Human resources department takes full responsibility of hiring new employees whenever a need arises. The hiring process involves competitive stages that require applicants to pass through before offered employment. The engagement of the new employees starts the moment the contestants are notified through phone calls, emails or letters for their employment offer(Martin, & Lombardi, 2009). As required, the engagement process involves making new employees be aware of their duties and responsibility in the workplace. Nonetheless, all departments need to develop on-boarding and new employee orientation program to assist newcomers integrate with the culture of the organization. First impression given to the new employees is paramount(Bradt, & Vonnegut, 2009). An effective employee orientation offers new employees with an encouraging impression of employment and significantly influences the new employee’s enthusiasm, throughput and job satisfaction.
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Exploration of New Employee Orientation and On-boarding Program
The exploration of new employee orientation and on-boarding program involves the analysis of the existing structures in the organizations, potential problems and proposed solutions. Currently, most organizations employ face to face introduction of a new employee into the culture and working structures of the organization as part of the orientation process. Although all developments take part in the new employee orientation and on-boarding in the organization, backstop the human resource department. NEO and on-boarding program include the history, security, safety, mission and vision of the organization. The difficulties with the NEO and on-boarding currently are where the new employee needs to process much information on their own. The likely solutions to the most of the problem are to diversify the engagement process to include online orientation.
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How are New Employee Orientation (NEO) and On-boarding defined?
Onboarding refers to “ systematic and comprehensive approach to integrating a new employee with a company or department, and its cultures; as well as getting a new hire the tools and information they need to become productive, contributing members of an organization’s workforce” (Branch, 2012).
New Employee Orientation refers to the process through which new hired employee familiarizes with the cultures, expectations, roles, skills, values and other information needed effectively to mandate within an organization(Sims, 2001).
Why should organizations utilize these programs?
- To ensure employees feel welcome, prepared, comfortable and supported.
- NEO and on-boarding encourages new employees’ capability to make an influence and be industrious within their role both straightaway and over time.
- The program leads to the success due to the satisfaction and retention of the employees in the organization.
- The program functions as an engagement ambassador on behalf of the organization to the co-workers, potential employees, the community and the owners.
What are effective, and ineffective, practices for orienting and socializing new employees?
Effective practices for orienting and socializing new employees include:
- Adapt to the environment.
- Integrate into work group.
- Conglomerate with colleagues.
- Nurture a sense of single-mindedness and belonging.
- Mingle with other in the department as well as those outside the work unit.
- Transition into the organization
Unproductive practices for orienting and socializing new employees include:
- Not creating or assigning new employees work area.
- Scheduling the new employees to start working while their supervisor is on vacation.
- Leaving the new employees to stranded in the reception for more than half an hour without offering any assistance.
- Leaving new employees at the workstation while colleagues heads for lunch.
- Directing new employees into their new office without introducing them to their co-workers.
- Assigning the new employee a mentor who has a major, career-impacting deadline, in few days.
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What are the intended outcomes of NEO and On-boarding programs?
- To build self-efficacy: Research has shown that NEO and on-boarding program helps the new employees to develop self-confidences thus adopting the program. Self-efficacy has a direct correlation with the satisfaction, organization commitment and turnover.
- To create role clarity: NEO and on-boarding program intend to familiarize new employees to clear understand their roles and expectations. It also intends to minimize role conflict in the organizations as well as eradicate wastage associated with role ambiguity and flipside.
- To build social integration: The program intends to make the new employees feel social accepted and comfortable with co-workers and superiors. The program allows the new employees and co-workers to mingle and start working together thus establishing effective working relationship.
- To build the knowledge of and fit within organizational cultures: Considering that each organization has different cultures of functioning, NEO and on-boarding program assists new employees to navigate the unique culture of the organization.
What approaches can be used to develop and implement NEO and On-boarding programs?
In order to ensure NEO and on-boarding program is successfully developed and implemented, an on-boarding process tool is developed as follows;
Preparation stage: It provides human resources department and supervisors to develop a step-by-step process that start from the pre-arrival to the six months for bringing new employees on board to the organization. The process involves identifying mentors that would help the supervisors in the NEO and on-boarding process to mentor a new employee. Mentor participation process helps in the training in order to ensure that new employees develop positive, high performance and rating attitude in the workplace(Watkins, 2003). During preparations state, human resources department establishes employee development plan to assists the supervisors to plan and identify learning opportunities and activities for developing and supporting the competencies of the new employee.
Orientation process: New employees familiarizes with the cultures, customer services, skill development centers and communication protocol of the organization. The orientation process could be done in two levels; at the human resource department where all the new employees are taken around the organization and at the departmental level where specific orientations takes place(Martin, & Lombardi, 2009).
Integration: It involves the process of training and learning activities that support and develops the competency of the new employees. During the training and learning process, new employees develop the opportunity to integrate into the system and other co-workers in the organization(Weinstein, 2008). Also, during the integration process new employees get the opportunity to maximize experiences of the co-worker.
Engagement: At this stage, new employees get the opportunity to participate actively in the program. They are assign roles in the work units to assess if they have understood their roles and mandates in the organization(Watkins, 2003). Engagement process also allows the new employees to ask for clarification on issues they did not understand.
