Orientation & Onboarding - Setting the Tone for New Employees

Orientation and Onboarding are key components for setting the tone for new employees.  Well-constructed programs can reduce turnover and create a positive company culture.  Each employee should be provided with same orientation and onboarding process with the exception of work responsibilities for different positions.

Orientation is the initial process to provide details on the expectations of the employee, details of their position and company policies and procedures.  A staff member will go over things such as employee handbook information, tour of facility and introduce employee to other staff.  While many orientation programs fall heavily on company identity, studies show that orientation programs that focus on the individual are more successful.  Orientation should focus on how the employee contributes and fits into the overall focus of the company.  The employee should know they are a valued member of the team as opposed to an employee in the company.

Onboarding is the process where employees on acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behavior expected as part of their position.  Companies may use job shadowing, manuals, lectures, videos, computer-based learning for onboarding employees.  Research shows onboarding processes that focus on personal attention create more efficiency and productivity.  Some skilled positions may require more hands-on training than others.  Onboarding process should not only be for new hires but are effective for an employee who switches positions within the company.

Orientation and Onboarding programs should be well-defined and followed with each new hire.  Employees are more productive and dedicated if they feel a part of a company rather just an employee.