Alternative Methods for New Employee Orientation

The starting point from which an employee begins her new job is new employee orientation. The most ineffective way to deliver new employee orientation classes is to put a dozen new employees in a conference room to listen to a speaker drone on for hours about the company. Capturing the attention of adults is much more difficult; therefore the new employee orientation must have something that maintains your audience's interest.
Step 1
Create an on-board process for each new employee using existing employees to participate in orientation just by doing their jobs. The new employee would complete a rotational training session for each job function in the department. The new employee could spend half a day learning each job function with an existing employee, and half a day in classroom training on company policies. This is similar to cross-training; however, the new employee is able to observe every job that supports the department. It allows every existing employee to meet the new employee and participate in the training, which almost always instills pride and motivates employees.
Step 2
Develop a new orientation program for managers who are joining the company. Round-robin meetings with each department manager or supervisor are effective. Depending on the length of time spent with a department manager, this process can last up to six weeks. There is a tremendous amount of coordination and scheduling for this type of orientation; however, it is particularly effective for a new human resources manager, for instance. It is an alternative to all-staff meetings where the new employee merely stands up when her name is called. This type of orientation encourages networking, camaraderie and peer-to-peer relationships among managers.
Step 3
Engage seasoned employees to perform skits about topics such as disciplinary and performance appraisal meetings. Witnessing a performance appraisal meeting is a lot more beneficial than simply reading about a performance appraisal meeting in a handbook. Your company's sexual harassment training can also use skits to demonstrate what types of actions are prohibited. This type of orientation method can also be structured as role playing if your orientation program includes training on supervisory duties, such as how to conduct performance appraisal and disciplinary meetings.
Step 4
Invite executive leaders of the company to make brief presentations to the new employees. New employees appreciate the time top management gives to welcome them to the company--it says a lot about how the company values its employees. These kinds of presentations break the monotony of a classroom-type orientation session. In addition, employees, supervisors and managers should also be included in the welcoming process.