Setting the Right Tone: Map out your employee orientation plan
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Setting the Right Tone: Map out your employee orientation plan

Setting the Right Tone: Map out your employee orientation plan

Orientation is an important event that sets the tone for your new employee’s job engagement. Employees are statistically more likely to stay with a company that has a great onboarding and orientation experience.

This is not only a time to explain policies and expectations, but to reinforce your culture while you connect and celebrate. The way orientation is handled is the new hire’s first impression of their co-workers, work environment, the company, and you. Make sure they feel welcome and appreciated.

Before orientation

You can set up for a smooth, successful orientation by preparing everything you need in advance. Here’s a list:

  • Prepare uniform, supplies, keys, etc. to give to the new hire.
  • Create new user logins and grant permissions for all applicable systems.
  • Add new hires to your timekeeping system so that the employee can immediately clock in.
  • Call the employee to confirm attendance and answer any questions.
  • Make sure that all applicable federal, state, and local labor law posters are current and displayed in a prominent area.

Bonus tip: Share how excited you are about the new hire before their first day, so employees are aware of the new hire and eager to meet them.

During orientation

It’s time to give the new hire the best orientation they’ve ever had. Welcome them genuinely and warmly and spend some time getting to know them better. It’s always a great idea to offer a beverage and a snack.

It’s important to share the company’s story, so the new team member understands the history of their new workplace. This is particularly helpful when conveying the company’s culture. 

Give the new hire:

  • Snacks/beverages/welcome gift
  • Important contact information
  • Keys
  • Login credentials for email and any other applicable system(s)
  • Training schedule

Procedures

Show the new hire where to find all labor law posters and review important highlights with examples. You’ll also want to have an in-depth discussion about policies in your employee handbook. Be sure to review:

  • Parking
  • Breaks
  • Storing personal items
  • Uniforms
  • Employee discounts
  • Attendance, tardiness, and call-out procedures
  • Payroll schedule
  • What to do if there’s a conflict
  • Scheduling, swaps, PTO, off days

It’s also important to confirm next steps and to thank the new hire for their time and attention. Let them know how excited you are to work with them.

Bonus tip: Did your new hire mention any favorite snacks, colors, etc. during the interview process? Take those into consideration when preparing for orientation.

After orientation

During training, it’s important to touch base with the new hire, trainer, manager, and others. Determine who is responsible for reaching out to whom. Establish a timeline and calendar for check-ins, and plan at least one in-person visit to show your support. After all, you are responsible for setting them up for success.

Mary Lou Atkins sHRBP, is the vice president of human resources at Chicken Salad Chick. She is a seasoned and strategic HR executive with 40-plus years of experience in the restaurant industry. She is skilled in talent and performance management as well as employee relations. She joined Chicken Salad Chick in 2019 as human resources director after previously holding various positions within operations, training, and HR at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for 35 years.

Published: June 29th, 2024

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