10 Best Orientation Practices to elevate Employee Experience in 2023
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The author of the Harry Potter books, J.K Rowling once said, “A good first impression can work wonders.”  First impressions are important. There is also an adage that says that ‘First Impression is the last impression’. 

This is considered to be somewhat true for new hires. New employees join an organization with a clean slate. Whatever they experience in their first few days of joining etches in their memory and helps them understand the organization better. 

This is where onboarding and orientation practices come in. Starting from the job, departments to department chiefs, culture, processes everything is a part of a good onboarding and orientation program. Onboarding provides basic information about the specific role and job while the orientation plan refers to the initial welcome that the company provides to every new hire.

Why is orientation required for new hires?

When a new employee joins a new company, he/she is not just new to the place – but is also new to the people, practices, organizational culture, and policies of the place. There is always a possibility that he/she may feel lost without a good, well-planned, detailed, and all-encompassing ‘New Employee Orientation program’ in the new place. This means that the organization has to take the first and the most vital step of orienting the new hire into the new world!

An effective orientation program aims at acclimatizing the new employee to the new surroundings from day 1.  Formal orientations can include a series of activities and steps to ensure the hire feels included, engaged, and informed within the organization. 

These first few days are extremely crucial for the new employee as this is the time they form an opinion about the organization and evaluate whether they would like to stay for a long time or a short period. 

Benefits of Orientation for New Hires

Organizations with successful and well-defined employee orientation programs retain 69% of their new employees for 3 years and experience 50% more productivity from them. This happens merely because the employees harbor a sense of belonging, and believe in the organization and its practices. These employees are better aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives than those who haven’t received a good orientation program. 

A good orientation program offers the following to new hires:

  • A clearer vision
  • A better understanding of the value system and culture of the organization
  • Helps create bonds and connections with the organization
  • Less stressful environment to work and thrive in

Below are some best practices for Orientation.

10 Best practices of the New Employee Orientation Program

#1 Forming an Orientation checklist:

Orientation is a planned and systematic approach to inducting employees into the organization. The plan has to be detailed enough to ensure the employee gets to complete all mandatory steps of being part of the organization and learn all the vital information that is required to do his job. Mandatory form filling, compliance-related tasks, understanding the organization structure, meeting the stakeholders, etc. should be part of a good orientation checklist. A checklist serves as a guide to the onboarding in charge as well as the new hire. A sample checklist is given below for quick reference.

Date Timeslot Activity Stakeholder
12 Dec 2022 9:30 am to 10 am Onboarding in-charge address and distribution of Welcome Kits Onboarding in-charge (Ms. ABC)
10:05 am to 11 am Documentation, administrative tasks, Meet the Buddy Ms. ABC and Buddy
11 am to 11:45 am Session on Organization Vision, mission and values Senior management official
11:45 am to 12 pm  Coffee break
12 pm to 12:45 pm Session on Department –A A senior official from the Department
12:50 to 1:30 pm Session on Department – B A senior official from the Department

#2 Frequency of Orientation program:

The orientation program is vital for a new hire. It cannot be delayed due to any reasons. A lot of times, orientation sessions get delayed due to unavailability of time, unavailability of the department heads to lead the sessions, contingencies, etc.

But these delays essentially mean a big gap of nothingness for the new hire as he/she might feel clueless and lost without it.

An Orientation session needs to be conducted on a frequent basis, on time within 2 days of the employee joining the organization. This ensures proper timely induction and creates the right impression about the company

#3 Memorable First Day:

First Day in the organization can be made memorable by making the new hires feel special. This isn’t just to make them happy but to make the right first impression and what the organization stands for. Valuing employees goes a long way in creating trust and connection that is mutually beneficial to the organization as well as the individual.

#1 A formal official introduction on the floor,
#2 a Welcome kit,
#3 an Office tour,
#4 a meeting with all department chiefs,
#5 a meeting with the team members, etc. makes the right impression and makes the first day memorable.

