Integration vs. Orientation: How to Make New Hires Successful

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“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”. – Benjamin Franklin.

This quote greets visitors to the training center at our corporate offices. I am spending the week with a group of new hires in our quarterly Technical Recruiter training class. I am always struck by this quote and how true it is when it comes to the idea of preparing new hires for the task of being a successful, contributing member of the company. The idea of Integration v Orientation.

I was involved with re-vamping the orientation process for new hires about a year ago for Adecco Engineering & Technical. We looked at how new hires were being brought on, what the feedback was on that process, and how we could improve the it so that orientation was more welcoming, efficient and effective.

Our process at the time was lacking and fit well with the Top Ten Ways to Turn off a New Employee. We heard stories of new hires not having a computer, a workstation, a chair, an introduction to the office or an understanding of the organization as a whole and how they fit into the big picture. We had an on-line Learning Plan which consisted of CBT (Computer Based Training) modules which acted as a “babysitter” for new employees. It was a bad experience and it was affecting our ability to hire and retain quality employees.

Over the last year and a half this process has been significantly improved. An on-boarding checklist was recreated to ensure that the first two weeks on the job would be a well thought out plan. New employees are greeted with a workstation, computer, systems access and, in most cases, an office lunch on the first day or two so they can meet and mingle with their co-workers.

All new hires also are contacted by senior management with a phone call in their first week on the job. They are provided an outline of the learning plan and a day to day agenda for CBT, On the Job and formal presentation training. Finally, the new employees are made aware of training requirements within the organization, specifically, instructor led training classes like the one I am participating in this week.

While this process for Adecco is far from perfect, the change in approach and focus of the orientation plan has greatly impacted the success and feedback from new hires.

What are some of your orientation horror stories and successes? What would make you feel welcomed as a new employee?

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