Employee Orientation (Onboarding)

It’s no exaggeration to say that many new employees start off completely disoriented.

No matter how experienced, they have to learn how to log onto new computer systems, to learn passwords for access to restricted areas, to cope with benefits choices, and to assess the personalities that they’ll be working with — just for starters.

The first days on the job for a new employe can be stressful, frustrating, confusing and just plain overwhelming.

However, above and beyond these initial logistical hurdles, the true challenge of a new job is often HOW to do the job and figuring out how “success” is defined on the job.

Where there is a current and complete job description, this task is often made easier. And, where supervisor expectations are frankly discussed up front, there are likely to be fewer surprises and flailing about.

An important factor is to make sure that the new employee has all the tools (software, manuals, instructions, guides, directories, etc.) that he or she is likely to need to be able to successfully perform his/her job.

ACTION IDEA: Even if initial employee orientation is performed by the “folks in Human Resources,” make sure that someone in the new employee’s department is appointed to be the new person’s “local orientation guide.”

This local orientation guide should be responsible for showing the new employee around the premises, introducing him/her to fellow employees, helping with logistics questions, and answering questions about the job. The guide may actually be the new employee’s supervisor or manager, but it can also be someone else who is suited to this task.

Getting a new person off to a good start can bear substantial dividends in terms of productivity and overall, long-term job satisfaction.