New Employee Orientation

Employment Exhibition
Employment Exhibition (Photo credit: Modern_Language_Center)

Why is Orientation Important?

Research shows that orientation programs can have a positive effect on both organizations and employees.  Effective onboarding has been found to improve employee engagement, performance and retention levels of new hires, increase employee commitment and satisfaction, as well as reduce turnover.  Research has found that attending an orientation program positively impacted organizational socialization in terms of understanding and accepting the organization’s goals, values, and history, as well as contributed to increased relationship building and organizational commitment.

When employees are welcomed by their employer, they feel respected, both personally and professionally, and this treatment translates into greater commitment to the organization, increased trust in management and inspired work performance is the next step to ensure the effort that went into hiring the right candidate is not wasted.

Your Role:

As the hiring manager, you have a dramatic influence on how a new employee feels about his/her new workplace during the initial week.  As research has demonstrated that employees decided if they are happy with their new workplace during the first 3 days of employment, the environment presented to the new hire is paramount to the success of your organization’s recruitment and retention efforts.  Be supportive.  Be welcoming.  Ensure your new employee knows that you are happy to have him/her on your team.

Day One:

On an employee’s first day, make a lasting connection with a new hire by doing the following:

  •  Meet employee at reception
  •  Ensure there is a meaningful work project for new employee
  •  Assign the new employee a peer mentor/coach in the organization to ask question he/she may not be comfortable asking a manager
  •  Introduce the new employee to his/her coworkers and ensure they spend time together
  •  Ensure new employee has a schedule of events for first day
  •  Ensure new employee is informed of upcoming events to add to his/her calendar
  •  Discuss objectives for next two weeks

Social Media Policies – Guest Posting by Kyle Lagunas

Social Media Policies: Promoting vs. Regulating Use

Fact: most employees occasionally use social media tools at work for personal reasons, anyway. Unsurprisingly, business leaders want guidelines in place for regulating employee use of social media outlets–and protecting against misuse–on personal and company accounts alike. Many 2012 corporate to-do lists include creating an official policy for regulating employees’ Tweets, Likes and Shares while at work.

One thing that I’ve noticed, though, is that while regulation-focused policies protect an organization against any potential social media blunders, they cast a shadow over the shoulder of every employee who uses the internet on a daily basis (shudder). Well-intended though they are, this approach to establishing guidelines often prevent the company from seeing any benefits whatsoever from employee use of social media. My suggestion: If your employees are already using social media while at work, why not make the most of it?

Though there’s certainly more than one way to skin this cat – there isn’t one universal social media policy that works for all, right? – there are a few things to consider when creating a more forward-thinking policy.

For example, you want to be sure you, your leaders, and your people know what you want to accomplish through social media. Are you using it for recruiting? Marketing? Branding? Promotions? For many organizations, the first step in creating a social media policy is to define the who, what, when and where of social media usage in the company. But according to Maren Hogan, Chief Marketing Brain of RedBranchMedia, “that’s doing it a little backwards.” With a clear purpose informing your policy, people will have an easier time understanding and following your guidelines.

On that note, you’re going to make sure that – regardless of your speficic business goals – you are sure to invite everyone in the organization to participate. Of course, you’ll work with managers to decide which departments must incorporate social media into their daily workflows… But how can you encourage other departments to participate? One note: Set separate guidelines delineating voluntary users and mandatory users, so your people know what’s expected of them.

At some point, you’re going to need damage control. “When social media issues arise,” says Hogan, “who do you go to for help? IT? Marketing? A social media coordinator? The CIO?”  Get proactive, and establish a hierarchy of ownership – that way, your people will know when to talk to whom about what. Assign responsibility to the most sensible parties and provide a course of action for addressing mishaps and escalating issues when necessary.

So maybe you’re not paying people to hang out on Facebook all day. Structure is certainly important, and defining who is authorized to access various platforms makes sense… but “Our brains don’t work with don’ts–they work in a positive way,” says Rob Garcia, VP of Product at UpMo. “Policies that limit and regulate are bound to be unsuccessful. They push people away from social media, rather than using it to achieve company goals.” Bottom line: People are bound to make mistakes, your policies should be driven by what to do, rather than what not do.

You’re bound to run into a few challenges when creating, implementing and supporting an official social media policy. Hands-down, the hardest part is building a company culture that embraces a social mindset, one driven by the sharing of ideas and information. With that in mind, leadership should lead the charge in adopting your social media policy, paving the way for the rest of the organization. Garcia’s straightforward advice to leaders: “Show up and participate. The companies that are the most social media savvy are led by people who are plugged in and using different platforms to have valuable conversations.”


About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice – a website that reviews talent management and human resources software. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.