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What is employee orientation?

Why is employee orientation important for new team members?

What is an employee orientation checklist?

Steps to include in employee orientation

What is employee orientation

Employee orientation describes the process of introducing a new employee to the rest of the team, their new role, the work environment, and the company culture.

Orientating an employee on their first day goes a long way in making the employee feel welcome, helping to reduce employee turnover in the process.  

What is employee orientation?

New hire orientation sessions involve different steps to help employees get acquainted with company policies and expectations and prepare them for their new role (and how they fit into the greater organization). 

Effective employee orientation also includes the completion of all essential paperwork, provides a safe space to answer any questions, and ensures that the new hire has basic organizational information. 

Why is employee orientation important for new team members?

First impressions play a valuable role in all areas of life, including the workplace. Making the new hire feel welcome and valued from the first day of work goes a long way in reducing turnover rates, improving retention, and boosting employee engagement.

Employee orientation helps communicate expectations and responsibilities, helping the new hire start on a productive note from the first day. The process is especially important when onboarding remote employees, where the geographical distance can lead to misunderstandings. 

A clear onboarding policy also ensures that all new colleagues receive the same training and debriefing on company processes, helping to overcome the challenges of managing remote employees.

What is an employee orientation checklist?

An employee orientation checklist formalizes the orientation process by organizing all information to share with new employees from day one.

Effective human resource management will have detailed steps for new employee orientation processes. 

The following are usually included on the new employee orientation checklist;

  • Debrief on company policy
  • Introduction to the rest of the team
  • Sharing the necessary tools to get started 
  • Guarantee an in-depth understanding of the job description
  • Gather all necessary documentation and new hire paperwork for compliance 
  • Provide a space for the employee to ask any questions

Steps to include in employee orientation

Employee orientation is essential to share the details on new job responsibilities and the rest of the organizational structure. Still, it’s equally important to pace yourself and prevent overwhelming the new hire.

Depending on the organization and the size of human resources, the following steps should be included in employee orientation.

Administrative support

The onboarding process involves a fair amount of administration, laying a solid foundation for smooth processes in the future. 

  • Assist new hires in filling out necessary HR paperwork such as I-9 form, W-4 form, and direct deposit form
  • Explain regular procedures such as placing orders for stationery and how to request time off
  • Arrange new photographs for a company website
  • Distribute employee uniforms if relevant

Company policies review

The employee handbook should summarize company policies, but it's worth reviewing these details with new hires. 

  • Revise and sign employment agreement terms such as the non-compete agreement and confidentiality agreement 
  • Provide resources on benefits such as health insurance and the performance bonus guide
  • Review an overview of key company policies such as sick leave, data security, and working from home
  • Discuss a typical day at the office and how it manifests

Office tours and introductions

If the company has a physical base, then an office tour can be included in the employee orientation program. If the team is remote, then the office tour won’t be relevant, but introductions are still necessary. In the instance of a remote team, managers should brush up on specific tips to hire and onboard remote talent.

In the office:

  • Indicate where each department and employee is seated, especially HR, IT, and their direct manager
  • Point out communal areas such as bathroom, kitchen, balcony, etc
  • Explain how to book the meeting room
  • Indicate emergency exists
  • Organize a meetup to welcome the hires informally
  • Explain how to use office equipment such as printers and video conferencing tools

In the office and remote:

  • Introduce new hires to all team members
  • Schedule a meeting with leaders from each department
  • Assign a work buddy or mentor to help the new hire settle in
  • Explain the online channels for communication, such as Slack

At Deel, we’ve built a platform for today’s world of work, helping management onboard new employees easily and efficiently. We offer onboarding tools, such as Onboarding by Deel, to simplify your new hire onboarding through Slack integration.

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