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Examples of New Employee Orientation Programs

written by: Tess C. Taylor, HR Expert•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 1/9/2011

HR professionals are often tasked with helping new hires get oriented quickly to the company and the work environment. In order to do this, it's important to have a solid new-hire orientation program in place. Learn more by reading this article about the top 3 common new-hire orientation plans.

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    There are a few common examples of new employee orientation programs that are used to bring new hires on board.The first few weeks of a new hire’s experience is actually the most critical time period in which the new employee learns more about the company as a whole. The purposes of an employee orientation program are to give new hires basic information about the company, orient them to the company initiatives, reduce first-day anxiety, and help the new hire to become productive right away. While no two new hires experience the same things, designing a new employee orientation program that provides certain fundamentals will help to ensure that the employees stay on board for a long time. Here are the top three examples of new employee orientation programs.

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    Employee orientation for success
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    Self-Directed Employee Orientation Program

    In many companies, new hires are able to learn a great deal during the first week on the job by reviewing a series of self-directed orientation materials. These items may include new hire orientation videos, written handouts, or online training modules. During this time period, a supervisor will monitor and lead the new hire to make sure the information is absorbed and any questions are answered. Self-directed employee orientation can be a convenient way to learn the basics of a company mission and what is expected from new hires, but it should never be substituted for real on-the-job training from management.

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    Mentored Employee Orientation Program

    Organizations often use a form of peer mentoring to orient new employees to their work environment and tasks. Employees who have seniority are asked to oversee new hires for a certain time period and are ultimately responsible for providing much of the training that will take place at work. In addition, mentors provide ongoing support to newer employees during times when a supervisor is handling other matters. The key with mentored employee orientation programs is that the supervisor monitors the tasks to make sure things are handled consistently and correctly so that new hires learn things the right way from the start.

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    Formal Employee Orientation Program

    Another type of employee orientation program that is commonly used is that of the formal employee orientation system. New hires are assigned a specific leader who will guide them through pre-determined lessons and then evaluate their progress every step of the way. Formal employee orientation programs may also include classroom learning, online and video learning modules, and hands-on training conducted over a certain period of time. Some new hires may be required to be part of a formal employee orientation program for as long as a year before they are allowed to go out on their own. A formal training program is often required for corporate sales professionals or independent agents, particularly those who work in the field. Formal orientation programs may also require periodic training sessions as new concepts or practices are put into place by an organization. While this may seem a bit like micro-management, it is a very effective way to keep all employees on task and consistent in their practices.

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