Human resources

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Q. How can we implement a new employee orientation program?

A. Remember the old adage "You only have one chance to make a good first impression"? This holds true whenever you welcome a new employee to your organization.

Having spent much time, effort and money in the recruitment process to find the right person, be sure not to fall short when your new employees actually come on board. Your company's new employee orientation program (or lack of one) can make or break the success of a new employee during those critical first days. 

Your orientation program should include team members from all areas and levels of your organization. Work together with each department manager to develop an outline of the information to be covered for the new employee's specific area of responsibility. Schedule time for your new employee with each department in your organization, and provide your new employee with an outline of the orientation schedule prior to the start date. Knowing the responsibilities of other departments is essential to a new employee's success. 

Also, formally welcome new employees during companywide meetings and allow time for them to talk about themselves and their experiences.

Additionally, don't forget to check back with new employees to answer questions and obtain feedback. Schedule another check back meeting (or "stay interview") for mid-way into an initial probationary period. Doing so will allow you to hear and address any areas of concern early on.

Lastly, be sure to review your new orientation program periodically. Look for ways to enhance the process by requesting employee feedback and make changes as your business changes.

Michele Faulkner is the human resources manager at Merits Health Products. Reach her at or 239-772-0579, ext. 268.