Today’s most frequent complaints about new employee orientations play right into the concept of human capital – the employee is often left to sink or swim, or, in contrast, the orientation is overwhelming, boring, or simply, a chore. But the answer to these complaints is potentially more simple than it seems. Welcoming the whole person, rather than just a set of job functions, allows people to assimilate into the corporate culture, become inspired and productive almost immediately.
What does “welcoming the whole person” entail? The immediate supervisor or manager should review a copy of the employee’s application or resume. They should be familiar with the employee’s relationship between employee experience, training and education.
At the outset, the manager or HR representative should review the job description with the employee, including the duties, responsibilities, and working relationships.
It’s important to also discuss with the employee how the company is organized, as well as the organization of the department or division and how the new employee fits in to that structure. After the employee has settled in a bit, the immediate supervisor or manager should find out the employee’s career goals and objectives, and be able to help the employee relate those goals to the goals and objectives of their department and the company as a whole.
This changed approach requires a company to determine the objectives of the new employee orientation program at the outset, basing their measures of success on the idea of the value of human capital. Then, the company must meet those objectives honestly and positively for each and every new hire. Successful integration will happen only if the new employee decides he or she has made a wise decision to join the organization.
The best new employee orientation:
• Has attainable goals and meets them
• Makes Day One a welcoming celebration
• Involves the new employee’s family as well as co-workers
• Makes the new employee productive on Day One
• Is not boring, cumbersome, rushed or ineffective
• Uses feedback to continuously improve
Whatever orientation materials are included in the process, they should encourage participation in creative and entertaining activities that reinforce the necessary skills and information. New employees must also have guidance and assistance throughout the process from a mentor or buddy, as well as their manager.