Once new hires have signed on the dotted line, employers need to start thinking about the onboarding process. A proper orientation is essential to making newcomers feel welcome and alleviating their stress. After all, the first few days in a new office can be nerve-wracking, as there are many processes and procedures to learn and a host of new co-workers to meet.

Here are some of the most important steps for employers to include in new hire orientation.

Welcoming new hires

A warm welcome can go a long way toward banishing first-day jitters. Companies should send out welcome emails a few days before new workers start, detailing what the individual should expect, bring, and wear. It's also beneficial to send over all the necessary legal forms in advance. This will help new hires get the paperwork out of the way so they don't spend their whole first day wading through tax forms.

When it comes to training new workers, it's better to spread sessions out over the course of a few days. It's tough for newcomers to remember all the necessary skills and policies if they're presented back-to-back.

Acclimating workers

Over the first few days of orientation, companies need to make new employees feel comfortable in their roles. This means more than just teaching them the necessary skills - effective orientations should help people become acclimated to their new workplaces.

Start by sharing the mission of the company with workers. Discuss the history of the organization, as well as its goals and culture.

It is beneficial to set up a mentoring system as well. Pair new workers up with managers, administrators or fellow employees - this will allow new faces to make friends and feel comfortable asking questions about the business.

Finally, don't skimp on the office tour. Have a manager or co-worker show new hires around the premises, pointing out places like the kitchen and bathroom, but also introducing workers in other departments.

Integrating new employees

Sometimes newcomers will feel a bit awkward as they jump into the flow of the office. Help them out by showing them what they'll be doing, where they should be doing it and who to ask for help when needed. This will make their transition onto a new team a little smoother.

New hire orientations usually focus pretty heavily on the company, but you can also turn it around and focus on the employee. Ask about the new hire's strengths, goals and ideas.

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