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Teamwork:  Sense of purpose, solid goals, improved individual and group performance, increased productivity, increased creativity, increased sense of employee motivation and belonging.

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 to succeed.

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, here 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 of what they will be doing in their new job):

• How long have you been with the company? How long in this position?
• What are your key responsibilities?
• What are some of your department’s (team’s) key accomplishments?
• 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 on?
• 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:;; 816-943-0868.

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This site is the Copyright Property of The KENNA Company Our newsletter - Promoting Excellence - provides our clients and other subscribers with articles and 'how to' suggestions in areas such as motivating employees, hiring the best candidate, self-management, sales tips, manager essentials, leadership and more. A company's privacy policy is critical if you plan to provide them with any of your personal information.  Please read ours.  In essesnce, we won't share it with anyone. Please let us know how we can better meet your needs - on this site, in our newsletter or at your business. Joe McKenna is Founder of The KENNA Company.  Read about his background.  If you choose to sign up with us for Executive Coaching, Joe will be your coach. The KENNA Company - helping leaders select and engage high impact employees. Proud partner of Target Training International and Innermetrix.