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Focus on productivity in orientations, not paperwork

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Issue: Welcome new employees with information and support.

Benefits: Smoother transition for new hires, improved productivity and reduced turnover.

Action: Use the following tips to bring new hires up to speed faster.

Ask any recently hired employee: It's hard being the new kid on the block. But your organization can ease the transition and help move the new employee into the work flow with the following five steps:

1. Mail new hires a welcome packet before their start dates. Send new hires all necessary employment forms with instructions to complete them and bring them in on their first day. That will let them focus on learning the job, and it will give you a jump on necessary paperwork.

2. Develop a new-hire FAQ sheet. All new hires have similar questions. How do I use the phone system? What's the receptionist's name? Where's a good place to eat lunch? Written answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) give new employees a quick guide.

3. Review the employee manual with them. Don't just hand new hires the manual, and tell them to read it on their own time. Open it up, and explain what it contains. Highlight key policies, your anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies, for example, and ask if they have any questions. Have each new hire sign and date a form acknowledging that he or she understands the policies.

4. Give managers a new-hire checklist. Busy managers often overlook important things a new employee needs to know, such as introducing a new employee to co-workers. A checklist helps remind managers of key items.

5. Follow up. Call or stop by each new hire's work space a few days or a week later. Ask how the job is going and whether he or she has any questions or problems.

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