What is Employee Orientation?
In a company’s recruitment process, employee orientation plays a significant role. This is because the new joiners get to know about the company with this programme.
Hence, the planning and execution of the orientation programme should be in such a manner that provides complete information about various aspects of the company.
In simple words, orientation refers to a well-planned process of welcoming employees and providing all the necessary information to them to make the new employees feel at ease in the organization.
- It not just makes the new employee feel assured and comfortable with the new workplace, but also adds a sense of belongingness to them.
- Talking about the duration of an orientation programme, which varies from a couple of hours to several months. this greatly rests upon the job requirements and the organization’s policies and philosophy.
- Programmes like this generally give a briefing of the company’s background and history, culture, mission and vision, work practices, values and expectations, products and services offered etc.
- Moreover, it must explain HR practices. This will include explanations concerning pay scales and incentive schemes, probation period, training duration, working hours, overtime rules, safety rules and so forth.
- Many organizations take the employees for visiting the office premises and introduce them to all the departments and facilities present in the workplace.
Objectives of Employee Orientation
The different objectives behind organizing an employee orientation programme are to:
- Formally and procedurally welcome the new hires.
- Reduce the uneasiness, anxiety and hesitation in the new hires, that they possess initially.
- Deliver information and accustom them to the work practices.
- Asses the new employees in a better way.
- Teach employees the basics of work and safety measures they have to take while working.
- Develop team spirit in the new people
Types of Orientation
There are three main types of orientation:
As the name suggests, this type of orientation covers basic information regarding the organization. This may include details relating to policies and practices, rules and regulations with regard to timing, and attendance. Also, information concerning safety rules, emergency exits, fire extinguishers and first-aid is given to employees. Further, compensation-related details like salary, incentive schemes, facilities etc. are also provided to them.
Job Specific Orientation
This type of orientation mainly focuses on the various aspects of the job like duties and responsibilities, reporting authority, department-specific matters, organizational structure, and so forth.
If an organization uses general and frequently used materials to give orientation to the new joiners it is traditional orientation. In these cases, orientation is regarded as a ritual or one-off practice by the firm. It tends to engage the employees on the first day and help them get rid of their initial nervousness.
In the case of modern orientation, the programme is serves as a beginning of a continuous process to transform an employee into an asset to the organization. Apart from tackling the first-day concerns of the new hires it also takes into consideration the training as well as career needs in a sustained manner. It develops team spirit, improves productivity and aims to achieve employee satisfaction and retention.
Process of Development of Orientation Programme
The process of development of an orientation programme includes six steps, these are:
Determining the firm’s policy and expectations
The first step in the process is to analyse the policies, mission and vision statements of the enterprise. This is to ascertain the expectations of the firm from its new hires and the kind of qualities it wants to inculcate in them. It should also list out the type of data the various departments need about the new joiners.
Ascertainment of objectives of the programme
There are a number of objectives in mind while organizing an orientation programme. This may range from the removal of fear and nervousness to delivering information about the management’s expectations of the employee behaviour and performance as well. It can also be making the employees familiar with their supervisor, colleagues and subordinates or briefing them about their roles and responsibilities in the firm.
Deciding the types of the orientation programme
Based on the enterprise policies and previous practices, the HR department may decide the type of orientation programme – general or job-specific. There are a number of determinants with must be kept in mind while deciding the type of programme. This may cover:
- Objectives of the programme
- Nature of information required
- Funding available to support the programme
If the HR department decides to organise several programmes for different categories of employees. In such cases, they must ensure the collection of relevant information about different employees with regard to their positions and departments.
Further, if the department wants to conduct job-specific programmes, then it should develop separate programmes for both managerial or non-managerial level and technical and non-technical personnel.
Selecting the Delivery Mode
At this step, the organization needs to choose among various delivery modes, the best mode to communicate information to the participants. For this, the HR department of the enterprise considers a number of factors. these factors are:L
- Total number of participants
- Nature of information to be conveyed
- Availability of infrastructure
- Category of participants
Further, there are three modes or methods of delivery of information which include:
- Classroom-based orientation,
- Multimedia-based orientation and
For better understanding, the company must provide brochures and instruction manuals to the participants.
Collecting the feedback of participants
Because these programmes are organized frequently in an enterprise, it is vital to cross-check the effectiveness of the programme. But the question arises – How we could check the effectiveness of the programmes?
Well, the answer is quite simple, the organization can take feedback from the participants about their views on the programme, loopholes and suggestions for improvement. This will greatly depend on the participant’s level of satisfaction. And on the basis of this satisfaction level, the orientation programmes to be conducted in future can be modified accordingly.
Ideal Orientation Programme
An ideal orientation programme has the following features:
- Clear-cut objectives
- Ascertains the roles of departments and personnel
- Determines what information about the new employees is required?
- Uses appropriate mode and channel of delivering information.
- Creates a healthy work environment for new hires.
- Looks for constant review and feedback to make improvements.
Problems in Orientation Programme
- The essence of this programme is to provide information. So, the new hires should not be overloaded with lots of information. This is because they won’t be able to grasp it all at once.
- A very formal and rigid orientation programme will cause boredom in the participants after a point of time. So, it is important to make the session more lively and interactive, so that they can actively participate, ask questions and feel at ease rather than keeping silent and listening all the time.
- The lack of proper time and training for the facilitators reduces the effectiveness of the programme. For an orientation to be successful organization should ensure that the facilitators have complete knowledge and experience regarding how to handle the anxiety and nervousness of the new hires.
- A programme that is not well framed and executed may turn out as a failure. It may also create a bad impression in the mind of new joiners regarding the efficiency of the enterprise. This will result in increased employee turnover. One should be precautious while framing the programme and implementing it.
- The grasping power of all the hires is not the same, because some learn and understand faster than others. While some may be able to understand things by just listening, others might need video presentations or demos to understand.
- A proper evaluation and follow-up are very crucial to the success of the orientation programme. If the organization does not take feedback from the participants, then it may end up following the same orientation programme year after year which may at one point of time, prove ineffective.
Above all, when the planning of an orientation programme takes place meticulously, it reduces the chances of mistakes.