New Employee Orientation Plus a Checklist to Keep You on Track

Cody Cromwell
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Onboarding and Orientation During the New Hire Process

When it comes to onboarding and orienting new employees, you want to make sure that you’re ready to handle it. Preparing for onboarding doesn’t cost much and can pay off exponentially by keeping you one step ahead of the game.

There are a few items you need to be prepared for while onboarding and orienting new employees.

Set up a New Hire Check List

Even with all of these preparations, you’ll likely still be unprepared for the actual new employee orientation stage. Luckily, the formal part of the new hire and orientation process is relatively short. Its duration varies, but it’s often completed within the first week.

Day One: Welcome and Orientation

Nothing signals the beginning of the workweek like a new hire orientation. You’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and now it’s finally here, all the questions you’ve been asking yourself are coming in fast. Is this no-nonsense character going to be fun to work with? Should I have told her that I’m a dog person? Some people get this turned off right from the get-go, but for others it’s an eye-opening, and sometimes eye-opening moment. And, if you’re feeling insecure, you might find that saying something stupid to your new boss at the beginning of your job is something you want to avoid.

Best way to deal with this is to be yourself, and give somebody a chance to be surprised. A best way to do that is to take part in the company’s new employee orientation. Having an eye-opening moment during orientation can help you make a great first impression.

New Hire Paperwork

I get this question a lot from new employees. The paper work should take you only a few minutes to complete if you have everything ready. Click here to see detailed instructions on what you need to do.

W-4 Form

Discuss W-4 with your new employer. The most common reason that people fail to get their taxes done correctly is because they do not communicating with their employer. The interview is also the perfect time to talk about benefits like health insurance, religious and pension coverage, the 401(k), an employer match on your 401(k), and other valuable information.


Before Your First Day
Reply to job offer.

Edit and update resume and cover letter.

Email thank you letter to those who asked to be kept on file.

Review new employee paperwork.

Sign new employee paperwork.

Find office and bathroom locations.

Review benefits, insurance, and other important information.

Check your voicemail and email inbox.

Fill out and sign new employee paperwork.

Familiarize yourself with the company.

Have your current employer send a copy of termination paperwork.

Arrange for your manager and any key colleagues to see the PowerPoint presentation.

Check and update LinkedIn and other social media profiles.

Submit the new employee questionnaire.

Check the cafeteria and make sure you’re familiar with all the options.

Helping Your New Hire Feel Welcome

As an employee, you put your heart and soul into your work. You give it your all and make sacrifices…often at the expense of other aspects of your life…to ensure that you get it right. Often, you lose sight of the fact that others don’t make those sacrifices. They don’t have the same reasons to make sure that they get it right, so they work hard and put a lot of effort, but it’s not always easy on them.

If you’ve ever run out of something and had to go buy it for your trolley, you know what I’m talking about. You’re not the only one who has it really good. Sometimes it really is hard for your new hires to understand that it’s not just about getting it right…for them…but about wanting to make things better. They’ve never had to deal with absence from time off or worse, people not coming to work because they don’t have the money to buy food and pay rent. They haven’t known the weight of constant worry about whether their family can make ends meet.

Onboarding—First Week on the Job

Every organization has its own method for starting a new employee off on the right foot. There are plenty of resources on the web that can help you get it right including checklists, training materials and manuals that can help you establish a strong culture.

In this guide, we’ll focus on the basics plus a few checks you can take to make sure you’re on track to ensure a successful start on the job.

Timely Communication
One of the most important principles of workplace culture is communication. New employees want to know what they’re supposed to be doing and when and that will start right here. The more information you can provide at this crucial stage the better.

Some organizations provide an orientation slide deck that can help convey the organization’s key messages in a few minutes. If you have a meeting, a checklist you can share with your new employees can help ensure they know what to expect.

At a minimum you’ll want to communicate:

The basic work requirements.

The company’s core values.

How to reach your supervisor.

How to reach your manager.

