Thirty-four percent of human resources managers report that their companies do not have a formal orientation program to help prepare new staff, according to a recent survey by staffing firm AccounTemps.
Lacking an orientation process could prevent new hires from feeling part of the team as 35 percent of respondents say it helps those new employees better understand the company's values, guidelines and expectations. Other positive benefits from offering orientation programs include helping new hires contribute more quickly at 20 percent, establishing a connection between new employees and the company sooner at 19 percent, better preparing new hires for long-term success at 17 percent and helping the company better understand the needs of new hires at 9 percent.
Small firms with 20 to 49 workers are more likely to have orientation programs at 67 percent while 52 percent of large companies with 1,000 or more employees have orientation programs in place.
"Employee orientation programs lay the groundwork for a smoother start to the job," says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "Without some type of onboarding process, new recruits may not become productive as fast or connect with the company's culture and values."
To help new hires adjust, Accountemps recommends that managers personally greet new hires on the first day and reiterate how happy they are to have new team members. Managers should ease anxieties by encouraging questions, introducing other team members and scheduling times for new hires to sit with key colleagues. Providing a detailed picture of what new hires can initially expect is also helpful as well as making use of mentors.