Learning & Development

Orient Your Supervisors Toward Better New Employee Orientation

“Orientation has a direct impact on future productivity, performance, and job satisfaction. And you (the supervisor) play a key role in the success of the orientation process.”

These words are from BLR’s training program, Audio Click’ n Train: New Employee Orientation: A How-To for Supervisors. Both formal studies and common sense prove that they’re true. The supervisor is the key player in getting a new employee off to a good start on a job.

HR has its role, of course. You recruit new employees, screen them, and do the initial onboard processing that puts them to work. But it’s the supervisor who takes over from there. And it’s the supervisor who sets the tone, possibly for the worker’s entire tenure of employment. What are his or her key tasks during orientation? Here’s what the authors of New Employee Orientation: A How-To for Supervisors, say:

–Welcome the employee. Supervisors should realize that bringing in a new worker is not like putting a new part in a machine. There’s emotion to it. A warm handshake, a smile and a “glad to have you here” and a “looking forward to working with you again tomorrow,” from your new boss can create positive feelings for the day, and perhaps the years, to come.

–Explain the Policies: Although the worker may have held a similar position elsewhere, every company has its specifics, and a new worker usually knows none of them. Explanation should start with such simple matters as where to park, what to wear, and what door to enter, on Day One. Information on hours, pay, benefits, safety and security, and where the break and rest rooms are located are as essential to a new worker as how to do the new job. The program provides several checklists to be sure all the needed information is covered.

–Discuss Job Standards. “At no time,” say the program narrators, “is the employee more receptive to learning the job standards than at orientation.” Supervisors should use this opportunity for a solid discussion of what’s expected, and how and how often it’s measured.

–Select an “Orientation Assistant,” a solidly performing job veteran, with pride in the company, to serve as a mentor or buddy to the newcomer. This person will be the newcomer’s conduit to his or her new world in terms of introductions and information, and will be constantly available to answer questions or provide help.

–Understand Adult Learning. As the program explains, adults learn the least by reading, the most, by doing. Supervisors are advised to set up demonstrations and to let the worker try his or her hand. And because the mind can accept only so much new information at a time, learning should be divided into small chunks over the first month.

Finally, say the authors, assign meaningful work, such as helping the orientation assistant do the job, or carrying out simple tasks on his or her own on the first day. “Reading stacks of manuals,” the program narrator declares, “is not a good beginning.”

The Audio Click’n Train program, New Employee Orientation: A How- To for Supervisors, is available under BLR’s assurance of satisfaction. Click below for more information or to order.


No More Stacks of Manuals!
Are your supervisors starting new workers off by having them read a stack of manuals? If so, they need to be trained on what a proper new employee orientation should be. Here’s the program to do it … and to procure the later high performance and job satisfaction that comes from starting off right. It’s BLR’s professionally narrated Audio Click ’n Train: New Employee Orientation: A How-To for Supervisors. Read more about it.