By fully supporting new employees with a thorough orientation, you help them start on the right track, adjust to their new surroundings, and become a productive and valued part of your team.

Design a process, not an event
New employee orientation, also referred to as onboarding, is a process that will unfold over time, not just in one day. It will introduce new employees to an organization, to their new colleagues, and to their new role. An effective orientation should make the employee feel comfortable and learn about their role and about the organization’s culture and values.

When planning the orientation process, consider how and when you will schedule the activities and information sharing with the new employee. To avoid overwhelming new employees, pace activities based on what information is vital and what will be more useful and relevant later on.

This checklist provides an overview of important topics to cover in an orientation. The process should include a tour of the worksite, an introduction to co-workers and time for the new employee to ask questions and clarify expectations (yours and theirs).

A good orientation will enable a new employee to be successful by:

  • reducing the anxiety that often comes with a new job
  • sharing relevant organizational information and beginning a process of learning about your company’s mission and work
  • familiarizing the employee with the workplace culture including values, behaviours, and formal and informal practices
  • building relationships between the new employee and colleagues, including the management team

In a busy workplace, it can be easier to forgo a proper orientation process and hope that new recruits will “figure it out”. However, by taking the time to properly orient new hires, you will increase their chances of being successful, which in turn can increase employee retention, saving you time and money in the long run.