Employee management

What First Impression Does Your Orientation Make? A Best Practice Guide

January 23, 2020

First impressions count, especially for workplaces. A new hire will determine within their first few months of starting a new job whether they will stay with that employer for the long term. Starting an employment relationship off on the right foot is critical if you want to retain talent, and it starts with ensuring that day one leaves a positive impression. A survey by Glassdoor found that employees who had a highly effective onboarding experience were 18 times more likely to feel committed to their organization. Effective orientation is necessary to set up employees for success in their new role, welcome them to the team, and ease their first-day jitters.

An effective orientation can look very different among organizations or even within a company depending on the role the new employee is hired for. There are standard components all orientation programs should include, but outside of those the focus should be on showcasing what your organization has to offer while providing necessary information and letting employees get to know the company. Consider how colleges and universities spend an entire week on orientation, hosting events and informational sessions to welcome new students and ease their transition. Employers should try to take this approach and implement an orientation program that makes the change easier for new employees and convinces them they made the right decision.

When referring to orientation, this includes an employee’s first day, when they are welcomed to the organization and given a high-level overview of what they’ll need to know about their new role and company. This does not include the onboarding process, which should be treated separately and involves continually acquainting a new employee with their role, team, training, and organizational operations in the following days, weeks, or even months. Download our Effective Orientation Guide, where we outline the basics of how you can make your orientations more successful.