In today’s busy world, many companies are so focused on getting a candidate hired and started that they are no longer taking the time to properly integrate them into the company. A New employee orientation serves so many purposes as it introduces new employees to the workplace and familiarizes them with some of the company’s basic practices.
When and how should this happen?
This should be conducted on their first day of work or as soon after an employee’s start date as possible. Think about your first day at work: did you already know everyone, did you know about whether or not your first paycheck would be “holding” a week’s pay or even when that would be, did you know about the safety issues of your work environment or any safety gear you were supposed to bring with you to work, etc.
When you stop to think about that – makes sense why even just an hour on a new employee’s first day of work should be spent familiarizing them with their new environment and answering questions like this.
So what should you make sure to cover?
Here are some key (but quick) topics to cover:
New Hire Paperwork.
Orientation is a good time to collect and complete any necessary paperwork, such as Form I-9 and Form W-4 and any additional forms such as Emergency Contacts and Direct Deposit.Compensation and Benefits. Provide details on pay periods, direct deposit, payroll deductions, health insurance and any other benefits to which your new employee may be entitled. Prepare a benefits packet ahead of time to give to the employee even if they aren’t eligible yet so they can prepare.
Attendance and Time Off.
Review the employee’s expected hours of work, as well as the company’s policies regarding absenteeism, break periods and when/how they can request time off. If they aren’t eligible for time off, let them know when that will begin. This is the time to set the tone regarding attendance.
Make sure the employee understands the rules regarding dress code, telephone and computer use, and other expectations. If your policies are explained in an employee handbook, be sure the employee receives a copy. This also helps you down the line when you may have to apply disciplinary actions against the employee because we all know the first thing an employee will say is “I didn’t know that was wrong.”
Safety and Security.
Explain necessary safety and security procedures of the facility. If they are to be issued ID tags, keys, radios, tools, etc. do it at this time and have them sign off that they have received the items and have taken responsibility for them. Be proactive: remember, you don’t want to have to start thinking about these things once the employee leaves or you have to terminate.
Schedule any necessary training sessions as soon as possible so the employee can get right up to speed in his job and with his co-workers.
And last, but not least:
Officially welcome them to the Company!
Give your new employee a brief tour of the workplace and introduce managers and co-workers. Be sure the employee’s work station is neat and organized to make him or her feel welcome.
Set the tone for the Employee from Day One and you increase the probability that they will be a long-term employee. Disregard them or just throw them into the job, they will feel unappreciated and probably already be job searching yet again.