By Joe McKenna
You’ve found an ideal candidate
for the job. Now what?
Some companies show new hires to their desks, give
them a policy and procedures manual, and wish them
luck. But who wants to work for, or invest in, or buy
products from a company that runs on ‘luck’?
Some companies have formal orientation sessions that
could put an insomniac to sleep. The information isn’t
relevant or the format isn’t engaging. Is it
feasible to offer great new hire orientation? YES! And here are three tips!
One - Decide why your new hires need an orientation.
According to Webster’s dictionary, “Orientation
is a time to acquaint [new employees] with the current
situation or environment.” You want them to contribute
to your organization’s success, right?
Then they need to know what success looks like in
their job. They need to know the goals and roles, the
ground rules and resources available to them. They
need to know who does what, when and why. And they
especially need to know how they fit into that picture—how
they can contribute, and what’s in it for them.
Orientation, done well, is enlightening and engaging;
it equips and enables new hires to do their best work—for
their benefit and the benefit of the organization.
Two—Have all managers hold individual meetings
with new hires—the first day, if possible. Ask
and answer lots of questions. Discuss job responsibilities,
the new hire’s developmental plan, the manager’s
expectations. Explain how performance is evaluated.
Perhaps much of this was covered during the interview.
Cover it again. Most candidates are nervous during
interviews and may not remember important points.
The orientation meeting is also a good time to discuss
the new hire’s assessment reports completed during
the interview process. These reports help the manager
and employee get to know each other better and establish
ground rules for working well together.
Too busy to conduct such a meeting? Deep down, you
probably realize that the old phrase ‘pay me
now or pay me later’ applies here. If you’re
too busy to help your new employees know what they
need to do their jobs … you’re too busy.
You hired them because you need them. You need them
Three—Have new hires meet individually with
each person they’ll interact with regularly
in their job—including peers inside or outside
the department, clients, support staff, etc. The
goal is simply to start to get to know these people
and vice versa.
Have the new hire prepare for each discussion
by building a list of questions to ask, or information
to gather. (They will be making a first impression
and must be prepared and organized.) And remind them
not just to cover the task topics. Work styles and
expectations are important as well. For example,
are some question the new hire can ask (after providing
a little info about themselves—i.e. family,
work background/experience and a short explanation
they will be doing in their new job):
• How long have you been with the company? How long in
• What are your key responsibilities?
What are some of your department’s (team’s)
• What are some of your biggest obstacles?
• What are some ways I might be able to help?
• What type of correspondence do you want to be copied
• If I have questions that I need you to answer for me,
would you prefer me to call, set an appointment,
stop by or e-mail you?
• As I get started in my new job, what advice do you
have for me?
What does your company do to help a new hire ‘get
off to a great start’? If you are in a position
to review the organization’s orientation process,
great. What are you doing well now? How can it be better?
If you aren’t in a position to affect change
on a company-wide basis, but you hire and manage employees
realize that it doesn’t have to be ‘policy’ to
do the things suggested in this article.
© The KENNA Company – Joe McKenna helps
companies select and engage high impact performers.
His products and services help companies improve productivity,
retention and employee satisfaction. To reach Joe:
firstname.lastname@example.org; www.1039136.sites.myregisteredsite.com; 816-943-0868.
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