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CareerOrientation programmes (known informally as ‘employee on-boarding’ in the world of talent management) are one of the most important components of the HR cycle as far as new employees are concerned. This is because these programmes assist new employees in understanding the environment and culture of the organisation they have joined, as well as their job responsibilities. Employee orientation programmes are usually conducted by HR or line managers and consist of two to three sessions during the employee’s first week; each session usually lasts between two to four hours.

Each session should ideally cover the following:

Making introductions. Line managers should introduce new employees to people they will be working with. Ideally, they should assign a senior employee to be a mentor to the new employee.

Outlining the organisation’s expectations. Orientation sessions should outline the new employee’s job responsibilities and the expectations that the organisation has of them, such as revenue generation, adding value to existing procedures and thinking of creative ideas to improve existing organisational initiatives.

Understanding organisational policies. These can include a wide raft of policies (and should ideally be listed in an Employee Manual), including those with respect to dress code, compliance methods, attendance, vacation and code of conduct. One aspect that organisations are now including in this part of the orientation programme are social media guidelines, as many companies strictly do not allow their employees to share information or photographs of their offices on social media.

Understanding employee benefits. At least one orientation session should focus on assisting new employees in understanding the perks they are eligible for. These can include bonuses, medical insurance, discount policies on certain brands/products of the company and any complimentary giveaways.

– Monica Peter
The writer is an HR Consultant at a multinational company and can be contacted via LinkedIn. monica.peter87@gmail.com

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 23, 2014.