Employee Induction / Orientation
Orientation or induction is the process of introducing new employees to an organization, to their specific jobs & departments, and in some instances, to their community.
Purposes of Orientation
Orientation isn't a nicety! It is used for the following purposes: 1. To Reduce Startup-Costs:
Proper orientation can help the employee get "up to speed" much more quickly, thereby reducing the costs associated with learning the job.
2. To Reduce Anxiety:
Any employee, when put into a new, strange situation, will experience anxiety that can impede his or her ability to learn to do the job. Proper orientation helps to reduce anxiety that results from entering into an unknown situation, and helps provide guidelines for behaviour and conduct, so the employee doesn't have to experience the stress of guessing.
3. To Reduce Employee Turnover:
Employee turnover increases as employees feel they are not valued, or are put in positions where they can't possibly do their jobs. Orientation shows that the organization values the employee, and helps provide tools necessary for succeeding in the job.
4. To Save Time for Supervisor & Co-Workers:
Simply put, the better the initial orientation, the less likely supervisors and co-workers will have to spend time teaching the employee.
5. To Develop Realistic Job Expectations, Positive Attitudes and Job Satisfaction:
It is important that employees learn early on what is expected of them, and what to expect from others, in addition to learning about the values and attitudes of the organization. While people can learn from experience, they will make many mistakes that are unnecessary and potentially damaging.
An orientation program principally conveys 3 types of information, namely:
General information about the daily work routine to be followed
A review of the organization’s history, founders, objectives, operations & products or services, as well as how the employee’s job contributes to the organization’s needs.
A detailed presentation of the organization’s policies, work rules & employee benefits.
Two Kinds of Orientation
There are two related kinds of orientation. The first we will call Overview Orientation, and deals with the basic information an employee will need to understand the broader system he or she works in.
Overview Orientation includes helping employees understand:
Management in general
Department and the branch
General procedures (non-job specific)
Information about compensation
Accident prevention measures
Employee and union issues (rights, responsibilities)
Often, Overview Orientation can be conducted by the personnel department with a little help from the branch manager or immediate supervisor, since much of the content is generic in nature.
The second kind of orientation is called Job-Specific Orientation, and is the process that is used to help employees understand:
Function of the organization,
Policies, procedures, rules and regulations
Layout of workplace
Introduction to co-workers and other people in the broader organization.
Job specific orientation is best conducted by the immediate supervisor, and/or manager, since much of the content will be specific to the individual. Often the orientation process will be ongoing, with supervisors and co-workers supplying coaching.