Job orientation is one of the most underrated HR functions. Many companies skip it, diving straight into onboarding, while some business owners think those two are the same.
This vital process lays the foundation for new hires’ careers and growth in their new workplace. It’s about first impressions and setting the stage for new employees’ successful training, development, and retention.
What is job orientation?
Job orientation is a one-time event to welcome new employees, help them acclimate to the new job, and share critical information about their responsibilities, benefits, and equipment.
It includes giving them a tour of the place, introducing them to new colleagues, discussing job duties, safety regulations, and company policies, and giving them a roadmap for long-term success.
It’s similar to onboarding but can last only one or several days. It focuses on presenting your company, ensuring new employees understand their daily duties, and completing the necessary paperwork.
Onboarding can last several months or a year, helping new employees reach the desired productivity, supporting them in all projects, and providing role-specific training.
Primary job orientation goals
The following goals will help you better understand the job orientation meaning and purpose and make the transition smooth and stress-free for new hires.
Introducing new hires to the company culture
Orientation might be the first time your new employees learn about your company’s culture. You can help them decide if your organization is a suitable cultural fit for their needs and prevent them from jumping ship once they start working full-time.
Orientation is the perfect time to communicate expectations and eliminate confusion regarding job responsibilities, goals, objectives, and your company’s mission and vision. The more new hires know about the job upfront, the less time they’ll spend on guesswork once they start working.
Joining a new team can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming. Orienting new employees helps them feel like they belong, eliminating their feelings of anxiety and isolation.
Building positive relationships with new teammates from day one is essential for inspiring a positive work attitude, increasing motivation, and strengthening the entire team.
Reducing employee turnover
The latest employee turnover statistics show that 28% of hires who leave within the first 90 days do so due to a poor cultural fit.
A negative experience during orientation and onboarding also doubles new hires’ likelihood to search for other job opportunities, while a positive experience increases retention by 82%.
Providing a structured job orientation that gives an excellent first impression and helps new employees adapt to the workplace and feel valued is the key to retaining them.
How to improve the job orientation meaning and success in the workplace
Improving the job orientation meaning and success in the workplace requires thorough planning. Here are the best practices for optimal results.
Send a job orientation plan.
A welcome letter with a job orientation plan will help new hires know what to expect. Specify the date and time, dress code, and any documentation they should bring.
Include their mentor or supervisor’s contact details, the schedule for all the tasks and activities you’ve prepared, and other relevant information regarding the process.
Assign a mentor.
Every new employee should have a mentor (a workplace buddy) to show them the ropes and answer all their questions during orientation.
A buddy system is ideal for sharing knowledge on daily processes, guiding new hires through their first days on the job, and establishing social connections.
Give a welcoming office tour.
Showing new hires around the office is necessary to help them acclimate to the new work environment and meet their colleagues and supervisors.
Having their workstations ready will make them feel at home, especially if you personalize them. For instance, you can provide corporate swag packages, including custom T-shirts, coffee mugs, pens, notepads, and key chains.
Communicate company policies, expectations, and employee benefits.
Job orientation should be fun and engaging, but you also must discuss your corporate policies, expectations, and employee benefits.
Make it exciting by focusing on your core values and tying them to rewards. Explain that your company recognizes and rewards hard work (as it should), providing everyone with equal career growth opportunities.
Don’t forget to use an employee data management system to store personnel, demographic, payroll, and medical information. It will help mentors and supervisors communicate critical processes and policies, clarify expectations and priorities, and complete the paperwork.
Have lunch together.
Leaving new employees hanging during lunch hour would make them feel isolated. Having lunch together is perfect for getting to know them better, learning about their career goals, and forging meaningful relationships.
Whether you head to your office lunchroom or go to a nearby establishment to grab a bite, invite other coworkers to help new hires feel like part of the team.
Ask for honest feedback.
Honest feedback is crucial for improving job orientation. However, ask for it after your new hires have settled in because they might not be comfortable making constructive suggestions beforehand.
Ask how the orientation met their needs, what information it should have included, and what they would change to make it more engaging, informative, and comfortable. Their recommendations will help you enhance your future performance.
Job orientation and employee retention go hand in hand. Following the steps above will help you put your best foot forward whenever you welcome new hires into your company. You’ll help them quickly reach their maximum potential and entice them to stay and grow with your company.