Onboarding & Orientation
New employee orientation can have a significant impact on employee engagement, and therefore satisfaction and retention. “Onboarding,” as it’s now referred to in the industry, has become a top priority nationally.
Onboarding and Orientation is more than simply showing a new employee where their desk is. Comments obtained from U-M-established focus groups include:
- “I showed up for my job and nobody knew who I was.”
- “It (entry) was extremely difficult because you are working with different cultures, every unit is its own culture. It’s really overwhelming, and I didn’t have one central preceptor through all the orientation.”
- “For my department, it wasn’t smooth. It was scary. They just immediately start trying to train you… you don’t even know where the bathroom is.”
If the thrust of these quotes is valid, then it seems logical that each department be encouraged to design and implement its own Onboarding Program. Failed departmental orientation appears to have an impact on those with zero to three years of service…a critical window for retention. This Web site is here to provide tools and resources to help develop orientation and onboarding programs at the department level.
- Orientation Checklist for New Hires or Transfers From Campus (word/pdf)
- Orientation Checklist for Transfers Within the UMHS (word/pdf)
- Workplace Safety Scavenger Hunt (word/pdf)
As a Supervisor, why should I worry about Onboarding and Orientation?
Employee onboarding can be a key link for a new employee to validate their decision to join the organization and pave the way for a productive satisfying relationship. Supervisors are the front line to new employees. It takes a bit of time, energy and resources to create effective onboarding processing, however, the results are well worth it.
A good onboarding program leads to:
- Employee Retention and Increased Loyalty
- Communication of the Organization’s Values and Vision
- Consistency for Legal Requirements (TJC)
- Increased Productivity
- A Good First Impression and a Feeling of Welcome
- Personal Contact and Feelings of Connectedness
- Ensured Good Fit and Future
A template and checklist have been designed to provide guidance to supervisors. Of course, following a list of detailed instructions does not guarantee a successful and memorable orientation experience. Providing a sincerely welcoming environment to new employees can make a difference in long-term engagement and retention within the health system. Do you make new hires feel welcome? Do you inspire pride? Do you help new hires see the big picture and alignment with the team environment? Do you show them how they will matter?
To validate the assumption that a superior orientation experience will result in higher employee engagement, and thus increased employee retention, a survey will be distributed to a new hire at approximately the 90 day (3 month) point from their start date. The survey will inquire about the employee’s orientation experience and will help identify potential gaps in a department’s individualized Onboarding Program.