Orientation: What you need to know

Most organizations today provide orientation programs for newly hired employees. Employers have found that the value of a good orientation cannot be overestimated when calculated against the costs of hiring workers and of employee turnover. The “sink or swim” approach for new employees is too expensive a process--an orientation program is far more cost effective in the long run.
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One reason that orientation programs are important is that the impressions a new employee forms during the first weeks on the job have a significant impact on long-range performance as well as job satisfaction. These impressions may mean the difference between an employee who succeeds and one who fails. And, the orientation is where most of these first impressions are formed.
During orientation new employees need to learn basic information about the employer's company and their role in it. For example, orientation should cover the following:
• The new employee's specific job duties
• How the job is performed
• How to use equipment and materials safely and efficiently
• Work schedules and procedures
• The company mission, goals, products, services, and customers
• Company policies
• Safety procedures and rules
• Employee rights and responsibilities
• E-mail, phone, and Internet use
• How to access information (e.g., employee contacts, departments, benefits) on intranet or in directory
Notice requirements. Every employer covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is required to provide employees with a general notice of their rights under the FMLA. Employers may include the notice in employee handbooks or other written guidance to employees concerning employee benefits or leave rights, or if the employer does not have these ...

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