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Corporate Orientation Programs: Retaining Great People Begins Before Day One.
By Denise Moretti, The Hamister Group, Inc.
Tuesday, 8th August 2006
 
Corporate success depends upon having a tight group of people united by the common goal of accomplishing great things.

The best way to accelerate the period of time necessary for new co-workers to feel a part of your team is to implement an effective orientation program. You hired these individuals because you thought they would be great assets to your department and a competitive advantage to your company. So take the time to develop an orientation program that will allow both of you to begin your new journey together on the right foot.

Here's how:

Eight Keys to an Effective Orientation Program:

Prepare.

Have a designated person or HR team that prepares all paperwork, handbooks, workbooks, and minor details before hand. This will ensure that you are organized and consistent. Minor details may include: making sure that office/desk areas are clean, supplies ready, computer set-up, telephone programmed, name badge made, etc.

Provide an itinerary .

Prepare an agenda from start to finish, including meet and greets with other co-workers, informational sessions with key players, etc.. By completing these basic tasks BEFORE the first day you show new employees that you are ready and eager for their arrival.

Get the word out.

Send out an e-mail informing your current co-workers who the new employees are, where they are from, what position they will be assuming, as well as some background information.

Details, Details, Details.

Send essential information to the new co-workers' homes before the first day. Welcome them to the company and provide them with details regarding their orientation. Make them feel as comfortable as possible. Inform them of simple things, such as: where to park, what door to go in, whom to ask for when they arrive, what room the orientation session is in, etc.. Little things like this lessen first-day anxiety.

Mix it up.

Have more than one "presenter." There is nothing worse than sitting in an orientation session for 8 hours straight with the same person: your audience will lose interest and won't retain information. Involve technology and different modes of communication. For example, rotate between videos, PowerPoint presentations, talking/conversation, etc..

Avoid information overload.

Spread the orientation program out over a 2 to 3 day period, maybe even longer. Don't focus on every little detail, but provide general overviews; the new co-worker will take in more specific information during the on-the-job training process.

After the fact.

Have something that new-hires can take home and review. It should contain the majority of the information conveyed during the orientation. This will allow them to re-examine what they have learned and determine any questions they might need to ask.

Evaluate.

Have a feedback mechanism in place, such as a writtenevaluation form,that the new co-worker can complete. This tool will help you continually improve your orientation program. Development and implementation of an effective orientation program is a challenge, but one that should be of high priority, as well as a team effort. I pride myself in watching others succeed because they were provided with the necessary tools and resources. Do it right the first time by making new co-workers feel welcome and prepared, even before their first day!

For clarification or discussion, feel free to contact us: news@hamistergroup.com

The Hamister Group, Inc. is a rapidly growing hotel management company. A leader in assisted living and health care management for nearly 30 years, the company now manages five hotels in Tennessee and Kentucky.

The Hamister Group, Inc. is actively seeking acquisitions and management contracts throughout the United States. For more details, please see our web sites: www.hamistergroup.com and
www.hamisterhospitality.com

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