Optimizing the Value of New Staff Orientation

The Challenge Defined:

Never minimize how difficult it is for new employees to become contributing members of your organization. Onboarding extends far beyond the monthly New Employee Lunch. It needs to be extensive and multidimensional, to include: 

  1. Operational “training” information – Work-related processes, procedures, expectations, local level teams, team leaders, resources, and mandatory and optional classes. This is the information new employees need in order to quickly do their jobs effectively. 
  2. Company context – Corporate culture, history, code of ethics/conduct, high-level business plan, organizational structure, budget, customers, key suppliers, and outside resources. This is the information that can help guide an employee in their decision making and motivate them to be a team player. 
  3. Industry context – The scope of the industry, the players, the company differentiators, and the legal and public policy issues that impact the industry. This is the information that can make an employee an effective advocate for their company and industry outside the workplace. 

We’ve discussed the role and value of processes in an earlier blog. Your staff is your company’s most important asset. You not only need to have an exceptional hiring process, but without a top-quality orientation process or program, all those efforts may be for naught. 

Think of some of your best onboarding experiences. You got answers to some of the proprietary things you wondered about during the interview process. You were hearing “inside information” so you felt trusted and, therefore, valued. You were welcomed by a senior executive and briefed by department heads. Needless to say, it made a very good impression and you felt motivated to live up to the great corporate traditions and successes you heard about. 

So, take staff orientation very seriously. Hiring was the easy step. Retention is the ongoing challenge, and good first impressions last a long time. 

Critical Questions:

  • What do new employees need and want to know?
  • Is your staff orientation program continually updated?
  • Do you have a sufficient budget for staff orientation?
  • Do you cover the three important dimensions of onboarding information?
  • Is the senior leadership included in the onboarding process?

Why this Challenge Must be Resolved:

The downside of not helping new employees fit in is high turnover. New employees are naturally motivated, and an inspiring onboarding experience can extend that time frame. When employees understand the big picture, they can do their jobs better and collaborate more effectively.

Need help with this topic or leadership coaching? Contact Mission Critical Teams.