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Workplace Orientation: What Does it Mean and its Purpose

5 min read
Last Updated on 28 January, 2021
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 adjust and 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 guide.

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. New recruits feel that too much information is being dumped on them with very little time in hand.

An excess amount of work given to new employees during the start of their new job may give rise to negative consequences. This, in turn, creates unnecessary pressure on the new employees. Thus hindering their expected potential.

Furthermore, if such a situation arises, employees feel that they cannot cope up with the work assigned. Thus, resulting in employees leaving the organization within a year. This becomes costly both to the employer and the employees.

It is important to guide a new employee through their new job and the organization's value and the goal they want to achieve. This is where workplace orientation comes in and plays a vital role in an organization.

(Related Article: Onboarding Vs Orientation: The Difference You Need to Know)

What is Orientation in the Workplace?

Workplace orientation is a process by which a new employee gets introduced to their job roles, work areas, and work environments. During the orientation process, the supervisor helps the employee get familiarized with the organization.

This includes the company culture, work areas, and their coworkers. This process also helps the employee to ask questions and learn as much as they can 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 due to the fact that 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. Furthermore, statistics have shown that 69% ofemployees are likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding/orientation. (SHRM)

Purpose of Workplace Orientation

Employee orientation is not just a good gesture of welcome put on by the organization for their new employees. It also serves as an important process through which new employee can get acclimatized in their new job.

But what is the main purpose of having an effective orientation program?

Let us have a look at a few important points to understand the purpose of having an employee orientation program in an organization.

1. Getting familiar with the organization:

As soon as a new employee joins in, assign them a mentor to show them around the organization and make introductions. 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 what are its values.

2. Introducing company policies and procedures:

Every organization has a code of conduct and a structure which they follow to maintain decorum. Introducing new employees to the policies which include the dress code, restriction on smoking and drinking,emergency procedures etc., which every employee needs to stick with. This helps an organization to maintain discipline and create a positive impression within the organization.

3. Job Responsibilities and Expectations:

During the recruitment process, the job description may have been thoroughly discussed with the employee. But, there may have been points which 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 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 benefits like sick leave days, holidays and vacation perks to the employees.

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 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 relationships between the new employees and their team members. When a new employee joins in they might feel isolated in their new work environment.

This calls the need for introductions in the workplace where new employees get introduced to their team members and peers. Proper orientation helps new employees to get acclimatized quickly 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 freely 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 with which they can succeed in their work.

The need for Workplace orientation?

A well-planned orientation program not only helps the employee to adapt, but it also helps the organization in improving their bottom line. 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 major part of any organization. It depends on how an organization effectively 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 this headache of organizations and let the employees to quickly 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.

Mrinmoy Rabha is a content writer and digital marketer at Vantage Circle. He is an avid follower of football and passionate about singing. For any related queries, contact