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A Strong Employee Orientation Program Leads to a Strong Staff

Creating an orientation program for all incoming employees is one of the first steps to building a strong staff. The primary purpose of an orientation program is to make the transition to your company as smooth and as positive as possible and to ensure that the new employee is fully informed about his/her roles and responsibilities within their new workplace. Among the benefits, employee orientation will help to reduce startup costs by quickly and efficiently onboarding the employee, thereby reducing costs associated with learning the job.

Employee orientation helps to reduce anxiety of the new staff by providing guidelines for behavior and conduct, so the team member doesn't have to experience uncertainty and stress. Orientation helps to reduce employee turnover by illustrating the value the company places in new staff and provides them with the tools necessary to perform their job effectively and efficiently. It aids in development of realistic job expectations. It is important that employees learn early on what is expected of them and what to expect from others, and the company's values and attitudes. In addition, employee orientation reduces demands on supervisors and co-workers. 

At a minimum, employee orientation program should include the following: a tour of the facility; operation of phones, fax and  computer systems; discuss dress code; arrival and departure and break/lunch time policies; leave and  sick days policies; appropriate phone greetings; workplace safety which includes fire extinguishers, fire exits, accident/incident reporting procedures and  job specific safety requirements; review of policy and procedure manual; work/pay schedule; competencies on products; and in-service education on blood borne pathogens, infection prevention and control, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), emergency preparedness program, fire safety, Safe Medical Device Act, and tuberculosis precautions and protocols. 

The new employee should be oriented to their work area which includes the necessary supplies, materials, documents, and manuals that may be needed for their job responsibilities. Employee orientation may take weeks or even 90 days depending on the size of the company. Each employee needs documentation of their orientation in their personnel file. Remember, new staff are not the only individuals who need an orientation, the governing body members also need an orientation with documentation.