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Stages of Orientation

Stage 1: General Introduction
The human resources department typically administers this preliminary, general introduction stage. This stage typically has two parts: the first about the employing firm itself and the second about the specific job. In the first part, new recruits are introduced to the firm, its aims, objectives, culture, organizational structure, strategic plan, customers/market and history. The second part entails recruits often being given a tour of the firm's facilities, introduced to procedures, policies and job-specific information (such as employee activities, services, incentives, benefits, employee relations, fair employment practices and overtime provisions). The general introduction stage can be a one-day program or take longer, depending upon the size of the firm and the number of employees undergoing orientation.
Stage 2: Specific Orientation
Specific orientation follows the general introduction stage. In this stage, an employee is given job- or task-specific orientation typically by her immediate supervisor. Information about a particular department, its facilities (lunchroom, lavatory, and coatroom) and employees, general information about breaks, absences, parking facilities and personal phone call/email/Internet policy, and standards of performance and essential job functions are made clear. Some organizations assign "buddies," who are existing employees, to new recruits to facilitate this process. This stage can also include instructions on safety precautions and job health, safe use of protective devices and equipment, fire protection procedures and smoking regulations, states Courtney Price in her book "Group Practice Personnel Policies Manual."
Stage 3: Follow-up
Perhaps the most important orientation stage is the follow-up stage. In this stage a supervisor meets with an employee to inquire about issues and questions raised. The follow-up stage is important because it allows management to measure the effectiveness of the orientation program, address unanswered employee queries and cover topics the general and specific orientation stages overlooked. The follow-up stage typically ensues one week to one month after employee induction.

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