A good orientation also shows new employees that companies value them and want them to feel “at home” in their new jobs
Many employers don’t think they need to hold new employee orientations. They think it’s a hassle and an unnecessary expense that can be avoided and that new employees will figure out what they need to know on the job. Yet a thorough orientation can in fact have many benefits, and more importantly, not having one can end up costing your company time and money.
Here are five reasons why every company should hold new employee orientations:
One of the main arguments against new employee orientations is that they cost money. It takes someone’s time to direct the orientation and resources such as handbooks, videos, and presentations, and in some cases actual job training. Yet the money you would spend on orientations is really a drop in the bucket. Imagine if new employees participate in a week-long orientation, then they learn the basics about the company and their role quickly so they can get started with tasks after the orientation knowing enough not to have to stop and ask questions. Getting to their tasks faster and more knowledgeably saves time, which in turn saves your company money.
Starting a new job is stressful. New employees are often nervous about expectations, and are not sure how they will get along with their new boss and co-workers. They may not even be sure where the restrooms are! An orientation is a time when new employees can be introduced to the company. They meet their new co-workers, tour the facilities (so they know where to find the restrooms, cafeteria, break-room, etc.), and find out what they need to know about their new workplace. This helps them feel more at ease and less anxious when they begin, so they can be more productive.
A good orientation also shows new employees that value them and want them to feel “at home” in their new jobs. First impressions go a long way toward making them feel appreciated, and therefore be more likely to stay with the company. One of the main risks of not offering a proper orientation is that you are sending the message that you don’t think new employees need or deserve the time. This can end up costing you when employees feel undervalued. An orientation can also help sell the company’s positive assets and make new employees feel part of–and want to continue being part of–something great.
Answering questions takes time. Showing someone around takes time. And if the people doing the answering and the showing around are employees who should be working, then they’re spending their time doing something other than their work, and costing the company money. Orientations offer the opportunity for new employees to ask questions and look around. Compressing the time for Q&A and introductions into a few orientation days will save the new employee’s supervisors’ and co-workers’ time down the line. Most importantly, the new employee is also likely to spend less time asking questions, trying to figure out the phone system, or properly setting up his or her work email, and will be able to get to the tasks at hand much faster.
When new employees are properly introduced to the company and its staff during an orientation, they learn about its culture, policies, and values. They also learn about what’s expected of them and how they can bring value to the team. Orientations can serve as a time to boost employee morale. To highlight what’s great about your company–showcase the perks, whether they’re work-from-home options, the company softball league, or free muffins on Thursdays. Talking about the company’s work and why it matters will make new employees feel excited about working for you, and eager to contribute their ideas and expand their careers with the company.
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