Employee Orientation Improves Retention
If you think that your employee orientation doesn't have a big impact on your employee retention, think again. Recently, we've been doing a lot of employee orientation redesigns and every company we've worked with has seen an improvement in their retention rates - especially within the first 90 days to 6 months.
Recently, I had a conversation with a group of Ambassadors who are charged with facilitating a new employee orientation that we helped them design. Here are some of the results they are seeing:
- Significantly more engagement by participants
- Department heads have been inspired to improve their on-the-job skills training.
- Employee retention has improved. In one location, by over 65%!!!!
Here's what we did and you can do too:
Make It Longer: Stop thinking that employee orientation is about paperwork and getting people out on the floor. Give yourselves and your new hires enough time to immerse themselves in your culture, make connections, learn about your company and expectations, and yes...take care of all those pesky compliance activities. In this case, we designed a 3-day orientation. People asked, "how will we keep their attention for three full days?" Now they tell me participants are fully engaged the whole time and they are hearing comments like "that was the best employee orientation I've ever attended."
Make It Meaningful: Do not put a bunch of PowerPoint slides up, narrate them, and call it orientation. Just stop doing that. Use the principles of adult learning to make the program more interactive. Put them through scenarios they'll encounter every day on the job. Give them a chance to discuss your values, service standards, and even the policies and procedures. Include topics that better prepare them for the job. It takes longer to do this, but it is far more effective.
Make It Fun: Decorate the room. Use props, costumes, and games. Toss candy and prizes at those who participate. Put them in groups and pairs. Greet them with a literal red-carpet welcome! Create a scavenger hunt and have them look for people and places in your building. Play music and give them plastic clappers to bang together. Fun and Effective - that's how you keep them engaged for three full days.
Does your employee orientation have to last for three days? No. It could be one day, three days, or three weeks. Whatever it is, kick it up a few notches because, in the end, your retention is impacted one way or another.
Donna Cutting is the Founder & CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Worldwide and the author of Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of the Organization.
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