Here are a few quick tips to help when you orient new employees:
- Remember that an employee can only absorb a limited amount of information on the first day. New workers are trying to figure out whether they can do the job, get along with you and be accepted by their co-workers. Stick to basics like when they get paid, when they can take breaks and where the bathroom and supply room are.
- Don't assume that new hires will read everything you give them. It's good to have a refresher session after a week on the job. Review the pertinent facts in the employee handbook or other documents and invite workers to ask questions--even (especially!) ones they might be embarrassed to ask.
- Let new workers know who among their co-workers can best answer their questions. You may want to formally assign a "buddy" for new hires, but it's often better to let new workers get started building relationships on their own. Just point them in the right direction.
- Show, rather than tell, when orienting new workers to the big picture of what your enterprise does and how it works. Arrange for periodic introductions, visits and tours with other key personnel and departments. Don't try to do this all at once.