Developing a new employee orientation program that is sound and effective becomes crucial in this case as it serves as an introduction to the workplace. It provides the new hires with all the information about the organization and makes them feel prepared for their role, team, and department.
A new employee orientation makes the new hires aware of the company policies, organizational expectations, and paperwork. It also addresses the concerns regarding the workplace.
What is the purpose of a new employee orientation?
An effective onboarding program that includes creative ideas goes a long way in ensuring that the new employees remain in the organization on a long-term basis. If the employees feel lost about their roles and responsibilities, they will likely leave as they cannot deliver on the organization’s expectations.
Moreover, when the onboarding programs are engaging, the employees will have better productivity. It would create interest and enthusiasm to engage in the daily activities and work to achieve goals.
A new employee orientation program helps build trust as the new hire will ensure the organizational practices. If the leadership is involved at this early stage, it creates a sense of belonging and value in the new hires.
Thus, a new employee orientation program is as vital as a first impression when you meet someone. It becomes essential to channel the new hires’ anxiousness into a positive force and work towards the organization’s betterment. The quicker the organization connects with them and engages them in tasks, the better results they will yield.
How to develop a new hire training plan?
Developing a new employee orientation program goes beyond informing the new hires about the work timings and workplace layout.
Would you like to know how to do that? Keep reading then.
Let us look at some specific new hire orientation ideas you can incorporate to create a fantastic new employee orientation.
- Define Objectives: Like we would do for any eLearning course, a new hire training program would benefit significantly if you have set clear objectives. As the employer, you want the new employees to learn about the organization’s culture, values, and norms. In addition to this, the employee must also understand their roles and responsibilities. Making the new hires feel welcomed and valued as essential assets to the organization is another excellent objective to aim for. Finally, the orientation must enable the new employees to build healthy relationships with their colleagues in the workplace.
- Create an Orientation Theme: When employees have shared experiences, better learning takes place, and a sense of belonging is created. Creating a theme for the orientation across all platforms is an excellent idea to instill a sense of connection among the new hires. Thus, all the employees, including your remote new hires, would have a consistent experience.
- Engaging activities: When you have several employees working remotely, it is crucial to make them feel connected and included in the organization. This can be done with the help of activities conducted via video conferencing and involve opportunities to interact with other team-mates. For those new hires attending in-person orientation programs, having engaging activities and interactive games is a good idea. Create an onboarding experience that takes the new employee on a journey of sorts to discover themselves and the organization.
- Importance to Individuality: Rather than becoming lost in the crowd, any new employee would like it if their abilities and strengths are highlighted, and they gain a chance to showcase what they are bringing into the organization. It is a good practice to include activities that bring out these positive points in the employees rather than having the usual ice-breaking games and the routine introduction rounds. Also, including time for refection works wonders. When the new employees are actively involved in the orientation program, setting aside time for group debriefing provides a safe space to share the experience and learn from others. Moreover, allowing time for personal reflection is crucial before a group one.
- Go beyond the usual PowerPoint: Employee Orientation programs quickly escalate into hours-long PowerPoint presentations that add no value. Making videos that present your vision, mission, and culture innovatively is more exciting and conveys information much quicker than a standard PPT would.
- Build Connections: In large organizations with a huge workforce, it becomes challenging to embrace each new employee and make them feel welcomed. It is easier to have smaller groups which creates a sense of community. Activities that can be conducted in groups or pairs, such as treasure hunts or quizzes, work wonderfully. Even creating games around the selected theme for the orientation helps develop healthy connections among the employees.
- Mentoring: Encouraging mentorship and involving the leadership in the orientation process is a good way of making the new employees feel valued. It creates an atmosphere of transparency, and the new hires are made aware that the leadership holds a genuine interest in their work and progress. The various leaders can be a part of different orientation programs in larger organizations to utilize their time and ensure that each program includes a certain number of leaders.
- Convey business strategies on day one: For the new hires to be clear with the objectives and meet the organization’s expectations, informing them about other aspects of the organization is essential. Making them aware of how their role affects the entire organization creates a sense of accountability in the workplace.
Thus, these new hire training ideas can significantly improve the new employee orientation program and keep the new hires engaged and ultimately, retain them in the organization.
Imagine you have used all these ideas and have created an orientation program. However, it still lacks the spark that would make a new hire sit up and actively participate.
Let us look at a few more ideas you can incorporate into the new employee orientation program to make it more interesting:
- Empathize with the New Hires: When we say empathize, we mean to understand the new hires deeper and show that you care. How would you do that? By asking questions. You could give out survey sheets or questionnaires to the employees who have been through the onboarding process recently and ask them if their concerns were addressed. You can also ask them if their outlook on their work and responsibility improved after attending the program and whether they would share some information from their side with you. Keeping the communication channels open after the orientation serves to provide feedback that can be used to better the new employee orientation programs.
- Create a conducive atmosphere: Before starting with the actual orientation program, take a look around the setting.
- Is the conference room or the room suitably lit?
- Is the seating arrangement comfortable?
- Are there enough refreshment options available?
- Is there space for the new hires to move around?
- Make use of Online resources: It is impossible to expect new hires to remember all the information you bombard them with on the first day. Rapid eLearning can be one solution to put up some of the necessary information on the eLearning module and provide access to the employees. They can then look up this information whenever they need it. It would save the actual time spent in the new employee orientation program and allow you to focus on interactive opportunities. Creating an online course where the organization’s mission, values, culture is included would save the time managers would put in preparing and conducting the orientation. Using the company LMS in such cases would prove beneficial where the record of each new hire’s progress would be kept. In this way, new employees are in charge of their learning. Also, crucial feedback can be obtained through the LMS and make the orientation program better.
Once you look into these points and improve on them, you are sure to have developed a great new employee orientation program on your hands. When the orientation process starts early after the recruitment process, the employees already have enough information about your organization. By the first day, they are geared up, to begin with, the actual work.