Follow-Up: It involves the process of evaluating the new employees by the supervisors, departmental heads and human resources department to determine the progress of NEO and on-boarding program. The follow-up process includes the measuring and monitoring the success of the on-boarding process, determine if objectives are being met, examine what have worked and what have not worked and highlight areas that need to be improved(Bradt, & Vonnegut, 2009).
What are potential barriers to effective design and successful implementation; and how can the barriers be overcome?
- The inconsistency approach to on-boarding in the organization.
- The on-boarding related activities lack focus, vision, transactional and culture of the organization.
- On-boarding and new employee orientation typically fails to integrate the activities of the organization.
- NEO and on-boarding is inconsistently executed across employee groups and locations.
- Using technology to design and implement NEO and on-boarding, but few have invested in developing the capacity.
- Aligning NEO and on-boarding program to mission and vision.
- NEO and on-boarding program should address the culture, priorities and strategic goals.
- NEO and on-boarding program should include owners of the organization, managers and employees.
- NEO and on-boarding program should apply to all employees.
New Employee Orientation
Effective orientation process that supports the acclimation of the new employees to the new place of employment involves a well-defined, factual and simple familiarization process. The process does not involve a process of filling in required paperwork and submitting organizations’ factual information, but it also include the introduction of a new employee into the unique cultures as well as welcome by the leaders of the organization. Studies by Weinstein (2008) found that employees were at ease assimilating into an organization by familiarizing about the functions of the organization and given the chance to engage the co-workers, supervisors and managers through questions session prior to the first day on the job. Furthermore studies have confirmed that, new employees become more connected with the employer when the questions were responded in a timely manner.
Read also Descriptive Annotated Bibliography – Proposal for a New Employee Orientation Program
Literature describes the new employee orientation program as a training process developed to familiarize new employees to their responsibilities and roles including organizational culture, procedures and organizational policies. According to Chen (2010),about two-third of the organization agitate for the need to improve new employee orientation program. Studies have shown that new employees who attend orientation training program exhibits higher levels of obligation to the organization than those not attending. Study done by Klein and Weaver (2000) suggested that the education system, distance instructors or instructors engaged at non-peak times be unable to attend a face-to face orientation, thus limiting the capability of employees to become familiarized to the organization. The findings showed that new employees that missed the orientation process had a greater decrease of engagement and disconnect with the organization. Therefore, reinforcing the suggestion that the earlier the new employee familiarized with the culture of the organization, the most oriented employees will be. Traditionally, new employee orientation approach faced difficulties associated with the gaps of new employees starting to work for the organization and attending at the new employee orientation program.
According to the Vernon (2012), Human Resource Department struggles to establish equilibrium in the new employee orientation program. Therefore, the application of the on-boarding process focused on the immediate requirements of the new employees and thereafter a follow-up with additional information. Research has suggested that employers make mistakes by giving too much information to the new employees within a very short time. An effective on-boarding process requires the information given to the new employees to be limited depending with the absorption rate thus very important for the retention. According to Friedman (2006), on-boarding process is not a one day event that ends at the first after the new employees start working with the organization. The study conducted by Friedman (2006) suggested that since the employee gained tenure by working with the organization, an orientation program needs to last more than one day in a new employee process. The sediments corroborate the findings that require the release of information be done in peace mills and segments in order to improve retention.
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Additionally, literatures have shown that on-boarding that involves managers was found to be beneficial. Manager involvements serve to demonstrate to the new employees the commitment from the leadership by taking their time to get involve in the on-boarding process. Furthermore, on-boarding that involves manager send well impressive to the new employees about the caring of the employer and leadership. When the managers participate in the on-boarding process, new employees get the opportunity to ask questions that relate to the job specific. According to the Moscato (2005), different levels of management should be engaged in the on-boarding process of the new employee orientation. Also, for the program to be more effective, employee’s manager should be the primary driver of the program and not the Human Resources person. The employee’s managers have a direct connection with the employees thus able to identify training opportunities that were not covered in the first day of employment. Moscato (2005) further emphasized that organizations need to focus more on the turnover through implementing on-boarding program that deliver step-by-step adaptation into the organization. In addition, Moscato (2005)attributed that the on-boarding process was similar to the transfer of knowledge where the incorporation of information was more effective when transferred a piece at a time.
Studies done by Weinstein (2008) concluded that organizations have shifted from the traditional one day orientation training programs to a three months program. The urge to retain professional employees by the organizations has taken a front seat thus forcing the Human Resource professional to develop an on-boarding program. The findings were corroborated by Weinstein (2008)who concluded after conducting a survey on 800 human resources professional that increased employees’ retention and worker productivity level is directly related to the effective on-boarding programs.
The literatures have showed that NEO and on-boarding program is an essential to the new employee in an organization. NEO and on-boarding program could improve employee retention up to 100 % if conducted effectively and inclusively. Employee productivity and commitment depends with the orientations given in the earlier stages of employment in the organization. The implementation of NEO and On-boarding program could be expanded to include an online program in addition to the traditional face to face method. Organizations that have embraced NEO and on-boarding program registers reduction in the turnover cost due to increased employee retention as well as decrease in the production cost due to the improved self-efficacy, commitment, and knowledge and role clarity among the employees
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