#4 An effective Feedback mechanism:

Nothing works better than a good feedback mechanism. Feedback is an integral part of any initiative that is run. The organization needs to know if its efforts are going in the right direction and are appreciated for the right reasons. Similarly, the employee should be given a right to provide feedback regularly so that organizations can work on it. There needs to be a formal feedback mechanism/ tool that helps capture the input on a timely basis. 30-60-90 framework is proven to be an effective feedback tool.

Feedback is taken within 30 days of joining, 60 days of joining, and 90 days of joining capturing the journey of the employee in the first three months.

Inputs gathered therein can give a clear picture of what the employee feels about the orientation program, its success, and the organization as a whole. Corrective actions can be taken if certain gaps are seen thus making the orientation program more effective.

#5 Automate Paperwork:

Lesser the physical paper, the lesser the hassles to managing the load of stacks of sheets. Automate the paperwork that can be automated like internal documentation, verification forms, agreements, Offer letters and appointment letters, etc.

These days even employee files are stored electronically and not in physical form. Embracing technology and automating as much as possible reduces error and ensures easy handling.

#6 Online Interactive mandatory training:

Mandatory training form an integral part of orientation. Scenario-based interactive training is available online which makes training interesting and easier to grasp.

Training on Information Security, Anti–Corruption or Anti-Bribery training, Prevention of Sexual Harassment training, and Ethics and Integrity training are some of the training that is mandatory to complete and can be done effectively online.

The online module also makes it easier to avail of refresher courses periodically. Adherence is easier when these training sessions are online.

#7 Meet your Buddy:

A Buddy is a colleague assigned to the new hire right from day 1 of joining. The buddy assists the new hire to settle down in the organization.

The buddy hand holds the new hire as he takes him through processes and the work environment. For the new hire, his buddy is the first go-to person in case of any questions, doubts, or queries during his initial period at the organization.

Buddy can be given a checklist of things to do that can facilitate a smooth transfer of knowledge and easy handholding.

#8 Meet your team:

A new hire is always anxious and nervous to know what his team will look like, how good will be his team members, whether will they be cooperative, and whether will they get along at work. It is a best practice to introduce the new hire to the entire team as well as the rest of the staff on day one of orientation. It is important to break the ice at the earliest to create a good working and welcoming environment in the team. 

#9 Meet your HR:

It is extremely essential for the new hire to have an HR session with their HR business partner. The HR business partner will run the new hire through the key policies and processes that are essential to know.

Some organizations have a dedicated Employee Handbook which needs to be shared with the new hire and HR can explain the key contents to the employee. Usually, new employees have many queries surrounding policies, reimbursements, travel, bonus, performance management, etc. which can be addressed in these sessions and can put the new hire at ease.

#10 Long-term Career Development:

New hires are dreamy when they join a new organization. Orientation is a window that allows them a glimpse of what lies ahead. A long-term Career Development plan designed by the manager can be a great way to engage the new hire.

It needs to be a detailed and step-by-step guide to his objectives and growth. This will help the hire to gain the trust and enthusiasm to perform and stay committed to the organization and his role.

Wrap up

A good orientation program translates to good business. It is a fact that if you care for your employees and they will take care of your clients. Orientation is the icebreaker between the new hire and the organization.

Creating the right impact in a well-planned orientation can create wonders in terms of retention, long valuable association, and gaining commitment from the employees.


What is the new Hire Orientation?

New Hire Orientation is a formal welcome program provided by the organization to new hires.

Why is New Hire Orientation Important?

New Hire Orientation is important as the new hires get to interact with the new organization for the first time during the orientation. It includes learning about the people, processes, policies, and culture of the organization

What are you not supposed to do in an Orientation?

Do not take the Orientation program lightly or treat it as less important. Orientation is an important step for the company to create the right first impression in the mind of the new hire. It affects the retention of the employee.

What is the Employee Onboarding process?

An effective employee onboarding process is a method to onboard a new hire in the organization system by introducing him/her to the team, job, and responsibilities.

Why is Employee Onboarding important?

Onboarding is the first step that is carried out in the organization for a new hire. It is important as it introduces the new hire to his job and team without which he won’t be able to perform to the best of his abilities.

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