White Life buoy with welcome aboard on white wall.When you’re ready to hire new talent, make sure you begin the on-boarding process with ample time to interview and select the best candidates. Unfortunately, some businesses wait until their need for more help is so dire that they’ve stretched themselves too thin to properly welcome new employees.

Developing a detailed and thorough orientation process will create a successful on-boarding experience for new employees.

The extent of your orientation program will ultimately depend on the size of your company. It can be as simple as a folder with information you review together to a presentation or even a video. Whatever format you choose, the basic elements you may want to cover are listed below.

History of the Company
New employees should know the history of your company. The more your employees know about your business, the easier it is for them to develop loyalty and speak positively about the company to others. Word of mouth advertising from employees is very important and validates the success of your company.

Employees, Managers and Their Roles
Whether your business is small or large, always confirm that the new employee knows who they directly report to. They should also receive detailed information on the roles and responsibilities of other employees and managers so they know who to direct questions and/or concerns to.

Company Policies
Never assume that new employees will learn as they go or that someone else will teach them. The more information you can give them up front, the more confident they will feel. Even if it was briefly discussed in an interview, detail out company policies on dress code, attendance, breaks, lunches and vacations. If you have processes in place for recording or requesting time off or sickness, inform the employee on their very first day. Any other policies should also be covered at this time in your orientation program. This includes, but is not limited to, use of company vehicles, company computers for personal use, social media, etc.

Compensation & Benefits
This is the time to review the agreed upon wage or salary with your new employee. If they are paid hourly, explain any policy for overtime pay. If you’re preparing an orientation folder, insert required forms for them to complete. This would include emergency contact information, W-2, I-9, health insurance forms and any others that are required. If your company has a rewards and recognition program for employees, this is a great time to discuss that with them as well. Finally, inform them who they should talk to with any paycheck issues or specific insurance plan questions.

Safety Procedures
Your company should have procedures in place for emergencies. Please discuss this with your new employee on their first day. Nearest fire exits and the designated meeting place for employees is important. Also be certain to discuss evacuation plans, and various reasons for such that you have in place as well.

The best orientation programs take time, detail and revisions in the development phase in order to be thorough and effective. After a few weeks, ask your new employee how they are adjusting and if any other information would have been helpful during their orientation process. Asking them early in their employment offers a fresh perspective to consider for your orientation revisions.

For more information or assistance in developing an orientation program for new employees, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.

Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.