How you welcome new employees into your business will differentiate you from other companies. Some employers do not feel a new employee orientation is necessary, but there are quite a few things covered in this procedure that are valuable to both employee and employer. Showing the employee the ropes, so to speak, gets them familiar with their new surroundings and allows you to show them you care about their being comfortable and succeeding at their job. This should only take a couple of hours of your time at most, and that's a good investment for the future of your company.
It's best to perform the orientation before they begin their first full day, but if it cannot be avoided, make sure you plan and schedule your day accordingly. Be sure your orientation material covers industry specifics, safety, company history, goals, and culture. Of course, these things will vary depending upon the sophistication and size of your company. For further ideas, check out Doris Sims' book Creative New Employee Orientation Programs: Best Practices, Creative Ideas, and Activities for Energizing Your Orientation Program.
The typical orientation should go as follows:
" Fill out taxes and personnel forms.
" Go over the employee handbook. The handbook should cover topics such as benefits, policies, procedures, dress code, sick leave, punching in, work rules, and email policy. Taking the time to talk about specific benefits is very helpful to new employees. This point in the orientation would be ideal for completing enrollment forms for health care too.
" Coworker introductions. It's always awkward being the new kid on the block, so taking the employee around for some small talk is helpful. Common ground may be discovered while chatting and that will help break the ice. When the employees have to work together in the future, it won't be as odd approaching each other.