The 3 Most Important Parts of a Successful Orientation Program

Whether you call it an orientation, on-boarding or my personal favorite, organizational socialization, a new employee’s proper introduction to your company’s culture and expectations will set the stage for success and eliminate the cost associated with employee turnover.  Your goal is to hear your new employees say, “I am so happy I came to work here” and for you to say, “I am glad I hired them”.

But often we hear the opposite, that the new employee is “just not working out”.  Most of the time this can be attributed to the lack of a proper orientation program.  After all, you hired them because they were qualified to do the job so there must be something holding them back.  Remember, in order for a new employee to be successful he or she needs to feel a part of the team right away and understand what the company’s expectations are regarding their job responsibilities and performance.  Here is where your orientation program comes in.

So what makes up a good orientation program?  Well, first it has to begin on day one.  From the very start the new employee should be provided with the information needed to do the job.  That includes everything from what is in the employee’s job description to the company’s policies and procedures and even what time an employee should go to lunch.  It might seem trivial, but what would be more uncomfortable than sitting there while everyone takes off to go eat and you have no clue what to do?  In fact, on the first day it is recommended that an existing employee invite the new employee to lunch with the team.  Remember, it is all about making the new employee feel at home and confident that the right decision was made to come work for your company.

After a successful day one, the next most important part of an orientation program is the training you provide the employee.  Training is the key to establishing a sense of purpose for the employee which in turn ensures productivity.  Training is the perfect time to establish goals and illustrate how reaching those goals will contribute to the success of the company.  Once someone understands the importance of their place on the team, he or she is far more likely to be invested in the team’s success.

The other component that ensures a successful orientation is feedback.  You need to let new employees know how they are doing.  Are they reaching the goals and standards that you set for them?  If so, great, let them know they are doing a good job.  If not, tell them how they can improve.  But don’t forget to ask yourself, “have I done everything I could to make sure my new employees have the tools they need to succeed?”. 

How long does this all take, you’re asking.  A ninety-day orientation period is recommended which should include: feedback and answering any questions as you go, a quick sit down verbal review at 30 and 60 days and a final written evaluation at 90 days.  These steps will confirm that you and the employee are on the same page and ensure success.

If you would like help developing your orientation program, give us a call at 508-422-0231.  We have been assisting clients in getting the most out of their employees for over 25 years.

Christina Ryan

Executive Administrator 

DM Business Management Consulting Services, Inc.
Account Matters – Billing & Collection Services
4 Charlesview Road, Suite 4
Hopedale, MA 01747
P: 508-422-0231  F:  508-422-0234