Orienting New Employees (New Hires, On-Boarding)

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Sections of This Topic Include

What is Orientation? What is On-Boarding?
Basic Checklist to Orient Employees
Additional Perspectives on Employee Orientation

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In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to Employee Orientation and On-Boarding. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Career Management Blog
Library's Human Resources Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Supervision Blog
Library's Training and Development Blog


What is Orientation? What is On-Boarding?

Planning an orientation to employees should be as carefully done as planning a systematic approach to training. For example, there should be overall goals that you want to accomplish with the orientation. There should be carefully chosen activities and materials used in the orientation to achieve the goals. Participants should produce certain tangible results that can be referenced to evaluate the orientation both during and after the orientation.

A progressive view of orientation is that of "on-boarding." On-boarding works from the perspective that the organization must do all it can to fully equip the employee for maximum performance for the organization -- and for maximum fulfillment of the employee. Some organizations have on-boarding programs that last up to a year, where the employee experiences a several-day orientation program, which includes, not only the orientation to the facilities and personnel, but also various self-assessments for the employee to get clear on what he or she wants from employment in the organization. The employee might be placed in a peer group of fellow, new employees who share advice and other feedback to learn more about the company and other roles in the organization.

Basic Checklist to Orient Employees

While the approach to on-boarding is usually quite unique to the nature and needs of an organization, here's a checklist that can be used to orient an employee to an organization. The following activities should be conducted by the employee's supervisor. The checklist is relevant to the activities that should occur after the employee has received a job offer.

Before the Employee Begins Employment, Send a Welcome Letter

Verify the exact starting date and also provide a copy of the employee policies and procedures manual. Note that you'll dedicate time for them to review the manual later. Do not specify the terms of salary and compensation -- that should have been included in the job offer.

Provide a Job Description and Any Suggested Performance Goals

All employees deserve explanation of what is expected from them. A job description, which explains duties and responsibilities, often is not enough. Therefore, suggest some additional areas of focus, ideally in the context of performance goals for the employee to address especially during the first year of employment. Make it clear that you will discuss these with the employee soon.

When the Employee Begins Employment, Meet With Them Right Away

Explain how they will be trained, introduce them to staff, give them keys, get them to sign any needed benefit and tax forms, explain the time-recording system (if applicable), and provide them copies of important documents (an organization chart, last year's final report, the strategic plan, this year's budget, and the employee's policies and procedure manual if they did not get one already.

Show Them the Facilities

Show them the layout of offices, bathrooms, storage areas, kitchen use, copy and fax systems, computer configuration and procedures, telephone usage and any special billing procedures for use of office systems. Review any Policies and/or procedures about use of facilities.

Schedule Any Needed Computer Training

Include training about the most frequently used software applications. Be sure the employees learn any security procedures for computer information, including careful use of passwords, overview of location of manuals and other useful documentation, location and use of computer networks and other peripherals, and where to go to get questions answered.

Assign a Staff Member As Their "Buddy"

This is extremely important. Identify another employee, other than you (the supervisor), that the employee might quickly establish rapport with, to pose any questions that the employee is not comfortable posing to the supervisor. The buddy can invite the new employee to various social functions undertaken by other employees.

Take Them to Lunch on the First Day

Use this opportunity to be with them in other than a work setting. Don't talk about work. Ask them about their family and share some information about yourself.

Meet With Them at the End of the Day

Take just a few minutes to ask if they have any questions or any needs they'd like to talk about. Remind them that you or their buddy is there if they have any questions or needs.

Meet Again With the New Employee During the First Few Days

Review the job description again. Remind them to review the employee manual and sign a form indicating they have reviewed the manual and will comply with its contents. Review any specific performance goals for the position. In the same meeting, explain the performance review procedure and provide them a copy of the performance review document.

Have One-On-One Meetings On a Weekly Basis for the First Six Weeks

One of the biggest mistakes of new supervisors is to meet with direct reports only when there are problems. That sends the message "I'm only here if you have a problem, and you better not have any problems." Instead, meet to discuss the new employee's transition into the organization, get status on work activities, hear any pending issues or needs, and establish a working relationship with the new employee.

Additional Perspectives on Employee Orientation

New Employee Training - Management
Hiring and Orienting a New Employee
A Quick Guide To Employee Orientation
Guide to Managing Human Resources
On-Boarding From the Employee's Perspective
Orientation Checklist for Supervisors
Get Immediate Value from Your New Hire
Do You On-Board?
Executive Onboarding
Organizational Culture and Executive On-Boarding
How to Make an Employee's First 90 Days Successful
Tips for Making an Employee's First 90 Days Successful
What training should be required for all new hires in a company?
Employee Orientations – GET OFF THE BUS!
Using the Turn-Over Training Orientation Guide
New Hire Orientation: Get Them Off To a Great Start
Employee Orientation: Prevent New Hire Or “Buyer’s” Remorse
Tips and Tricks- On-boarding
Providing Orientation and Training

Learn More in the Library's Blogs Related to this Topic

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to this topic. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Career Management Blog
Library's Human Resources Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Supervision Blog
Library's Training and Development Blog

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Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

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Orienting and Training Employees



Basics and General Information

Leadership and Supervision in Business - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best employees for your business. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or employee), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among employees of small businesses. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.
Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best staff members for your nonprofit. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or staff member), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among nonprofit staff. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Orienting and Training Employees

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



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