Let's jump into the world of employee happiness through data. In this blog, we discuss the insights hidden behind the numbers.
Remember your first few days at high school or college? You probably made many new friends (and frenemies), learned your educators' names, and where to find your classes and the restrooms!
Job orientation is much the same as an orientation week at school or college. It's a time for new team members to find their place and learn how to navigate their new roles and surroundings.
Your job orientation differs from onboarding, although it forms part of the onboarding process.
Implementing a job orientation program at your workplace has become a matter of urgency. You've probably heard of the Great Resignation trend that started in 2021, with an increasing number of employees leaving their current jobs and looking for other work or starting their own businesses.
Employees everywhere have been upskilled to work remotely, and most aren't looking to return to a regular nine-to-five office job. Gartner predicted that employee attrition would increase by 20% in 2022.
Not only does this mean that more candidates could be filling recruitment pools, but it also means that you're likely to hire a high volume of new employees soon as employee turnover rates increase. So, you must prepare well in advance to welcome and onboard fresh recruits and get them to stay for longer at your company.
In this post, we're going to look at the benefits of an orientation program for new employees at your organization, as well as what it entails.
Job orientation, also known as work orientation or new employee orientation, forms part of the employee onboarding process and covers the practicalities of becoming a new team member. It includes showing them around the office space, meeting colleagues and the C-suite, and introducing them to the company's mission and core values.
Most leaders underestimate the importance of job orientation and would rather let new employees "get on with it." But job orientation can set the tone for a new employee, and a bad first impression could even lead to early turnover if they feel like they don't fit in.
According to Slack's FutureForum 2021 whitepaper, 71% of employees who are dissatisfied with the level of work flexibility are open to new jobs, while 57% of knowledge workers would be open to leaving their current workplaces in the next work.
Flexibility and positive employee experience are crucial to employees. An effective job orientation program can help your company address job satisfaction and inclusivity issues at the start of an employee's tenure at your company.
Your job orientation program might look slightly different depending on whether you're hiring remote, hybrid, or office workers. Generally, it should follow the same structure but use different resources.
As you can see, there are many benefits to organizing a job orientation process at your workplace to ensure newcomers are ready for their new position. And although there are extra resources needed to plan and execute a job orientation program, it's worth investing in your new employees to improve their experience at your company.
Next, we'll look at how to plan a job orientation program and provide some simple steps for you to implement at your company.
Do you want to set yourself up for success and smooth out the entire orientation process? Then you'll need to perform a few administrative tasks first.
We recommend you run a survey or use some other kind of feedback tool to get input from your current employees: what do they love about your company culture? What would they change? How should orientation sessions be run at your company? These questions will help you understand current employee experiences and how to improve.
You need to prepare an employee handbook if you haven't done so already. Not only will this document cover the orientation and onboarding procedures at your company, but it will also help recruits understand your company policies and workflows. It should also include some helpful time-saving FAQs.
An employee handbook can be a hard copy or digital document, and you can decide how collaborative you want it to be. As an orientation day kicks off new employees' first day of work, it should help them make a smooth transition to your company from their previous workplace or college.
An orientation program must be tailored to your company's offering or expertise, the level of skills you have in your team, and the company culture.
For example, if your business provides motion graphics for high-end ads, it's a good idea to showcase the amazing skills and talents you have in your existing team with high-end motion graphics displays and presentations. A traditional or family-run business might want to focus on the company history to give new hires a sense of belonging.
Orientation is also the perfect opportunity to present your company's achievements. Has your talented team won any awards, landed some big clients, or acquired any special equipment lately? These achievements matter to new employees who may still be deciding if they'll grow at your company. It will also help new recruits understand the level of quality expected from them and get them excited for their journey ahead.
If it's part of your company culture to go out for a nice meal together on Thursday afternoons, then incorporate that into the orientation week to give new co-workers a taste of what they can look forward to. Be sure to show off any employee benefits or perks in the first week, as these can be a strong factor in employee retention.
Putting all of these admin details into a schedule or curriculum will help you tremendously with presenting job orientations and being consistent in your delivery.
