Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Employee Orientation

Formal orientation programs should be something that is constantly looked at. Orientation can either make or break a new employee. I've actually known of people who have quit their new job because of orientation. Orientation quite often shows a direct correlation to your organizations overall training system. If orientation is unbearable . . . chances are so are the rest of your training programs.

Organizations normally want to get their new employees up to full productivity as soon as possible. That means cramming all of the new employee material into a reduced amount of time. Bad news. If employees are immediately overwhelmed with information that they probably won't remember anyway, there's no way they'll be able to contribute effectively to the team or be able to give quality customer service. If they're taught right off the bat to get through as fast as possible, then that's the way they'll approach the job from there on in.

If you have a number of things that need to be taught, keep to the basics. Cut out the "nice to know stuff". Give more time and repetition to critical information. The human brain can only hold on to so much new information. Overload it and it shuts down.

Facilitators also hold a very important role for orientation. These are some of the first people that the new employee will meet. Make sure they're enthusiastic, personable, and can project a positive perception about the organization. Without these characteristics bad attitudes could begin right here.

Remember - orientation is another type of welcome to your new employee. Make it count just as you would with a customer.

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