The Fundamentals of Induction and Orientation in Employee Onboarding

How long would it take for a new employee to figure out the ways of their company, the technology, the different areas of the building, and so on if they are left on their own? Weeks? Months?

It makes smart business sense to cut that time down to a fraction by helping them settle in. That’s the aim of an employee onboarding process. Employee onboarding differs from company to company.

Each employee onboarding process should be adapted to the level of the employee and designed around the company and team culture and the job needs.

However, there are basic foundations that all good onboarding processes should cover. The following points typically help new hires in the orientation/induction phase of employee onboarding:

1. Introduction to the Company

This begins even before the employee is formally hired. An interested applicant should be able to learn your business direction, what you look for in an employee and the culture through the About Us and the Careers sections of your website.

Job ads, whether online or in print materials, should also reflect these, – and can also encourage applicants to find out more by going to the sections mentioned above.

2. Company Policies

Every organisation has its own set of rules, guidelines and policies that all employees are expected to abide by.

For the new employee to meet these expectations, they should be made aware of these from the first day they begin work. For example: What’s the policy on identification cards? Coffee and tea breaks? Vacation leave? Sick days? When is salary paid? These are the common concerns of new employees.

3. Familiarising them with the layout of the building

From where the cafeteria’s located to where the restrooms are to where the photocopier for each floor is, give new hires a tour of the office. Point out key places of interest: where the CEO’s office is, where the other departments are, and such. They might not need to go to any of those in the short-term of their employment but being aware of them gives new employees a sense of context and belonging..

4. Personal introductions to direct supervisor and co-workers

It’s essential proper introductions to all team members are made. Some companies release a team-wide and company-wide email welcoming the newcomers. Arrange for a team lunch or dinner in the first week so the team can start building relationships with their newest addition.

5. Equipping them with necessary items (IDs, workstation, business cards, email account, etc.)

Any missing items would delay the employee’s ability to become productive and meet deadlines. No ID card or badge? Depending on the company’s policies, it could range from continuously filling out a logbook to waiting for a teammate or supervisor to vouch for them before they can enter the premises. Then there’s the issue of getting around the other locations within the office. It’s elementary to get these items ready ahead of the new employee coming onboard.

6. Guiding them through the different technology available

Teach them how to use the phone system and the related software and tools used by the team. Help the new employee to figure out on how to use the company task dashboard or the phone system. For a speedier transition so they can focus sooner on getting their work done, have their supervisor or someone in the IT department teach them.

7. Include written guides, videos and/or a list of point-of-contacts

While the purpose is to help new employees transition smoother and faster into the company, they can’t be expected to remember everything. Be sure to record everything in the form of an employee manual and other printout materials for the new hire. You can also provide links to videos up on the company website or intranet for reference. Also, include a list of points of contact to whom they can direct questions.

Onboarding should be a combination of a warm welcome and integration into the organisation.

These first steps to indication and orientation are the very least any new employee expects to help them rapidly fit in and start producing.

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