Orientation & Training
New employees need a clear understanding of company policies, of expectations regarding their performance, and
of operating procedures before and after hiring. This can lead to reduced turnover, increased morale, and fewer
Purpose of Orientation Programs
Employee Orientations (onboarding) provides new employees with basic background information about the
employer and specific information that they need to perform their jobs satisfactorily. It is part of the new-employee
Socialization is the ongoing process of instilling in all employees the prevailing attitudes, standards,
values, and patterns of behaviour that are expected by the organization. Strong onboarding can speed up
socialization and allow the employee to be productive asap.
Reality Shock is the discrepancy between what the new employee is expected from his or her new job and
Good opportunity to set goals with the employee and establish early foundations.
Content of Orientation Programs
Employee is given:
Handbook that covers policies, benefits, regulations, company history and current mission
Tour of the company facilities, and introductions to the employees supervisor and co-workers
Explanation of job procedures, duties, and responsibilities
Summary of training
Explanation of performance appraisal criteria
Responsibility for Orientation
HR Specialist meets with new hire and hands them off to their supervisor who familiarizes them with their
surroundings: workplace, co-workers, nature of the job. A mentor may be paired up with the new hire during the
initial months. Good idea to follow up with new hire after the initial orientation to address any remaining questions.
Special Orientation Situations
Diverse Workforce – proposes a challenge to companies that have not had a diverse workforce in the past.
New employees should be advised on what reactions are prohibited and how to report them.
Mergers and Acquisitions – employees need information on new company history, what difficulties in
operations to expect, resocialization to the new company culture that may evolve.
Union vs. Non-Union Employees – employees need a copy of collective agreement and information
pertaining to their job. Need introduction to union steward, explanation of union dues, and informed about
Multi-location Organizations – new employees in a multi-location company need to be made aware of
where the other locations are and what business functions are performed in each location.
Problems with Orientation Programs
Too much information in a short time leading to overwhelmed employee
Too many forms to fill out
Too little or no orientation is provided
Information is too broad to be meaningful or too detailed for the new employee to remember it all;
supervisory information too detailed
Evaluation of Orientation Programs
1. Employee Reaction – interview/survey for opinion on orientation program
2. Socialization Effects – assessing employee’s progress towards organization beliefs
3. Cost/Benefit analysis – comparing costs and benefits of orientation
Executives do not normally go through an orientation process, because there is an assumption that they
will know what to do (18 month integration); this is especially hard because they are expected to be change
agents. o Identifying position specifications
o Providing realistic information to job candidates
o Assessing candidates previous record at making organizational transitions
o Stressing importance of listening and demonstrating competency
o Assisting executives in balancing cultural norms, while they are part of the culture themselves
The Training Process
Training employees involves a learning process in which workers are provided with the information and skills that
they need to successfully perform their jobs. Development is of a long-term nature and prepares employees for
future jobs within the organization. It is a strategic investment in human capital that ensures commitment from
Training and Learning
Learning occurs in three ways: auditory (talking and listening), visual (pictures and prints), and kinesthetic (tactile
learning through whole body experience). Training effectiveness can be enhanced by identifying learning styles
and personalizing the training accordingly.
Material presented should have a logical flow and have meaning to the trainings while providing an overall
picture of the organization.
Skills learned in training should be transferable to the actually job/work-site
Most motivate the trainee, with positive reinforcement
Prepare the trainee by letting them know what might occur on the job and what to expect
Legal Aspects of Training
Must make sure that there is no systemic discrimination in the training process (ie. reading level of manual
may be too advanced)
Avoid negligent training: occurs when an employer fails to train adequately, and an employee subsequently
hurts a third party.
The Five-Step Training Process
1. Needs Analysis
2. Instructional Design
5. Evaluation and Follow-up
Step 1: Training Needs Analysis
determine what training is required, if any
for new employees, determine what the job entails and break it down into subtasks, each of which is taught
to the new employee
for current employees, determine whether or not training is the solution to the problem
analyze the skills and needs of the prospective trainees, and to develop specific, measurable knowledge
and performance objectives.
Task analysis and task performance are two techniques used to assess training needs
Task analysis - It is a detailed study of a job to identify the skills and competencies it requires so that an
appropriate training program can be instituted.
Performance analysis - verify performance deficiency and determine whether deficiency should be
rectified through training or some other means
Task Analysis: Assessing the Training Needs of New Employees
The job description becomes the basic reference point in determining the training required to perform on
Task analysis form: task list; when and how often performed; quantity and quality of performance;
conditions under which performed; competencies and specific knowledge required; where best learned.
Performance Analysis: Determining the Training Needs of Current Employees
Can’t do problems: employees do not know what to do or what the standards are;