Orientation of Employee

An introductory stage in the process of new employee assimilation, and a part of his or her continuous socialization process in an organization.

Major objectives of orientation are to

(1) gain employee commitment,

(2) reduce his or her anxiety,

(3) help him or her understand organization's expectations, and

(4) convey what he or she can expect from the job and the organization.

It is commonly followed by training tailored to specific job positions. See also acculturation and company orientation. ----www.businessdictionary.com

Orientation is the planned introduction of new employees to their jobs, coworkers, and the organization. However, orientation should not be a mechanical, one-way process. Because all employees are different, orientation must incorporate a sensitive awareness of the anxieties, uncertainties, and needs of the individual.

Orientation in one form or another is offered by most employers. The orientation is meant to educate new employees about the goals and responsibilities of the position and company, as well as to answer any questions they may have about HR, benefits and payroll information.

What are the Orientation Responsibilities?

Orientation requires cooperation between individuals in the HR unit and other managers and supervisors. In a small organization without an HR department, such as a machine shop, the new employee’s supervisor or manager has to take the total responsibility for orientation. In large organizations, managers and supervisors, as well as the HR department, should work as a team in employee orientation.

Purposes of Orientation

Employers have to realize that orientation isn't just a nice gesture put on by the organization. It serves as an important element of the recruitment and retention process. Some key purposes are: To Reduce Startup Costs Proper orientation can help the employee get "up to speed" much more quickly, thereby reducing the costs associated with learning the job.

To Reduce Anxiety Any employee, when put into a new, strange situation, will experience anxiety that can impede his or her ability to learn to do the job. Proper orientation helps to reduce anxiety that results f rom entering into an unknown situation, and helps provide guidelines f or behavior and conduct, so the employee doesn't have to experience the stress of guessing.

To Reduce Employee Turnover

Employee turnover increases as employees feel they are not valued, or are put in positions where they can't possibly do their jobs. Orientation shows that the organization values the employee, and helps provide the tools necessary for succeeding in the job.

To Save Time For Supervisor & Co-Workers

Simply put, the better the initial orientation, the less likely supervisors and co‑workers will have to spend time teaching the employee.

To Develop Realistic Job Expectations, Positive Attitudes and Job Satisfaction It is important that employees learn as soon as possible what is expected of them, and what to expect from others, in addition to learning about the values and attitudes of the organization. While people can learn from experience, they will make many mistakes that are unnecessary and potentially damaging.

Facts [+]

Employee orientation imperative to control attrition: Poll

Over 40% of the employees consider employee orientation program an effective medium to convey good-work practices to the new joiners and beneficial in developing realistic job expectations, reveals a poll conducted by TJinsite, research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com. In fact, nearly 30% HR managers agreed that orientation programs help in controlling attrition rates by developing positive outlook towards work and organization. An effective orientation program is not a one day affair but an ongoing process which could continue up to six months of a person joining the organization.

Experts alleged that it is essential that employers should educate employees regarding their role, key result areas and organizations expectations in advance to curb attrition at the later stage, during a skills dialogue session, a series of high powered panel discussions organized by TimesJobs.com. It will help employees to understand why they are hired and what their goals are for the coming 6-12 months.

What is the goal of orientation?

The overall goal of orientation is to help new employees learn about the organization as soon as possible, so that they can begin contributing. From the perspective of employers, the orientation process has several specific purposes, which are described next.

Productivity enhancement

Both employers and new employees want individuals starting jobs to become as productive as possible relatively quickly. Texas Instruments found that orientation helps new employees reach full productivity levels at least two months sooner than those without effective orientation experiences.

Some employers, including a large accounting firm, give new employees computer and intranet access upon acceptance of a job offer. That way new employees can become more familiar with the organization and its operations even before they go through a formal orientation program. This example illustrates that orientation to the organization really begins during the recruiting and selection processes, because the way individuals are treated and what they learn about the organization during the first contacts may shape how they approach new jobs.

Another facet of orientation that affects productivity is training new employees on the proper ways to perform their jobs. One construction company has found that emphasizing safety and instructing new employees in safe work practices has significantly reduced the number of lost-time injuries experienced by new employees.

Turnover Reduction

Some employers have experienced significant turnover of newly hired employees, and it is common for over half of all new hires in hourly jobs to leave within their first year of employment. But employers with effective orientation programs have found that new employees stay longer. Corning Glass identified that 70% of the employees rating orientation highly were likely to stay at least three years. Another firm was able to reduce annual turnover rates by 40%, and much of the decline was attributed to more effective orientation of new employees. As pointed out in Chapter 3, turnover is costly, and if orientation helps reduce turnover, then it contributes to organizational success.

Organizational Overview

Another purpose of orientation is to inform new employees about the nature of the organization. A general organizational overview might include a brief review of the organization; the history, structure, key executives, purpose, products, and services of the organization; how the employee’s job fits into the big picture; and other general information. If the employer prepares an annual report, a copy may be given to a new employee. Also, some organizations give new employees a list of terms that are used in the industry to help them learn regularly used vocabulary.