New employee orientation is your company’s best opportunity to set up a strong foundation for your new hire, building a solid relationship with their new position within the business. When an orientation goes well, the new employee feels a connection with the company and strives to accomplish their goals in order to ensure a strong, long term future there. Many employers set out with the best of intentions, but end up with a poor orientation by committing these 5 mistakes.
1. Videos – Sticking your new hire in a closed room to watch an orientation video should be avoided, especially if the video is long and boring. You want them experiencing things first hand and getting a feel for the corporate culture, not nodding off in front of the TV.
2. Being Unprepared – Nothing will make a new employee feel unwelcome like their employer being unprepared for them. Make sure they have everything they need and that it’s their own, not piggybacking off another employee. Give them a desk, chair, phone, email address, and whatever else will make them feel like a significant part of the team.
3. Being Overwhelming – Consider their first day like the first day at a new school. Not only do you have to learn about the school, you have to learn about the teachers and students, where everything is, etc. A new employees first day should be a gentle exposure to the important parts of their job. Think about putting together a handbook with all of the technical, boring, or detailed parts of their new job, and ask them to read on their own time
4. Lectures – In case I didn’t cover the “long and boring” mistake when we talked about videos, leave out any lectures on the first day. They can be long and boring, and also be overwhelming, so though they may have their place, save them for the right time.
5. Rushing – You may be the busiest person in the world, but you still need to be the one to greet your new employee and show them the ropes if you have time. You don’t want to rush this part because the whole idea is to make them feel welcome and like an important part of the team. If you just don’t have the time, be sure to greet them and introduce them to another employee who will show them around on their first day.
An orientation can makes or break a new hires perception of your business, so make sure you take it seriously. It can make all the difference!