Orientation Handbook: Getting Employees Off to a Good Start

An effective human resource professional knows that managing employee performance is more than conducting performance reviews or disciplining staff. Performance management begins with an orientation to the organization and the job, and continues on a daily basis as employees are trained and coached.

A thoughtful new employee orientation program, coupled with an employee handbook that communicates workplace policies, can reduce turnover and save your organization thousands of dollars. Whether your company has two employees or a thousand employees, don’t leave employee retention to chance. Give them what they need to feel welcome, know why they were hired, and know how to do the job.

Learning objectives for participants include:

  • Understand how important an orientation program is to an organization.
  • Identify the role of the human resource department in the orientation program.
  • Recognize how the commitment curve affects both new employees and their managers.
  • Know what companies can do to deliver their promise to new employees.
  • Determine the critical elements of effective employee training.
  • Establish the importance of having an employee handbook for new and long-term employees.

Introduction and Course Overview
The instructor will spend the first part of the day getting to know participants and discussing what will take place during the workshop. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives.

Finding, Hiring, and Keeping Good People
To begin, participants will discuss the organizational activities required to find, hire, and keep good people, and how those activities tie into an orientation process.

Building Employee Commitment
Next, participants will learn about the four pillars of commitment: clarity, competence, influence, and appreciation.

During this session, participants will explore how perceptions and appearances can affect orientation.

Fast Track Orientation
This session will discuss what kind of orientation is best for short term employees.

Designing a Successful Orientation Program
Next, participants will think about their own experiences with orientation. They will combine this with a list of common orientation mistakes to develop a framework for designing a successful program.

The Eight Orientation Habits of World-Class Employers
During this session, participants will learn what world-class employers do to make their orientation program a success.

Obtaining Buy-In
This session will give participants some ways to get buy-in from supervisors for the orientation program.

The Commitment Curve
Next, participants will learn about the employer/employee commitment curve, and how to make the orientation process work with it.

Characteristics of a Successful Orientation Process
During this session, participants will discuss the top ten characteristics of a successful orientation process and how they can incorporate those items into their organization.

Employee Training
Participants will spend this session completing Kolb’s learning style inventory and learning how it applies to employee orientation and training.

Addressing Learner Needs and Expectations
This session will teach participants how to define training expectations.

Working with External Providers
Next, participants will discuss what to consider when working with external providers during orientation.

Adult Learning
This session will introduce participants to the principles of adult learning. Participants will also discuss how to incorporate these principles into orientation and training.

How to Build and Sustain Interest
During this session, participants will learn how to motivate their employees during orientation.

Bridging the Generation Gap
Next, participants will take a brief look at resolving generational issues.

Creating Employee Manuals
During this session, participants will discuss what should be included in employee handbooks.

A Checklist for Success
To wrap up the day, participants will create a checklist of necessary items for their orientation. Then, they will work with a partner to brainstorm ways to improve their current orientation process.

Workshop Wrap-Up
At the end of the day, students will have an opportunity to ask questions and fill out an action plan.

Shalane BowleyOrientation Handbook: Getting Employees Off to a Good Start