Accountemps Survey: One in Three Employers Lacks Orientation Program for New Hires
MENLO PARK, CA, March 20, 2012 -- New-job jitters are common, but some employers aren't helping ease their workers' anxiety, a recent survey from Accountemps suggests. More than one-third (34 percent) of human resources (HR) managers interviewed said their companies do not offer a formal orientation program to help prepare new staff.
Overlooking the orientation process could be a missed opportunity for employers to help new hires feel like part of the team -- and make a more immediate impact. When asked to name the greatest benefit of their orientation program, 35 percent of respondents said it helps employees better understand the company's values, guidelines and expectations.
The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 500 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees.
HR executives were asked, "Does your company conduct a formal orientation for new employees?" Their responses:
Interestingly, the smaller the organization, the more likely it is to have a formal orientation program: 67 percent of small firms (20 to 49 workers) have them, compared with 52 percent of large companies (1,000 or more employees).
HR executives whose firms offer an orientation program also were asked, "What is the greatest benefit of your orientation program?" Their responses:
New employees better understand
company's values, guidelines and expectations
New employees make positive contributions
New employees feel a connection
with company more quickly
New employees are better prepared for
the long-term success with the company
Company better understands the needs of new employees
"Employee orientation programs lay the groundwork for a smoother start to the job," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "Without some type of onboarding process, new recruits may not become productive as fast or connect with the company's culture and values."
Accountemps offers five tips for managers on helping new hires acclimate:
Roll out the red carpet. The employee wants to make a great impression right out of the gate, and it's important for you to do the same. Try to personally greet the new hire on the first day to make him or her feel welcome. Go out of your way to reiterate how happy you are that the individual has joined the team.
Aim to ease anxieties. Starting a new job is nerve-racking. Encourage questions and offer introductions. Schedule a departmental lunch to give the newcomer a chance to get to know coworkers in a less-formal setting and help establish rapport.
Arrange day-in the-life tours. During the initial weeks on the job, ask the new employee to meet with and observe key colleagues he or she will be working with across the company. These training sessions will enable the person to learn who does what, while gaining a broader understanding of various departments, job functions and the inner workings of the organization.
Provide a roadmap. Paint a detailed picture of what the employee can expect in the first few months. Address topics the new hire needs to learn, review core job responsibilities, explain top priorities and highlight performance goals. Maintain an open-door policy and schedule regular touch-base meetings to ensure you both remain on the same page.
Make use of mentors. Consider assigning a mentor who can provide guidance and share institutional knowledge. A mentor can shorten the learning curve, allowing the new employee to make more substantive contributions early on. And from a purely emotional standpoint, being linked with a supportive adviser gives the new hire a stronger sense of belonging and accountability.