In most small businesses, employees are hired and they are expected to jump in and start contributing from the very first day. This might not be the best way to welcome a new employee into the organisation. As a small business, your organisation might not have a set framework like bigger companies to run an orientation program, but you can surely customize and create an orientation program that suits your company.
A successful orientation program can put a new employee at ease and reduce anxiety, as well as communicate goals and expectations of your company, making employee feel like a part your team from the very beginning.
If you are a small business owner looking to change the process of onboarding in your organizations, follow these simple guidelines listed below:
1. Orientation is a process; it begins from the acceptance of the offer letter and goes on till the training/probation period. Most employees judge a company based on their first few days in the organisation and having a well thought out orientation program can be the beginning of a positive first impression.
The first step of creating and designing an orientation program is to make the new hire feel welcome and accepted even before the joining date. This can be achieved by sending out an email stating all the required information for a new employee, like reporting time, job description, details of the salary, whom to report to, etc.
2. It is best to have a Human resource team in your organization to handle the orientation program. But, as most small businesses feel they don’t need a dedicated team of HR as the size of the workforce is relatively small. In such cases, the business owner and the other employees take on the responsibility of welcoming the new hire into the office. Make sure the new employee has an assigned desk, laptop, and other necessary office supplies, this gesture will make the employee feel welcome and a part of the organization.
3. Send out a formal welcome email to the new hire and copy all the other employees on the email. Make sure you make it personal and add the employee’s qualifications, achievements as well as the newly assigned role in the company.
4. Give a tour of the office and familiarize the new hire with the work surroundings and to the rest of the staff. Once the new employee is comfortable in the new environment, introduce him/her to the company culture, vision and mission and organisational structure. You can either give a small talk or make a presentation/audio-visual outlining your company’s culture.
This will help the new hire understand the norms, rules and other important aspects of your business, and gradually the company’s culture will also instil in them through personal experience, formal and informal dialogue.
5. Introduce the new employee to the job responsibilities. Clarify the new employee’s job responsibilities and duties along with an introduction to the company’s clientele. Another important aspect is to explain the salary break up, hike and incentives if any.
6. Ask the new hire if he/she has any questions, queries, or concerns about the job and clarify them with a positive attitude. It takes time and effort from the business owner to ensure that the orientation program is thoughtfully created and carefully delivered. But doing this will make sure your business gets long term benefits with reduced employee turnover.