Types of Employee Orientation

Types of Employee Orientation

This article will provide insight into the different types of employee orientation that every employer and employee needs to know. Entering a new environment is never an easy process. You have no idea what to expect and what is expected of you. The first day is always the hardest. That particular day will feel like the longest day in your life. Employers know about your fears, anxieties, and worries, this is why the Orientation process was introduced. Employee orientation is the planned introduction of newly recruited employees into their roles, colleagues, and the organization at large.

Orientation signifies the start of a relationship between an employer and an employee.  It helps the new employees get acquainted with the ideas, philosophy, and culture of the organization. Orientation helps the new employees to adjust to the new environment and also aids their socialization process in the organization. The orientation process is usually followed by training in a specific job position. It is using carried out by the Human resources department. The employees are usually given a tour around the company, introducing them to different staff in various departments. The aim is for the employees to understand the organization’s product and service flow. Employees are given a brief of how they are to transition into their new roles. The orientation process can also be called induction or onboarding.  During the orientation process, expectations and responsibilities are communicated to the employees. This usually eliminates the resignation of newly employed staff due to unfulfilled expectations.

Topics Covered During an Orientation Program

Company History

This is usually the first presentation that will be made. Every employee deserves to know the roots of the company. This will be a deeper explanation of what the employee has already seen on the company’s website. This encompasses the journey of the company to date. How it came to be what it is today. The dates and stories of major changes or achievements.

Company structure

A company’s structure is like a treehouse. It can be a top-down or bottom-up approach. This explains the organizational hierarchy. Starting from the head of the company to the last level. Through this, the new employees know who answers to who.

Company’s culture

This is one of the major pieces of information to be shared. A company’s culture is simply the way of operation. Although this has been tested already during the recruitment process, to determine I the candidate is a good fit for the organization, it is still emphasized during the orientation process.

Departmental breakdown

In some companies, human resources still take this part. In others, various departments send delegates to represent them in the onboarding meeting. The aim is to enlighten the new employees about the product and service flow.

Job duties

In as much as most job advertisements contain a detailed job description, it is still demanded that the human resource department or departmental supervisors run the employee through his daily duties. The supervisor will give the employee an overview of the job, job objectives, and expectations.

Employee benefits

This is the section that provides information about the benefits the employee is entitled to. This benefit includes Vacations, rest breaks, annual leave, training and education, housing facilities, insurance benefits, retirement program, bonuses, and incentives.


Purpose Of Onboarding

It broadens the employee’s knowledge of the company

It equips the employee with the necessary tools to function effectively

It makes the socializing process easier for the employee

It gives the employee a sense of belonging

It develops trust and commitment between new employees and their colleagues


Types Of Employee Orientation

Informal orientation

In an informal orientation, the newly recruited employees are expected to acclimatize themselves to the company’s operation.  Informal orientations do not usually last long. The new employees are usually asked to report to the Human resource department for an explanation of the company’s policies before being referred to the immediate supervisor for a job-specific briefing.

Formal Orientation

Formal orientations are usually well structured. Organizations under this section, already have a structured program that they follow for every employee. Formal Orientations are usually detailed and are spread between weeks or months. It consists of three stages. Stage one is typically a general introduction to the company. The second stage is a specific orientation to the department and the job. The last stage is a follow-up meeting to verify of the issues pointed out by the employee have been addressed.

Individual orientation

In this type of orientation, the employees are onboarded separately.  Individual orientation prevents one employee’s view from influencing another employee’s view.  It preserves individual differences and perspectives. The problem with the individual orientation process is that it is very expensive and time-consuming. Imagine holding meetings with 10 to 20 candidates, repeating the same thing over and over again. At some point, the human resource staff will get tired and start omitting important information. The knowledge being dispersed is rarely even.


Collective orientation

This type of orientation process is done in groups. All the newly recruited employees are onboarded together. Collective orientation is just the opposite of individual orientation. This is usually preferred by larger firms that recruit and hire plenty of staff at once. The disadvantage of this is that it does not cover every employee’s thoughts. This is because some employees might be shy to speak in a crowd and will therefore be on-boarded with doubts in their hearts.

Serial Orientation

Employee orientation is said to be serial when an experienced employee inducts a new employee. The experienced employee acts like a guide, tutor, or model to the new employee. Serial orientation ensures that the traditions and cultures of the company are preserved. The pitfall of this type of orientation process is that the experienced employee might not be much of a model and might negatively influence the new employee.

Disjunctive Orientation

In this type of employee orientation, the newly recruited employees do not have predecessors to guide them. Therefore they are not groomed in a specific organizational culture or custom. Employees tend to be more innovative here because they have a mind of their own and are not walking in someone else’s shadow.

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