March 18, 2012

Starting off on the Right Foot



A great number of organizations have hired new staff or moved current staff into new positions.  This hiring has been completed at a time of great change and upheaval for the program delivery of the organization however it is important not to forget the key areas that keep new employees engaged from the start of their new job.  A good Employee Orientation Program is the key to the completion of a successful hiring process!

A good employee orientation program will include the following items:
  • A New Employee Checklist for the pre-planning that goes into being ready for a new employee’s arrival.  A Sample New Employee Checklist is included here for download
  • On the first day of employment, the new Employee is provided with the following:
o   A tour of the space they will be working
o   Introduction to all the staff including their team members and their manager
o   Forms for completion for payroll and benefits (even better – email to them ahead of time and have them bring them in completed and ready with questions!  Saves time on the first day!)
o   Show them their office/work space and computer. Take time to do an orientation of how the computer is set up and what further set up is required.
o   Assign the new employee a buddy/mentor so that they have someone to go to with questions and for clarification. This also helps builds a person’s sense of community and belongingness early on in the process.
  • Arrange for lunch to be brought in for the team to give people a chance to get to know each other or arrange for them to all go for lunch together.  At a minimum, the manager and one or two others should spend the lunch hour together so that the new person isn’t left alone to fend for themselves.
  • Within the first week, be sure to cover these areas of learning with the new employee:
o   A presentation of the organization overall with a focus on the mission, vision and mandate of the organization, linking where the new employee’s program and their specific role contributes.
o   A presentation from each program about the elements included in their specific program with an overview of what type of client they serve
o   A meeting with the Executive Director or Owner of the organization to build rapport and to develop a sense of belonging to the great organization
o   A check in meeting with their manager to make sure that all learning needs have been or will be covered
o   A review of the organization’s Policy Manual with an opportunity to ask questions
  • By the end of the first month, a new employee should have a professional development/learning plan and a clear sense of goals and objectives that they will be measured against at their 3 month evaluation. The date should be set for the meeting at the end of the first month.
We all know the power of first impressions and the first impression for a new employee comes from the power of their experience when they first start their new job. Make a great impression and bring the new employee into the fold early on and create every opportunity for success.  You will reap the rewards!

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