Human Resources: How to Plan an Exciting, Stimulating and Effective Orientation

New-hire orientation is a big deal. Not only is it the new employee’s first interaction with the other staff, business model and office, it’s her first step in training. A bad orientation doesn’t just leave a sour taste in the new employee’s mouth, it can seriously hurt his ideas of the company. Nothing is worse than starting off on the wrong foot!

Prepare for the orientation

As the human resources manager or member that is handling this new hire’s orientation, it’s up to you to have a game plan before diving in. Before the employee’s first day or orientation, make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Know exactly who is going to give the new hire his tour of the facility, know exactly which team member will serve as his mentor, have the employee handbook ready for him when he arrives, and ensure he knows what he needs to know or bring with him (ID, voided check for direct deposit, references, emergency contacts, tax information, etc).

A stuffy orientation is no good

It’s important to remember that this new hire is important to the health of the company. You hired them to do a job, do it well, and make more money for the company. Make the orientation light-hearted but packed with information; try not to let it get too stuffy. It’s your job to make sure the new hire gets his new job while also selling his new company to him. Orientation should result in a new respect for the company and what it does while also allowing your new hire to soak up all important information regarding working there.

Offer breaks, take time for a Q&A session, introduce him to his coworkers (particularly supervisors and those working on the same team). Give him the skinny on the details of the job, such as how likely overtime is, where breaks are taken, and how the processes of the company work (time clocks, vacation requests, etc).

Let it sink in

Remember that orientation often involves a large amount of information your new hire has to process. It’s always a good idea to let the new hire have a day or two after orientation before starting her new job. Reading and learning policies, ordering uniforms (if needed), filling out insurance paperwork, and the like are all time-consuming tasks. Let her have a day to complete and absorb all this new information.


The goal of the orientation is to introduce your new star employee to her working environment. Let the company make a great first impression and you’re more likely to have an employee who is eager to work there and ready to be loyal.

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