Onboarding and Orientation Aren’t the Same and You Should Be Using Both

Onboarding vs. orientation

Too often companies fall into the habit of talking about onboarding and overlook the importance of orientation and the effect it can have on retention. There’s a distinct difference between the two. Onboarding builds an employee for their long-term career at your company and orientation provides them with the confidence to start.

Orientation should introduce employees to the company culture and their role within the company — it’s the first step toward their success and a vital part of the onboarding process.

In order to maximize first impressions here are some tips to create a better orientation:

  1. Plan ahead of time. Know what Day One is going to look like for your new employee before it happens and then work to plan that next week in a way that eases your new hire into the culture. Orientation is about the little details. Your new hire will be more open minded if they’re welcomed and feel as though the company prepared for them ahead of time.
  2. Communication. This goes without saying. If, from the very first moment they arrive they don’t feel as though that can approach their supervisor and co-workers, they’re not going to stick around. In addition to feeling welcomed, new hires also need to feel included and encouraged to ask questions.
  3. Connection with the company. The world of hiring is changing as Boomers retire and providing a good workplace culture is becoming more and more important. We hear plenty of stories about Millennials and what they want out of a workplace – and if they don’t feel that connection and investment in employees on their first day, their last won’t be too far away.

But don’t expect a better orientation process to single handedly improve your turnover rate. You still need a supplemental onboarding experience if you want to hold onto that talent you worked so hard to attract and train.

Onboarding is a process that starts at the moment of hire and continues throughout the employee’s first year. The goal of onboarding is to create an employee experience that is engaging, supplies the tools and training to be successful, builds trust in the company vision of success, aligns individual goals with company goals, encourages open communication and decreases turnover.

BirdDogHR knows that there are boundless benefits to good onboarding, which is why we provide a highly functional ATS and Onboarding strategy to help recruit and retain top talent. To learn more, check out how Effective Onboarding Makes for Efficient Employees.