Workplace Orientation: What Does it Mean and its Purpose
It is always overwhelming to move to a new place and adjust to an unfamiliar environment. You have to adapt to your new surroundings and new people around you. You have to get accustomed to a new culture and make yourself familiar with the system. This often becomes time-consuming and very hard without any proper guidance.
So, what if a new employee is facing the same situation in an organization?
Employees often complain about being too overwhelmed about their new job. Also, understanding a new job takes time and effort. Recruits feel that too much information is being dumped on them with very little time in hand.
A leader must guide a new employees through their job. On top of that they need to understand the organizational value and the goals. This is where workplace orientation comes in and plays a vital role in an organization.
What is Orientation in the Workplace?
Workplace orientation is when a new employee gets introduced to their job roles, work areas, and work environments. During orientation, the supervisor helps the employee get familiarized with the organization.
This includes the company culture, work areas, and coworkers. This process also helps the employee ask questions and learn as much as possible about various aspects of the organization.
28% of employee turnover happens in the half-year mark (SHRM). A good orientation program lasting one week or a month will lead to more employee retention. It also increases employee productivity.
A comprehensive orientation program has lower turnover rates and higher recruitment. This usually happens because the new employees have clear guidelines about what they have to do and what the organization wants them to do.
With clear objectives in mind, the focus of an employee towards their work is much more. Statistics have shown that 69% of employees with a company if they experienced incredible orientation. (SHRM)
Read more: Onboarding Vs Orientation: The Difference You Need to Know
Purpose of Workplace Orientation
Employee orientation is as an essential process through which new employees understand their job.
But what is the primary purpose of having an effective orientation program?
Let us look at a few essential points to understand the purpose of employee orientation.
1. Getting familiar with the organization:
As soon as a new employee joins in, assign them a mentor to show them around the organization. A physical tour of the organization will give a basic idea of where the necessary tools are, which will help them in their work.
Ask the mentor to make the new employee understand what the company stands for and its values.
2. Introducing Company Policies and Procedures:
Every organization has a code of conduct that they follow to maintain decorum. Introducing new employees to the policies and procedures is an essential task.
Your policy can include the following-
Good work ethics
Restriction on smoking
Emergency procedures and etc.
The recruits have to follow them and understand them. This helps an organization to maintain discipline and decorum in the workplace.
3. Job Responsibilities and Expectations:
During the recruitment process, discussing job description is essential. But, there may have been points that were not touched or discussed earlier.
Proper orientation helps the new employees to understand their main objectives and the work they need to do. This allows them to understand what are the organization's expectations in the long run. Thus, giving them the motivation to perform and become active in the work they do.
4. Employee Benefits:
If an organization has retirement benefits and other similar benefits like life insurance, present it to the employee. Provide information about other employee benefits like sick leave days, holidays, and vacation perks.
Also, you can provide them with fact sheets about how these benefits have helped the employees in the long term. This way, the employees can maintain a better work-life balance, and it gives them a greater sense of a secure and flexible job.
5. Building Relationships:
An orientation program also focuses on building up workplace relationships. When a new employee joins in, they might feel isolated in their new work environment.
This calls for introductions in the workplace where new employees get introduced to their team members and peers. Proper orientation helps new employees to get acclimatized with their team members. Thus resulting in more efficient work towards a common goal.
6. Concentrating on what the employee needs:
When new employees start working in a new organization, they might get skeptical about asking for their needs. Preparing a suggestion sheet for them will help them to ask what they need.
This makes them feel valued, and they become more open in the organization. Furthermore, doing it can help them provide the necessary tools to succeed in their work.
The need for Workplace orientation?
A well-planned orientation program helps the employee to adapt to newer surroundings. It also helps the organization in improving its bottom line with robust policies. It does take time and commitment, but it usually helps an organization in the long run.
It helps the employee to feel more relaxed about their work which in turn increases their productivity.
A good orientation program gives the employees the freedom to ask and provide feedback about how they feel about their work. This feedback usually helps the organization to sort out the problems that the employees are facing.
Thus, with the feedback in hand, an organization can improve its structure wherever necessary.
Summing it up:
An effective orientation program is a significant part of any organization. It depends on how an organization implements the program. We have seen an increase in the number of employees joining the workforce. Without proper guidance, it becomes difficult for employees to cope up with their work.
Workplace orientation somehow eases up such shortcomings. And lets the employees build up to their potential at work.
It is not a single step; it is a continuous process. Even the old employees need reorientation due to organizations' new policies and procedures most of the time. Moreover, orientation/onboarding programs have increased employee performance by up to 11% (SHRM).
So, start today with a good orientation program and see the positive result it bears.