new hire orientation free ebookOnboarding. New hire orientation. If you’ve been through a bad experience, you know how important this stuff is. Conversely, if you’ve been through a great experience, you know how important it is to help you feel connected to the organization and people from the very beginning.

Introducing the New Hire Orientation and Onboarding eBook

Recently I reached out to a few people to see if they wanted to contribute to an eBook to help HR pros, managers, and business leaders learn more about these topics. The response was a good one, and today I’m happy to share the free eBook with you. It’s titled “So, what’s next? A guide to onboarding and new hire orientation.”

There are three loose groups of articles in the book. First you’ll hear some stories about new hire orientation gone bad. Next you’ll learn some tips and ideas on how to do it the right way. And finally there are a few pieces on the unique challenge of onboarding new managers.

Special thanks to Shauna Moerke for helping me to promote the guide through the HR Carnival channel. I also want to thank the contributors for offering up some great, useful content: Paul Smith, Jennifer McClure, Trish McFarlane, Laura Schroeder, Dwane Lay, Dave Ryan, Lance Haun, Charlie Judy, Robin Schooling, Sabrina Baker, Michael VanDervort, and Tanmay Vora. You can find links to each of these contributors’ websites within the guide.

Click here to download So, what’s next? A guide to onboarding and new hire orientation

Whoa! What a title, huh? I’ll get to that in a minute, but first I’d like to ask if you have an onboarding program. How do you introduce new people to your organization?

A few well-known onboarding methods:

  • Is it by tossing them a manual with instructions to “read through and ask questions?”
  • Do you make them watch a video or slideshow detailing the long (AKA boring) history of your organization?
  • Or do you surround them with people who are willing and able to help, guide, and provide the support necessary to prepare them as a representative of your brand and an employee of your company?

In case it wasn’t totally clear, the last one was supposed to be the “right” answer, if there even is one. I was reading this really old book a few days back, and I ran across this great explanation. Onboarding isn’t new, and people have been doing it the right way (and the wrong way) for many years. Check it out:

See that? I’ll repeat it for you.

This company undertakes to form an intimate and personal contact with its new employees… This personal touch is regarded as all important.

Why do I care?

My organization is of medium size, but our employees are scattered to the far corners of the state. Creating and sharing a new onboarding program is something I’ve been increasingly interested in recently. A few other resources I’ve found:

Have anything more you’d like to add? I’d love to hear your ideas for what makes an onboarding program succeed (or fail).

I’ve been at my current organization for nearly a year now, and I really enjoy what I do. Just recently we have started an orientation process where our VPs of HR and Operations go out and meet small groups of new employees. It gives them a way to connect with the new people, and it shows our new staffers that we have them on our minds.

I wrote a post about participating in an orientation session from the new employee side of things, and I think it’s worth restating.

Take it from someone who will tell it to you straight. Do an orientation with new employees. If you want it to be more useful, wait until they\’ve been there for a few weeks (or do it in two parts). That way you can ask about problems/issues before the person begins to feel powerless, and hopefully you can rectify them in some way. It makes a big difference to people when they feel appreciated. I\’m walking proof of that.

But whatever you do, just do something. As a semi-new employee, I left the meeting with the desire to do something amazing for my organization. Wouldn\’t you want your employees to want the same thing?

I’d be interested in learning more about some of your organizations. Do you have an orientation/onboarding process? What’s involved in that procedure?