Welcome to New Hire Orientation!
Posted on February 25, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
When we start a new job it is almost a guarantee that we will have to participate in some form of orientation program at our new organization. Many roll their eyes and see orientations as a useless and boring all day event. Why is it that we dread something so vital?
I agree that orientation programs are what the organization makes them. I have sat through really well orchestrated orientation programs that kept me fully engaged and I have also sat through orientation programs where I struggled to keep me eyes open.
I currently help run the new hire orientation all day program for my organization. When I began, someone told me something that helped me truly understand the importance. They said, “you will be the first face new employees see and will set the tone for not only how they view the human resources department, but leaders in general at the organization.” Every time I get ready to lead an orientation, this sticks in my head and has influenced my attitude as a leader.
Knowing a thing or two about employee engagement, I think about employee engagement while I am leading an orientation. I often consider the possibility of new employees engagement levels being influenced by the quality of the orientation program. Do the employees get the sense that their new organization cares about them as a person and do they feel they have room to advance in their careers?
Many organizations invest a lot of time and money into their orientation programs. Some organizations give employees a bunch of free logo items and provide a fancy lunch to employees as a means to impress. According to Dunn and Jasinski (2009), it is not necessary to use high cost orientation programs to create “buy-in” for new employees. Rather, organizations should focus on the quality of the programs and making sure that employees stay engaged and are welcomed to the organization.
What are your thoughts about orientation programs? Do they need to be fancy or is simple the best?
Reference: Dunn, S. & Jasinski, D. (2009). The role of new hire orientation programs. Journal of Employment Counseling, 46, 115-127.