A method for collecting feedback from your supervisor or manager.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About New Employee Orientation

What is New Employee Orientation? In the recruitment and training phase of a new employee’s career, the company is expected to help them become familiar with the company’s organization, goals, and responsibilities. This is why it’s referred to as New Employee Orientation. In a typical New Employee Orientation, the new employee will meet with certain individuals at the company, including but not limited to: The recruiter who recommended the new employee to the company

The Department Manager in-Charge of the New Employee

The staff who will be part of the new employee’s team New Employee Orientation is more than just about meetings and paperwork, though. It’s vital that the new employee complete a set of training and orientation activities that helps them get started in their new job.

Once the new employee completes New Employee Orientation, a bond of support and teamwork has been established, ensuring smoother rides and better work output in the future.

Best Practices: How to Make Full Use of New Employee Orientation

The key to making full use of New Employee Orientation is to follow the New Employee Orientation checklist below.

What’s the difference between orientation and onboarding?

The onboarding process is the formal introduction of a new employee to your organization that is usually more structured than the orientation process.

Orientation is typically provided to new hires upon their arrival on Monday, after an orientation interview. This is when the employee meets their colleagues and learns more about the company and their new role. During this time, the employee also has a chance to introduce their family and friends to the rest of the team.

Hopefully you have strong attendance so you can make the most of the onboarding process. The onboarding process is a great tool for increasing engagement, which in turn drives productivity. But as a newbie on the scene, it can be difficult to understand the right way to take part in this important procedure.

This checklist will help you engage more effectively with your new colleagues.

Can I conduct multiple employee orientations at once?

Yes. Having more than 1 orientation can be advantageous. This will ensure that you will close on time and that you have enough time to cover all topics that need to be discussed.

If you have multiple managers involved in the orientation process, it’s useful to explain to them why some topics will be covered in a certain order. This will give them an opportunity to review your agenda to ensure that all of their questions have been answered.

If you don’t have multiple managers involved in the process, it’s important to ensure that there is a moderator present who is familiar with all of the topics and different scenarios that may come up. This will help to ensure that all topics are discussed in a safe and organized way.

Another benefit of having multiple orientations is that it will allow you to address the needs of each party (managers vs. employees) in a different way, which is important since you may have different needs for each group.

To ensure that your orientations are a success, be sure to take into account the following:

A. It’s important to have each manager and employee sign the orientation sheet so that you can keep track of who has signed up for which orientation. Make sure that all of the new hires on your management team sign the sheet at some time.

What subjects should be covered in an employee orientation program?

Financial Know-How
Financial know-how includes two basic elements – understanding processes related to daily operations; and understanding financial reporting.

Kaplan & Associates conducted an employee-orientation study, asking managers to name the key points they wanted to convey to new employees. A study, done by the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, found that four percent of the attendees’ medical records contained errors, and one of the main reasons was that employees did not understand their health insurance coverage. Understanding employee-preferred processes is extremely important.

For example, once a human resource specialist asks an employee what his or her preferred method of paying for benefits is, employees may prefer to pay by cash; however, the financial department prefers to have employees use a credit card. Therefore, the employee who prefers to pay by cash can be informed that he or she will receive a check for the benefit payment and will have to write a check to cash. Not only will this save time for the employee, but the check has to be written to cash will have a smaller chance of being cut or returned as undeliverable.

Benefits Awareness
Benefits awareness includes understanding the plan, including its terms, and any restrictions. Benefits awareness includes understanding the process of claiming benefits, depending on the plan a person elects.

Bottom Line

Make Orientation & Training Transparent

Orientation to a new job, like the kickoff meeting a sports team has before a game, the meeting the new sales people have with their territory manager, or the meeting an executive has with their staff when they join a startup, is an important process.

As with any kickoff effort, you probably have a plan. However, the process can often end up in a bunch of 'O'd and 'H's (orientate, for those of us who played quarterback in high school).

You have to plan for a great orientation and training session. New employees

Need to know what to expect, feel prepared, and know they have a support system they can turn to when needed. The sooner your trainees are up to speed, the better.

Along with having a clear message when you're hiring new employees, you should also have a clear plan of what you want to accomplish when they show up for their first day. If you've never created training documentation, now is the time to learn how to.

Assess the Situation

Do you already have a training manual for new employees? What is it? Is it current? What does it say? What are your greatest needs that your current manual doesn't address? Do you have trainees who come to you with questions?

There are ways to create documentation and ensure your training is effective, but first you need to assess your needs.