New Hire Orientation: A Guide for HR Professionals

New Hire Orientation: A Guide for HR Professionals
Last Updated: May 30, 2023

New hire orientation is an important process for onboarding employees. An accomplished orientation program assists recruits in learning about the organization's rules and processes. It also promotes a connection between the employee and their company.

Organizations with a strong onboarding program improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. [Read] Orientation programs can improve employee retention. A Society for Human Resource Management study found that organizations with a formal orientation program have higher employee retention rates than those without one.

A Human Resources Management Review study found that effective onboarding programs can improve employee commitment to the organization. Employees with a positive onboarding experience are more likely to feel committed to the organization, leading to greater engagement, productivity, and retention. [Read]

Related: Employee Onboarding vs Orientation: Why you need both

What happens in new hire orientation?

New hire orientation is a process that introduces new workers to the organization, their duties, rules and procedures, and training possibilities. It makes new workers feel welcomed, informed, and prepared to excel in their new roles. According to Keith Rollag, new hire orientation teaches new employees how to accomplish everyday activities and collaborate effectively with their co-workers. A new hire orientation includes a training session on utilizing the company's systems and software and reviewing work tasks and expectations.

What is the purpose of orientation?


A new hire orientation program teaches new workers about the culture, regulations, and procedures of the organization, as well as their job tasks and expectations. It also makes new workers feel welcomed and valued immediately, which may lead to a favourable image of the firm and increased engagement. A new hire orientation program is a technique for the organization to demonstrate to new workers that they are important and valued. This gives them a good image of the organization and might increase their passion and participation.

An article by the management study HQ shows that hire orientation sessions aim to give new workers important information about the organization. These include the organization's vision and goals, how the company is organized, what benefits are offered, what regulations and procedures apply, how to work safely, and what skills and expertise are necessary for their specialized responsibilities. Furthermore, they may meet some of the company's key personnel and communicate with their peers and superiors.

According to Karen L. Wallace, new hire orientation increases commitment and reduces turnover, saving money (and frustration) in the long run. In addition to providing important information, orientation programs also play an important role in establishing a positive employee experience.

Orientation programs may build a healthy and supportive work culture by giving new workers the essential information and skills to thrive. A well-designed orientation program may save managers and co-workers time by eliminating the need to repeat fundamental instructions or procedures. Furthermore, orientation sessions may help new employees and organizations explain expectations and goals.

Related: Employee Onboarding Complete Guide 2023

New hire orientation: What are 3 key components of a new employee orientation?

A well-designed orientation program can help new employees feel welcomed, informed, and engaged, which can positively impact their job satisfaction, productivity, and retention. In providing a comprehensive orientation program, organizations may set their new employees up for success and ensure a smooth transition into the organization. Here are the three most important components of a new employee orientation and why they are so important to the process:

Company culture - Introducing new employees to the organization's culture, values, and mission is essential to orientation. New workers may connect their work with the organization's purpose and direction by learning its values and vision. They can also learn about the rules and conventions that create the culture of the business and impact its performance. A strong business culture fosters a healthy work environment and increased employee engagement. Recruits who do not understand the organization's culture may feel alienated and less motivated to fulfil the organization's goals. [Read]

Job-specific training - To assist recruits in executing their tasks properly and understand what is expected of them, they must get role-specific training. This form of training might address subjects, including the organization's offerings, the tools or software used, and the safety regulations that must be followed.

Benefits and policies - This might provide information about healthcare benefits, retirement programs, vacation rules, and standards of behaviour. This benefit is increasing employee confidence and relieving anxiety cited by Karen L. Wallace. By giving this information, prospective employees may make educated decisions regarding their benefits and understand the organization's expectations. This can assist in avoiding misunderstandings or disputes that may emerge due to a lack of awareness of the organization's rules and perks.

Related: What are the 4 Phases of Onboarding

New hire orientation: What should an orientation include?

According to Roy Maurer, onboarding new hires at an organization should be a strategic process that lasts at least one year. A new hire orientation session will familiarize new employees with their new workplace, job duties, and business regulations and culture. To help new workers understand the organization's culture, a good new hire orientation program should contain an introduction to the company's history, mission, vision, and values.

