While it is important to share enough information for employees to do their job, employers should avoid overwhelming a new employee with too much information on the first day.
Orientation of new employees is important to building good relationships with employees and providing them with the tools they need to succeed. The following includes some of the best practice ideas compiled from the Human Resource Council of Canada and other employers. Organizations are encouraged to take the ideas that work best for them and compile them into a New Employee Orientation Checklist.
Before the employee begins employment, send them a letter or email welcoming them to the organization, verifying their starting date and providing them a copy of the employee policies and procedures manual. Note that you'll dedicate time to review the manual after they commence employment.
When the employee begins employment:
While it is important to share enough information for employees to do their job, employers should avoid overwhelming a new employee with too much information on the first day. A good orientation supports the intensive learning curve that a new employee will experience.
Consider the experience form the employee’s perspective and then make an effort to make it fun, interesting and as simple as possible. The new employee may be new to your sector, or new to the country. Some workplace practices or norms that Canadian employees take for granted may be work reviewing. Assigning specific, meaningful work to do as soon as possible will help a new employee feel part of the team.
Rather than hiding away a new employee to read over policies, procedures, handbooks and every report produced in the past five year, consider making the first few days of work as much about meeting people as digesting information. Set up meetings with different staff members or volunteers who can speak about the work/organization from their perspective.
An employee and book is often used in and orientation process. The handbook serves as a ready reference to the material covered during the orientation period. Today, many organizations house this type of employee resource in electronic format that is easily accessible for all employees.
There are often formal and informal ‘rules’ at the workplace. Do you observe a casual Friday? What is the office dress code? Do you celebrate office birthdays? How do employees share topics at staff meetings? Who makes the coffee? Can I just walk into people’s offices or do I make an appointment? There are many unwritten ‘rules’ that guide behavior in a workplace, and sometimes these are the most difficult, yet most important, for new employees to identify on their first days on the job.