Recruiting and hiring the right talent is a process most organizations spend valuable resources on. Where many fall short though, is in the process completed over the first few days after a new hire begins: orientation. Most organizations fail to introduce, immerse, train and integrate new employees well in those first crucial days. Which is a shame, because orientation has a huge impact on employee satisfaction and retention. A poorly run orientation is a waste of hard earned talent and resources.
We know that an employee’s orientation is a critical piece of their overall job experience and has dramatic effects on retention, so it makes sense to look there first, and see how turnover could be avoided by improving that experience.
It’s best to start by looking at what new employees are currently experiencing in their first two days. What is being prioritized? Are they bombarded with tedious paperwork? Are they handed a cumbersome employee manual to review? Are they immediately put to work on tasks they’re unsure of? Or are they integrated in an exciting way that highlights your brand and culture and connects them to their role in both?
The most effective approach, unsurprisingly, is the latter.
Here are a few tips to get orientation right:
Focus on the brand.
What does your company do, whom do you serve and what makes you exciting and unique? They’ll have likely been introduced to these concepts during the recruiting process but, reiterating them at orientation helps to reengage them with their choice to join your team in the first place. Perhaps include the marketing team to help get the new employee excited about your mission and highlight what’s great about your company.
Use storytelling to highlight the history of the company and the vision for the future.
Elicit an emotional connection between the new employee and the company. Add a human element to help them empathize with the journey and bring a sense of belonging. This is a great chance to include senior leadership or even founders to set the stage and get them excited. Understanding the history of the organization and painting a vivid picture of where it’s going in the future is a great way to connect them to their role in making a difference in that future.
Introduce your customers.
Introducing new employees to customers, whether in person or in concept, helps them understand the purpose behind the company and get acquainted with whom they’re truly serving in their work. It helps them connect to their purpose. Introduce them to the shared mindset that must be adopted in order to provide outstanding customer experiences.
Drive home values.
Values define how employees interact with each other and everyone else they encounter in their work. They are the cornerstone of company culture and it’s extremely important to communicate them clearly from the start. Spending the most time over the course of orientation on values makes sense because when a new employee fully understands and begins to embody those values, their integration into the organization, and success as an individual, is more likely.
The employee manual and paperwork can wait. Or better yet, they can be done electronically, prior to a start date. Don’t spend those precious few days of orientation boring new talent to death and isolating them from the true culture of the organization. Commit to making orientation and experience they’ll be excited about. At the end of the day, the real priorities of your organization have nothing to do with benefits paperwork, and everything to do with your values and mission. Use this crucial time to communicate and engage your new employees with them and what your retention rates improve.
Ready to learn more about best practices when it comes to onboarding talent? We can help. Contact us today!