“First Impressions, Make an Impression: Do You Have an Employee Orientation Plan?” by Dan Furlan, HR Strategies

Aug 11, 2011 | Corporate Member News

If you were going to give someone $20,000-$50,000 or more to work for you, would it be wise to tell them early what you want done? 

If you are a Manager, your first day on your first job may have been some time ago. You may have had a few first days, since then. 

Think back. How were those first days?  Were you,

  • welcomed, briefed on priorities, and oriented effectively to learn the job, or,
  • ignored, shuffled off to the side, and eventually tossed into the job, or,
  • overwhelmed with information, (some valuable, some not), and then tossed into the job.

What was the impact on your motivation, commitment and success?

When asked, many employees identify with the latter rather than the former. (In fact, some indicate it was so bad they just never went back the second day.) 

These are obviously extremes, however, but they alert us to the fact that, if employee motivation and performance are organizational priorities, most firms are blowing a superb opportunity for influence on new employees. 

Think about it, 

  • When are employees more likely to listen to guidance, the first weeks, after six months?
  • When is the best time to coach expected behavior and performance expectations?
  • When are they making the least contribution to the job and most easily spared?
  • When is the best time to establish employee-supervisor communication patterns?

On the other hand, Top Employers, recognize, 

  • Orientation as a critical opportunity to influence employees the right way,
  • That newcomers have basic, socialization needs to meet, before learning occurs,
  • That a poor orientation can de-motivate newcomers, or worse, result in turnover,
  • That effective learning occurs gradually, step by step over time, not in one day,
  • That having a plan and a variety of orientation methods accelerates learning,
  • That organizational values & expectations need to be reinforced early,
  • That essential performance consultations need to begin early,
  • That first impressions are lasting impressions.

Not having a solid, effective orientation plan is like having a leaky faucet getting worse. You can live with it, but it is expensive in the long run.

About HR Strategies Inc.

HR Strategies targets key operational issues in human resource management to enhance business efficiency through practical support for organizations and managers. Specifically, HR expertise is provided to understand and meet client needs in HR planning, policies, management training, employee relations, performance development, employee retention, and HR systems.

Efficient organizations are more competitive and profitable. Human resource management is an area of high expense and major challenge. HR Strategies focuses on practical enhancement of management operations to attract, efficiently develop and retain talented employees to achieve organizational success. www.hrstrategies.ca  

About Dan Furlan 

Dan Furlan, BA, CHRP, is a seasoned Human Resources Professional, having demonstrated Human Resources leadership in roles as a consultant, specialist and manager in both public and private sectors, including manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, financial and service industries. In these roles has been responsible for the full range of human resource management services in both local and national businesses.

A Past President of the Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba, he holds the professional designation Certified Human Resource Management Professional (CHRP) and has also instructed in HR at both college and university levels for many years. 

Phone: (204) 232-0903

Email: [email protected]

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