Consider the following:
Once you know what you'll need to cover in orientation, you can structure these administrative details into a set schedule and plan your company's workflows around it.
Let's get practical. Employee orientation is an excellent time to lay out the core expectations, establish a productive work relationship, and get buy-in for reaching company objectives. Follow our insider tips to make sure your new hire orientation is effective.
It's important for the entire workplace to know when O-days or O-weeks will take place and prepare your staff to see some new faces and make them feel welcome. The interactions new recruits will have with their new co-workers play an extremely important role in making a success of orientation.
If you set a structured job orientation cycle (for instance, once a month or once a quarter), you can add it to your employee handbook and company notice board. Remind employees when orientation time comes to keep a lookout for new co-workers and the dates and times for team sessions.
Before introducing new recruits to the company, preparing them beforehand is a great idea. Set up their company email address, send them the logins to the company intranet, and create a welcome pack with important information (and perhaps a company T-shirt!).
Knowing what to expect will help them prepare better for their new work environment and calm their nerves. This could include your company's dress code policy (imagine how embarrassing it'll be for new teammates if they arrive in a suit and tie while everyone else is wearing jeans and sneakers!?), where to park, arrival time, and assembly areas.
You could even put them in touch with a few of their colleagues before orientation so they have some people they know on the first day. Slack is great for this!
Consider all the important information that needs to be covered and how long each item will take. Assign sessions to particular individuals on the team – it's always more enriching and dynamic when orientation is a collaborative team effort!
Offer short break times in between sessions for going to the restroom or stretching their legs, and allow more time than you think might be necessary for lunch breaks. Why? Longer, unstructured breaks allow for bonding time and processing everything they learned in the orientation sessions. It will also give new co-workers some free time to explore the workspace.
For remote workers, allowing free time for mingling is a bit more tricky, so consider providing breakout sessions with virtual lunchrooms or online game areas where new co-workers can meet each other and play casual games.
Your schedule might look something like this:
Now you know exactly what the orientation will cover and all the resources you need. If you're going to run an office-based job orientation, you'll need to book your venues in advance, e.g., the canteen or the presentation hall.
Once again, if you're going to run orientation on a set schedule, this can be added to the company notice board and venue calendars to ensure you always have access when you need it for orientation.
Decide who will speak and which topics they should cover. This can change based on availability. It's also a good idea to use this as an opportunity for current employees to grow by asking them to give presentations on their topic of expertise and data insights or simply to share their experiences of the company culture. Again, this will be invaluable for your new employees.
Avoid technological hiccups by delegating audio/video to a specific team member or hiring professionals for the duration of the O-week.
Technically, this is a nice-to-have, but the little things often count. Providing refreshments, lunches, and a welcoming atmosphere will make new recruits feel special and make it easier for them to slot into their new teams.
Some things should be done just because they incite excitement in people – use decorative elements to bring color, write messages on the walls, provide a selfie booth – whatever it takes to help new employees look forward to orientation and make good memories.
And don't think this can't be translated to virtual for your remote workers! You can send them lunch vouchers or order food deliveries from one of their local eateries. You can also translate the exciting, fun element online using funny video backgrounds or animated filters.
Orientation is the first introduction to the company, not the entire onboarding. Once new employees are accustomed to their new environment, and the communication channels with the rest of their team have been opened, the supervisors or team leaders should take charge of the onboarding process from there.
This is where the real work begins, and the new hires can truly start experiencing everything that their job role entails. It would be a great idea to send a post-orientation email or survey to get some feedback on their experiences and any suggestions to improve the orientation program.
Preparing your workplace orientation program will be a fun and enriching experience for you, your current staff, and the new joiners who will be starting at your company.
Whereas there's no cookie-cutter approach to effective employee orientation, we hope the tips in this article help you decide on a process that works for you and your team.
flair is an all-in-one employee management software that will assist you in creating a positive job orientation experience for new employees with personalized onboarding workflows and templates.
This way, you can create customized welcome banners and include essential tasks such as signing employee forms, providing tax details and social security numbers, and completing their HR profiles in the Employee Hub.
Book a demo with us to learn more about how flair can help you create a comprehensive orientation program.