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The 4 Secrets to New Hire Orientation: The Perspective of the Employee

(Part one in a four part series)

Think back to your first day on the job. What did you appreciate about your onboarding experience? Stay focused on that experience. Were pieces missing from your new hire orientation that could have enhanced your first days or weeks on the job?

In Skoda Minotti’s first of four webinars on “Differentiating Your Onboarding Experience,” Skoda Minotti new hire orientation expert Megan Last, CPLP, offered helpful advice from the perspective of a new employee that can enhance your new hire orientation experience for higher retention and faster productivity.

The first thing to remember is that onboarding is a journey and new hire orientation is an event. During the onboarding journey, a new employee will experience new hire orientation, which usually occurs during the first one to two days on the job. This event is a key factor in the retention and productivity of a new hire, and your organization should make it a priority to ensure that they have a positive experience..

The second thing to remember is that your new employee is feeling many different emotions during new hire orientation. We suggest that you anticipate some of the expectations your new hire will have of their first few days. By fulfilling those expectations with meaningful experiences, you can help settle any anxiety and ensure that your new hire will have a lasting positive experience. Some key expectations your new hire may have include:

  • Feel welcome and safe
  • Encouraged to ask questions
  • Shown respect
  • Shown their value
  • Know that the organization is committed to their success
  • Have fun!
  • Meet peers, supervisor, neighbors
  • Receive necessary tools and supplies
  • Given a chance to contribute or work
  • Feel a sense of the company culture
  • Know that others are excited to have them on the team

There are many ways to fulfill the expectations above. Megan Last suggests trying some of the following things:

  • Consider each new hire as an individual
  • Extend a personal welcome
    • Provide some personalized gear (“swag bag”)
    • Extend a written or in-person welcome
      • Before new hire orientation with a letter or email
      • From a supervisor during the first or second day
    • Provide advance paperwork or portal access
    • Communicate first day logistics well in advance of arrival
      • Parking
      • Dress code
      • Badges / security access
      • Lunch
      • First day hours
    • Prepare the new hire’s permanent work space prior to start date
      • Name plate
      • Office supplies
      • Technology (phone, laptop / computer)
      • Access badge / fob
    • Assign a buddy, coach, mentor or supervisor
    • Create a printed, customized schedule
      • Build in assimilation time (time to get settled, breathe and relax)
      • Include the names of training, the presenters and a brief description of the training
      • Include dates and times of training
      • Include the start and end time of the work day
      • Specify how the new hire’s lunch hour will be spent

A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 69% of new employees are likely to stay at an organization if a structured onboarding program is in place. Implementing one or more of the ideas above during your new hire orientation can show your future top performers that they are a valuable addition to your organization.

The third thing to remember is to set up your new hire for success by communicating your expectations of them. Your new hire will appreciate that you communicate the dress code, the start time and other key information. By doing so, you are also communicating the company’s expectations.

The most impactful way to welcome your new employees is to put your best foot forward and remember that your new hires are individual people who are excited to contribute to a new organization. Looking for assistance in building a fine-tuned onboarding program at your company? Please contact Megan Last at mlast@skodaminotti.com or 440-449-6800.

 

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