ONBOARDING & ORIENTATION
About this Module
ONBOARDING & ORIENTATION
A robust onboarding and orientation program is a key part of introducing new employees to your company, and can go a long way toward improving their chances of long-term success. Beyond providing information about the organization's policies and procedures, effective orientation and onboarding should make your new employee feel comfortable, encouraging them as they become acquainted with their role and the organization's culture and values. In fact, companies with strong orientation and onboarding programs tend to see improved retention and productivity in their staff.
Some employers choose to implement mentorship programs as one component of their onboarding, which pair an experienced employee with new employees for the first few months of work. Employees who volunteer to mentor new hires can provide not only practical advice, (how to navigate parking, new technology, or unfamiliar employee systems) but also a sympathetic ear or friend to engage with. Having a familiar face and ally in a brand new work environment can be very reassuring for new hires who may not be ready to ask for all of the resources that they will need.
Onboarding and trainings, it’s good for anybody because really what is does is that it helps give an overview of a company and it helps the new employee to understand what’s expected of them. People with criminal background particularly come into the workforce and already very apprehensive, because they’ve lived with this stigma for how long they’ve had to live with it already, and coming into a workplace and realizing that you can talk about it and you can be yourself with it, you don’t have to be afraid of people going to look at you funny because you’re you got a criminal background, that’s a big deal.
Well what’s interesting as I think about the second chances, opportunity and its relationship to training, one of the things that captivates me is a lot these people are people who society has cast aside, and now they’re coming out and a company invests back in them for some training and development to help them be better, it’s one of the first time they have some somebody expressing some loyalty to them and will reciprocate them, that’s powerful.
The culture piece is a really important part of orientation and onboarding and being able to connect different departments to each other is also really important so that warehouse staff knows what our food sourcing is doing, a food sourcing knows what our programs team is doing, so I think that interconnectedness is super important, is a part of the onboarding and knowing just what we do, what does it take in knowing what your part is in doing that piece is very important.
I think the opportunity there is to invest in people who want somebody to reach out to them and care about them and when we have a second chance and some boys coming in, it’s an expression of loyalty to them that they will reciprocate, potentially way more than the general population.
I think the best thing that we do right now is we have a mentor program, where every new employee has a mentee and a mentor, pair them up, and that way they have the ability to ask questions and in a state space because look, any new job is going to be a little timid, and people are gonna be a little timid going into them and so I think it helps to relax people’s nerves and kind of feel more like one of the team right away.
I teach in a project management program and what we need is project management skills, and I say, well you can learn all those. The key is you know how to work with people in your project team, and having positive interaction with people in your project team, and so some people say, oh that’s the soft skills, I say, no actually they’re really hard, you know they’re really hard, and what are we doing to be intentional about working with each other ourselves on that kind of thing, so that we can have the kind of relationship with people that work in the productive.