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Staff Orientation - It Pays to Help New Staff Start Right

Effectively orienting your new employees can pay big dividends in staff retention, employee commitment, company culture and customer satisfaction.

Staff members who are properly trained and welcomed at the beginning of their careers will feel good about their choice of employer, fit in more quickly with peers and colleagues and readily contribute new ideas.

Staff Orientation

Properly oriented employees will also speak well about your organisation to their family and friends. They will represent you more confidently with customers, business partners and suppliers.

But poor orientation of new employees can cost you dearly.

Those who don't start right don't tend to stay long, either. High staff turnover means you must recruit, hire, orient and train new staff all over again.

Staff turnover also takes a high toll on the morale of those who remain behind. When people leave your organisation, those who remain inevitably wonder if they should seek new employment, too.

While many managers agree that staff orientation is important, very few invest the time and attention necessary to make sure it's done right and consistently. Now is a good time to review your staff orientation program to be sure your new staff 'start right'.

Staff Orientation - Here are some guidelines to doing it right:

Think long-term.

Effective staff orientation is a gradual process and does not end after the second day on the job. The initial induction of employees during the first few days is important. But it is even more important to make sure new employees fit in and feel comfortable over the long term. This can mean six weeks for a factory worker, or up to six months for new members of a senior management team.

A time for everything, everything in it's time.

New employees arrive with basic questions that must be answered quickly: 'What is the dress code? Where are the tools for my job? How does the telephone system work? When do people eat, meet and get paid?'

After the initial induction period, your employee's questions will change and mature: 'How am I being appraised? Why is the system set up this way? How can I (safely) suggest changes? Who can I see for guidance, approval and support?'

Don't try to answer all possible questions in the least possible time. Stretch out the process to cover the first weeks or months on the job. This lets new staff understand essential information more gradually - and thus more completely.

An extended staff orientation program also reassures new employees. Newcomers are under great pressure to perform and adapt. Your extended program shows you understand their situation, you care about their adjustment and you will continue to show interest and support over time.

Involve everyone in the process.

New employees are not the only ones affected by the design and quality of your staff orientation program. Other groups are influenced during this important period as well: peers, bosses, junior staff, senior managers, customers, suppliers and even the new hire's family back home.

Each group has different questions and concerns about the new employee. You can address their concerns by giving these groups an active role in the overall staff orientation program. Buddy systems, lunch meetings, panel discussions, site visits, family days - these methods and other activities can involve diverse groups of individuals in the overall staff orientation process.

The reputation of your human resources and training departments are also at stake. If the staff orientation is well planned and conducted, these departments will be seen by new employees as a valuable resource for addressing their future concerns. On the other hand, poor staff orientation sends an early message that these 'people departments' are ineffective or out-of-touch.

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Trial an Australian-built Staff Orientation Feedback survey:

PeoplePulse is an Australian-built online survey tool that is currently used by over 200 Australian and New Zealand based organisations of all sizes to conduct online new employee surveys. The tool can be used by HR to conduct cost effective staff climate surveys, training needs analysis surveys, exit surveys, and 'new starter' feedback surveys ... to name a few popular uses.

Please complete the form below to arrange your FREE custom-branded Staff Orientation Feedback survey software demonstration and a PeoplePulse pricing and information sheet.

Upon completing the form below, a PeoplePulse representative will contact you to discuss your needs and current situation. From there we will set up your demo and arrange a suitable time to show the system to you:

Please be assured that your correspondence with us is confidential. We will not divulge email addresses or any other details you provide to outside sources.

The above demonstration request form was powered by PeoplePulse.

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