Being new to Businessolver, (but having decades of industry experience) I’ll admit I had a bit of an eye roll when I was asked to participate in a week-long new-hire orientation at the company headquarters in Des Moines.
And, WOW – was I ever wrong! Having now experienced an effective new hire orientation, I highly recommend anyone considering a new job to ask about the new hire orientation opportunities the company offers. The response they have will tell you a lot about their company culture.
Those in HR should also take note. Successful onboarding programs can help employees feel confident in their role and increase their feeling of value to the organization. This boosts overall employee engagement and increases retention rates at the get go.
Employees armed with the tools they need to succeed through a strong new hire orientation program can become key stakeholders in the company. What are sometimes called, Brand Ambassadors. How? A well-thought out and organized onboarding program can truly showcase your organization’s culture and get buy in from new employees who are already excited about a new opportunity. Plus, by investing in a robust onboarding strategy, you are investing in your most valued asset, your employees. And they appreciate it by staying. Research shows that a full 40 percent of employees who don't receive the necessary job training to become effective will leave their positions within the first year.
Here are a few positives from my experience.
Organizational integration. It’s one thing to read about an organization’s culture. It’s another to truly experience it first-hand. Here are a few questions that a stellar onboarding program can answer:
- Do they really care about employee well-being? While in Des Moines, I could actually see people taking the stairs, not the elevator.
- Do they value new hires? Senior leaders of the organization shared their time and insights with the new hire class.
- Is transparency valued? Learnings and opportunities for improvement were shared more often than company success stories. Being on-site and in-person allowed the chance to really feel the culture of the new organization and seeing is believing.
Real time phone-a-friend. Starting a new job can be a stressful experience. Sitting with a group of fellow new hires greatly reduces that anxiety and provides a comfortable and safe environment to ask the dumb questions. What’s the logon again? When will I get my badge? How did you get to those marketing materials? Where do I go to submit expenses? What did that acronym stand for? Without having the safe space of the new hire orientation to ask those questions, the new hire could feel frustrated and like a “nagging a neighbor.” But not knowing the answer to these questions for these can negatively impact overall company productivity and efficiency. Easy questions are sometimes the best ones to answer!
Faster path to productivity. Throwing an employee into the deep end and asking them to swim generally leaves new hires treading water. A successful new hire orientation helps employees get acclimated to their new surroundings. They learn the lingo, acronyms and meeting protocol. They learn the various divisions of the organization and how the parts fit together. They learn where to go for help. They walk out with a clear understanding of their role, the value they can add, and how success is defined. So rather than treading water, they are off to the races!
Employers certainly have pressure to hire and retain great talent. But each of us as individuals has great pressure to CHOOSE the right employer for our own personal success. My experience is that an investment in an effective and engaging new hire orientation will pay off for both parties.
Interested in learning more about the perks your employees like and get value from? Check out our e-book below.