told about them. Supervisors should review the job description and relevant
responsibilities, and they should discuss their expectations with the new employee to avoid any
6) Make the necessary introductions to colleagues, supervisors, and department heads. New
employees should not be put into a room of co-workers and left on their own. Let your people
know they are part of a team. Encourage people in the department to send the new person a
welcome email or to stop into their office within the first couple of days.
7) Introduce your new employees to their jobs. Obviously, it can't be done in an hour. Some jobs
will take days or even weeks to learn. Recognize this, and build in extra time for corrections,
advice, and adjustments. Make sure an employee's supervisor understands that learning a job takes
time. Encourage your more experienced employees to be patient with newer workers.
Where Are The Bathrooms and Other Things New Hires Need to Know
From Nobscot's WebLog by CEO Beth N. Carvin.
One of the secrets to successful onboarding and socialization of new hires is to make sure they are fully
informed on everything that they need to know. Let me amend that. New hires need to be informed on
not just what they need to know but also what they want to know.
Most companies fall short on this one because we rarely stop to think from the newcomer's perspective.
Instead we focus on all the goodies that we think are important.
A few years ago we put together this list called the 5Ws. It includes all the Who What Where When
Why and How questions that your new hires want and need to be able to answer.
To whom do I report?
Who reports to me?
Who else does what?
Who can help me?
What are the job priorities?
What should I accomplish daily, weekly,
What are my goals; what is expected of me?
What is the department's role in the company?
When do I need to be at work?
When do I take breaks?
When is lunch?
When do I leave?
When can I get help from my manager?
When is my work due?
Where do I park?
Where do I sit?
Where do other people sit?
Where are the resources I need?
Where are the bathrooms?
Where are the conference rooms?
Where do I get lunch?
Why is my job important?
How do I do my job?
How do I use the equipment?
How do I handle questions?
How do I handle mistakes?
Pass this list along to your Managers. Getting them answered may involve a combination of direct
supervisors, the former incumbent in the position, senior peers and/or a new hire buddy or mentor.
Having a good grasp on all the various items helps an employee move from feeling like the lost newbie
to being an important member of the team. This kind of socialization and embeddedness is directly
correlated with satisfaction and employee retention.