In our first of four webinars on the secrets to successful new hire orientation programs, we explained how new hire orientation is a best practice employers should use to welcome and prepare new employees to begin successfully contributing to the organization.
As an employer, it’s important to determine what information must be included in your new hire orientation program. Once you’ve determined that, it’s time to strategize how your orientation program will be developed and deployed.
In Skoda Minotti’s second of four webinars on “Differentiating Your Onboarding Experience,” Megan Last, CPLP, offered helpful advice from the perspective of an employer on best practices to use when determining your long-term orientation strategy and preparing for each new hire orientation session. We’re pleased to share some of Megan’s insights with you in this blog.
Key to success: merge strategy and planning
One of the keys to success when delivering any training program is strategizing long-term and planning each training session well in advance. When planning your new hire orientation strategy, make sure to involve people who can give input on the best time to onboard new employees. Determine how often you will offer your new hire orientation by asking the key players involved and considering important factors.
Consider asking for input from the following people:
- Human Resources – get input on best times to onboard new employees as they are responsible for employee information, benefits and organizing or training orientation
- Recruiting (if not included in HR) – ask for input on the pre-employment process
- Facilities – enlist them for help in ordering desk equipment and preparing their work space
- Information Systems (IT) – get their help in ordering and configuring equipment for new staff
Consider the following important factors when strategizing how you offer new hire orientation:
- Pay dates
- Industry deadlines
- Annual events
- Product launches
- School schedules
When you’ve determined how often and when you will offer new hire orientation, be sure to inform those same key players of the specific dates for your sessions, and reserve the appropriate orientation space well in advance.
Key to success: delve into the details
The next key to success is to plan each new hire orientation session individually. It’s important to consider what information is necessary for a new employee to learn before beginning work in their department.
Skoda Minotti will offer help with determining those topics in our next session on “The Content of New Hire Orientation.” When you have determined your topics, you’ll need to reach out to the people who will be training. Your organization may choose to have one person deliver the full new hire orientation program, or you may choose to have subject matter experts be trained on how to deliver their content to your new hires.
When preparing for each new hire session individually, it’s helpful to have a checklist handy to help ensure you are fully prepared. Consider some of the following when planning each session:
- HR – your HR professionals should be charged with scheduling each new hire orientation session and the presenters’ times
- Facilities / IT – Facilities and IT staff should prepare desk space and include the proper equipment in the training room work space or spaces
- Leaders receiving new employees – ensure they are not out of the office when their new employee is starting
- What specialized training needs does each new employee have?
- What are your technology needs for each session – do you have remote employees, or are they all in-person?
- Are all your trainers available for the time slot you have scheduled?
Key to success: equip your ambassadors
Finally, the last key to success when planning your new hire orientation is to equip everyone who may interact with your new employees to be an ambassador for your company. Hint, hint: This is everyone in your organization! Communicate helpful information about your new hire orientation program and each new employee to your organization around the same time your new hire arrives. If there are expectations you have of any specific individuals related to new hire orientation, be sure to set those well in advance of the new hire’s first day.
For example, equip your receptionist with the proper information to greet the new employee on their first day and direct them where to go. If you have a buddy program for your new employees, empower each buddy with the tools and information he or she needs to properly partner with the new employee.
Enable your entire organization to make new employees feel welcome. A new hire’s first impression of their new organization’s culture could come from YOU!
FREE download: New Hire Orientation Checklist
Skoda Minotti has developed a comprehensive FREE New Hire Orientation Preparation Checklist designed to help HR staffs in planning and executing winning new hire orientation programs. This proprietary 20-point checklist includes tasks that are grouped conveniently in a timeline format.
Click here to download your comprehensive new hire orientation preparation checklist.