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6 Best New Hire Orientation Ideas and Mistakes to Avoid

6 Best New Hire Orientation Ideas and Mistakes to Avoid

New hire orientation is all about creating a great first impression. New employee orientation is the first step towards a successful onboarding process.Have you ever arrived at a new job, eager to get started, only to have the wind immediately knocked out of your sails? A lack-lustre orientation can leave new employees feeling undervalued, unwelcome, unmotivated, and unengaged from day one.

New hire orientation is all about creating a great first impression. New employee orientation is the first step towards a successful onboarding process.

Have you ever arrived at a new job, eager to get started, only to have the wind immediately knocked out of your sails? A lack-lustre orientation can leave new employees feeling undervalued, unwelcome, unmotivated, and unengaged from day one.

This can have dire knock-on effects for your business. Recruiting new employee costs time and money in both the short and long-term.


“69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.” - SHRM, 2017


Holding onto good employees does wonders for your turnover, employee output, company culture, and more.

If you’re unsure about the differences between new employee onboarding and orientation, you can find everything you need to know, here.

Let’s Take a Look at a ‘Half-Hearted’ New Employee Orientation Agenda…

Employers often make the mistake of viewing the orientation as a simple box that must be ticked. What many don’t realise, is that this process is critical for making a positive first impression for new hires.


A Typical, Uninspired Orientation Process Looks a Bit Like This:

  • Introduce new hires to the management team
  • A presentation about the company culture
  • Tour of the office building
  • Handing out and signing of official documents and employee handbooks
  • The new employee is shown to their desk


Although these steps are essential to a comprehensive orientation process, there is so much more that can be done to engage new employees. New hire orientation should be fun and engaging. It’s an opportunity for employers to facilitate a connection between future colleagues.

Experiment With These Tried-and-Tested Techniques for Zhushing-up Your Orientation Process

Don’t leave new employees feeling unwelcome. Whether you’re a small company taking on just one new hire or a large company investing in a whole new sales team, these techniques will give your orientation process the makeover it needs.

When going through these techniques, try to select the ones that align with your company culture. You don’t want your orientation process to feel artificial or forced.

Small Gestures Go a Long Way

These techniques are a great way of adding some instant improvements to any orientation process.

1. A Welcome Arrival

Presenting new employees with a clean and organised desk is such a simple yet effective way of demonstrating compassion to a new hire. If you want to go one step further, try placing a welcome gift on the desk. This could be something as simple as a box of chocolates, or even something with a little more ‘wow-factor’.

A welcoming like this not only makes new hires feel more comfortable, it also represents your company as organised and compassionate.

2. Pairing with a Trusted Employee

In the first few days of a new job, fresh employees can struggle to fit in. Pairing new hires with a trusted employee is a fantastic way of integrating them into the team early on.

Make sure the employee that you choose is right for the job. Pairing a new hire with the wrong person might have negative consequences. Some duties of the trusted employee might involve showing the new hire around the building, helping with basic tasks, and introducing to colleagues.

3. An Introductory Post Online

Ask the new employee for a few photos of themselves that they wouldn’t mind being posted online. Once the new hire is settled in, schedule a social media or intranet post introducing the new employee. Include their name and role, as well as hobbies and interesting facts about that person.

This is such a great technique with so many benefits. Firstly, it demonstrates to new hires that you value and acknowledge their contribution to the workforce. Secondly, it helps existing employees to quickly learn more about the new hire which encourages relationships to grow. Lastly, these types of social media posts work wonders for your brand; they give your company a human-identity that customers can relate to.

Make Orientation Fun with (Non-Cringy) Team-Building Games

Hiring larger numbers of new employees at once presents the perfect opportunity to cultivate close working relationships from the get-go. Playing team-building games during orientation creates a positive first impression and eases nerves.

We’ve chosen some of our favourite games for you to try (that won’t make your new employees cringe). 

The following games can also be used for online team building! In fact, encouraging social interaction between online teams can be even more essential. 

4. Lightening Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are a fun way of relieving any tension new hires might have on their first day. After conducting a tour of the office, divide the new employees into two teams. Present the teams with a list of items that they need to find from around the office and set a time limit. The team to return with all (or most of) of the items first is the winner.

This games will test how much attention the employees paid during the tour, as well as encouraging them to interact with existing employees. The teams must also work together to achieve victory.


5. Two Truths, One Lie

Ready to learn some surprising stories about your new employees? Two Truths, One Lie is the ultimate way to break down any walls early on.

One person will say three statements. Two of which will be true and the other a lie. The guessing team need to decide amongst themselves which one is the lie. If they guess right, they win a point!

6. Debate Club

To play this game, select one person from the group who’s willing to lead the debate. Present this person with a silly topic that they must debate with the rest of the group. For example, “Does pineapple belong on a pizza?” It’s now down to the debate leader to argue their point-of-view whilst the other provide an alternative argument.

This game is great fun and a brilliant way of detecting leadership traits early on amongst the group.

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Orientation for new employees should always be fun and light. The process is designed to get new hires excited about their new position within the company.

To ensure a smooth orientation process, take note of the following common mistakes and make sure you don’t fall into any of these traps.

1. An Inconsistent Onboarding Process

Rewarding some new employees with a welcome happy and others with nothing more than a pat on the back is a sure-fire to rub employees up the wrong way.

Make sure to be consistent with how you welcome employees. The best way to do this is by making use of a business process management software. Software products like AhoyTeam automate workflows - ensuring you don’t miss vital steps of your orientation process.

2. Being Unprepared

How would you feel arriving at a new job, only to be greeted by a messy desk, an unwelcoming supervisor and a poorly equipt workstation? Proving to a new employee that you’re prepared for their arrival incites trust and demonstrates professionalism.

3. Names Spelt Incorrectly

This might seem like a small detail, but it can have a big impact on how the new employee feels about joining the team.

Small details like this demonstrate that you’ve paid close attention to their application and recruitment process. An incorrectly spelt name on their work desk starts the relationship off on the wrong foot.

4. Making New Hires Feel Uncomfortable

Although it can be fun to place people on the spot, it’s not a smart way to treat new employees.

Try to avoid any games or conversation that might cause somebody to feel alienated or embarrassed. For example, Games that involve too much physical activity might lead to less active members of the group to feel insecure.

Develop a Well-Defined and Repeatable Orientation Process

Using a workflow management tool like AhoyTeam enables you to continuously grow your onboarding programme. With automated and customisable workflows you can quickly identify gaps in your workflow and avoid delays.

Get in touch with AhoyTeam to set up a workflow process in Slack for employee orientation, pre-onboarding, or the continuous onboarding process.




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