A recruit orientation program should also explain the organization's regulations and procedures, such as safety and sexual harassment policies and disciplinary measures. A new hire orientation may make recruits feel welcomed, educated, and involved, enhancing work satisfaction, productivity, and retention. [Further Reading]

New Hire Orientation

Related: A New Hire Checklist Every Employer Needs to Have

New hire orientation: What are the four basic rules of orientation?

While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for orientation programs since they vary by business, certain fundamental criteria can assist recruits in having a great experience. Here are four basic orienting rules:

  1. Be welcoming: The first and most crucial orientation guideline is establishing a friendly and inclusive workplace for recruits. This includes introducing them to the team, addressing their questions, and offering assistance and direction.
  2. Be informative: New hire orientation programs should give new hires the knowledge they need to thrive in their positions. This comprises job-specific training and knowledge about the company's culture, regulations, and processes.
  3. Be interactive: An excellent orientation program should include dynamic and energetic exchanges in which recruits may ask questions, discuss their thoughts, and engage with their co-workers.
  4. Be ongoing: New hire orientation is not a one-time event but a process that should continue beyond the initial onboarding period. [Further reading]

New hire orientation: What are the steps in the orientation process?

Did you know that 4% of new hires quit after a disastrous first day, and 22% of turnover happens within the first 45 days? A solid job orientation process will help your organization avoid that. New hire orientation is vital in integrating new employees into a company. It establishes the tone for the employee's experience and can influence their performance, job happiness, and retention. The new hire orientation process often includes several phases to expose new workers to the business, its culture, and job duties. Among the essential steps in the orienting process are:

Step 1: Preparing for orientation: Human Resources professionals or the recruiting manager must prepare the documents and resources needed for the new hire orientation, such as corporate policies, job descriptions, and training materials, before the orientation. They may also collaborate with additional divisions, like Information Technology, to ensure the new employee can access the necessary tools and resources. According to SHRM employees need to have clear ideas about their job duties and responsibilities on day one.

Step 2: Welcoming and introductions: The new employee is welcomed to the organization and introduced to their new hire orientation facilitator or HR representative. Depending on the organization, they may receive a welcome packet or gift. To make the orientation successful, one has to personalize the orientation with some nice new hire perks, such as a corporate t-shirt, notepads, pens, and water bottles, thus according to TC. Taylor.

Step 3: Organization overview: The facilitator gives a brief history, purpose, vision, values, and company culture. This information assists the new hire in understanding the organization's mission and how they fit in.

Step 4: Job responsibilities: A comprehensive introduction to their work responsibilities is provided to the new employee. This covers the complete scope of their role, the expectations for their performance, and the criteria for their success.

Step 5: Policies and procedures: The recruit is informed of the organization's standards and procedures, such as dress code, benefits, attendance, and timekeeping. They may also get a guidebook summarizing these policies.

Step 6: Safety and security: The new hire is trained on the company's safety and security protocols, including emergency procedures, hazard communication, and workplace safety.

Step 7: Company tour: The Company's facilities include important areas such as the break room, restrooms, and emergency exits. The new hire gets to see these areas during a company tour.

Step 8: Introductions: The new hire is introduced to their supervisor, colleagues, and key stakeholders.

Step 9: Q&A and feedback: The recruit can ask questions about the new hire orientation process and provide comments. This input assists the organization in improving its new hire orientation program and ensuring that new hires get the resources and assistance they require to be successful.

Step 10: Follow-up and ongoing support: The HR staff or hiring manager follows up with the new hire to ensure they have all the resources and support they need to succeed in their new role. Ongoing support may include regular check-ins, additional training, and mentoring or coaching.

Related: Induction: This is how to Teach New Employees to Swim in the Deep End of a New Environment

New Hire Orientation: Conclusion

In conclusion, new hire orientation is a crucial step in any organization's onboarding process. It assists new employees in becoming acquainted with the business culture, rules and procedures, job-specific training, and chances for contact and engagement with co-workers and management.

Tanyaradzwa Shava is a Talent Acquisition Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
LinkedIn: Tanyaradzwa Shava
Phone: (0242) 481946-9/481950
Mobile: (+263) 713289019

Tanyaradzwa Shava
This article was written by Tanyaradzwa a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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