Getting Smart With Orientation

You spent time, money and tons of effort finding the right person to fill your open team position. You don’t want to waste this investment. That is why orientation is critical for transitioning this person successfully into your organization.

How can you get smart with orientation?

The first impressions you make with a new hire is important. It can make that person a contributing member of your team for years to come. An unhappy new hire is a great way to destroy years of teambuilding.

  • Send a welcome packet to the new hire before their first day. The packet should provide background information on the company and a welcome letter with the official start date and time. You can add any additional information you think would be best. In an ideal world, you should send the packet out two weeks before the new person arrives.
  • Be prepared before the new person arrives. Who will be giving the orientation? Who will give the tour? Does the new person have a place to sit and the equipment necessary for doing his or her job? Are all the orientation materials ready?
  • Have the orientation in a comfortable environment. The new hire is going to be nervous. Making the environment as comfortable as possible will make orientation go easier. Comfortable seating, refreshments, and frequent breaks are just a few suggestions.
  • Be honest about expectations and the reality of the job. For example, if your team culture is a half-hour lunch, but your employee handbook says an hour, be up front about it. You want to set the new hire up for success.
  • Don’t drown the new person with a ton of information. You may have a ton of HR information to impart, but do it in small doses. Give that person plenty of breaks throughout the day. Schedule a tour of the offices, take him or her out to lunch, and let them meet the important people in the company.
  • Don’t dump the person right into the job after orientation. At the very least, have the HR orientation in the morning, then let them go to lunch before starting work. The next day or next week would be better.

Take the time to plan and organize the way you will bring a new hire onboard. A smart orientation will make that person’s transition much easier. It will make teambuilding much easier.

About the Author