What Is a Job Orientation? 5 Ways to Set Up Your Team For Success

Bringing in new employees is both exciting and nerve wracking. It’s exciting because it’s usually a sign that your business is healthy and that you’ve found someone who can make a real contribution to your team. It’s nerve wracking because there’s often a lot of crucial information to give new employees, and making sure all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed can be a lot for someone who’s wearing several hats at once. 

That’s why it’s smart to hold a job orientation for new employees when they start. This investment in time can help new workers get up and running faster, while also introducing them into your company’s culture. And the sooner that happens, the smoother your business will run. 

What makes a job orientation effective? That’s a great question! Let’s take a closer look at what it is, what it isn’t, and some best practices for delivering them! 

What Is a Job Orientation? 

A job orientation is similar—and often part of—new employee onboarding. In fact, the two terms are often used interchangeably, although there are a few differences to note. 

The easiest way to think about it is that a job orientation is about introducing your organization to new employees, whereas onboarding is more specific to the individual and getting them up to speed in their particular role. 

The main goal of job orientation is to welcome new hires, to make them feel comfortable, prepared, and excited to start contributing. It’s your opportunity to lay out important policies and procedures, go over any systems needed to do their job, and to introduce them to your culture. The better you do at giving them a good foundation, the more you’ll be setting them up for success. 

Why conduct job orientation?

Small business owners and managers are busy, and finding the time to deliver an in-depth job orientation for each new hire can be challenging. But they’re truly worth it in the long run. 

Providing new employees with the right tools and training when they start can dramatically reduce turnover, which ends up costing U.S. businesses approximately $1 trillion per year

Aside from saving money on replacing employees, job orientations also serve to integrate your employees into your company culture. They help new hires feel more comfortable in their new environment while setting clear expectations for performance and behavior. Providing job orientations should remove any concerns new employees may have as well as reducing any ambiguities about their role or responsibilities. 

Another benefit of a job orientation is that they can increase collaboration and encourage friendships among new employees, particularly if you conduct orientations with multiple employees simultaneously. This will help them feel integrated into their team, the company, and with peers, enabling them to be more productive from the get go. 

What goes into a job orientation program? 

There are a number of things you should include in your job orientation, but it should all start with a brief overview of the company history, its mission, values, and goals. This will help align your new hires with the company culture and provide a foundation for their performance. 

Give them a tour of your facilities and introduce them to team members. Maybe even set them up with a workplace buddy who can answer questions that will inevitably come up later. 

It’s often good to put all the needed documents into a single place, either online or in print, so that employees can refer back to them as needed in the future. Some companies create a little welcome packet that includes not only some necessary items, such as the employee handbook, but also some fun things like a branded mug or even a small gift card to a local coffee shop. 

Of course, don’t just hand your new hires the packet and assume they’ll read through all the materials. Take the time to go over everything, especially things that are important to highlight, such as your dress code, scheduling, time off, and other policies. This is the right time to handle any logistics as well, like setting up their payroll, email, systems access, and badges. 

Lastly, take time to review their job responsibilities and lay out any performance expectations. Be sure to provide any training on standard processes, such as requesting time off, preparing customer orders, or any other procedures they need to follow in the course of performing their duties. 

5 best practices for job orientations that set employees up for success

We all want our new employees to be successful. And providing a job orientation is a sure-fire way to set them up for success. Here are five best practices you should consider following when developing your own company’s job orientation. We’ve found these to be indispensable in getting new hires up and running quickly and effectively. 

1. Make a great first impression:  It’s true that first impressions are important. You want a new hire to come in and feel like they’ve made the right choice by accepting your job offer. To help with this, we recommend giving them some gifts (as mentioned above). 

Make sure their workspace is all set up and ready to go before they start., Get them the equipment and the passwords they need to do their job. Nothing makes a new employee question their decision to work for you if you’re scrambling at the last minute to get them set up. Plus, they’ll be able to get to work right away if they can log into their email and other systems. 

2. Share the big picture:  Employees don’t only need to know what they’re supposed to do, but also why they’re doing it. Most people don’t want to just do busy work without a clear understanding of how their labor contributes to the overall goals of the company. What’s more, they need to feel that their contributions are appreciated and have an impact. 

During the job orientation, it’s important to share with new hires how their role fits into the bigger picture. Maybe they’re frontline salespeople and their role helps increase top-level revenue. Or maybe they’re a dishwasher, which might seem like a menial job but without which a restaurant might not be able to provide fast enough service. 

Whatever the case may be, a job orientation is the perfect time to connect the dots for the employee and help them understand how they fit into the bigger organization. 

3. Encourage questions:  What’s worse than an employee who doesn’t receive proper training? One who doesn’t feel comfortable asking questions. This goes for not only during orientation, but in their day-to-day work as well. 

Fostering a culture where asking questions is valued and respected will go a long way to ensure new hires get acclimated quickly. 

4. Be positive and share company success stories:  Your job orientation is your chance to show new hires that they made the right choice by coming to work for you. Taking a moment to share some examples of company successes will make them feel proud and excited to be on a high-performing team.

5. Schedule follow-ups:  We all know that learning doesn’t end once the job orientation is over. New hires will need time to truly adjust to their new work environment and coworkers. 

Be sure to schedule regular follow-ups with them to see how well they’re integrating and to give them any opportunities to provide feedback, ask questions, or to seek clarification.  

Start employees off right to maximize success

Everyone wants new employees to be successful in their roles and holding a job orientation is an effective first step in that direction. Although it can be challenging to carve out the time to deliver comprehensive orientation, the extra steps you take to make new hires feel welcome, informed, and empowered will go a long way to ensuring your new workers make immediate contributions to your company. 

Your employees will more likely stick around, making your upfront time investment pay dividends in productivity and employee loyalty for years to come. 

Set employees up for success—get started with Homebase today.

Job Orientation FAQs

What do I need to do to prepare for a job orientation?

It’s a good idea to organize all the documents and paperwork new employees will encounter in their orientation. Homebase can take the tedious out of the situation and make it as easy as possible. You can email your new hire a packet with all of the necessary forms, including form I-9, employment tax information, and any background check forms you require.

What happens in a job orientation?

On a basic level, a job orientation is about helping new employees acclimate to a new setting and integrate with the company culture. A job orientation often includes a facility tour, introductions to teammates, reviewing company policies and procedures, and going over what the new hire’s day-to-day work life will be like.

What should new employees learn in a job orientation?

Ideally, a new employee will learn what it’s really like to work at your company. But most importantly, they’ll be introduced to your company culture and get a true sense for what it’s like to work there.

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