You’ve invested time, effort, and money to find the right employees. To ensure that your investment pays off, make sure they get off to a great start, not only on their first day but also in the critical days that follow.

Orientation and onboarding

Although orientation and onboarding are closely related, they're actually two different processes. Orientation usually lasts a day or so, while onboarding is an ongoing process.

Orientation is intended to welcome new employees and get them quickly settled in their new environment. Examples of orientation activities:

  • The employee has been introduced to key people
  • The employee knows where to get supplies, phone lists, etc.
  • The employee’s work station is set up and ready to go.
  • Essential paperwork (benefits, I-9, etc.) has been completed.
  • The employee had read and acknowledged the employee handbook.

Onboarding is an ongoing process that ensures employees are engaged and productive from their first day onward. Examples of onboarding activities:

  • The employee and supervisor go over the employee’s job description to clarify expectations.
  • The employee is immediately assigned tasks he or she was hired to do.
  • A manager and/or an assigned mentor is available to answer questions.
  • The employee gets regular, as-needed feedback (not just every six months once a year).
  • The employee receives regular company updates via newsletters and other methods.

Onboarding is the opposite of the “sink or swim” syndrome. It recognizes that the initial days and months of an employee’s work are critical to their success and retention.

For help with onboarding and other workforce issues, contact your local American Job Center to connect with a Business Services Representative.

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