'ALL ABOARD!' Accountemps Survey: One in Three Employers Lacks Orientation Program for New Hires

TORONTO, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - New-job jitters are common, but some employers aren't helping ease their workers' anxiety, a recent survey from Accountemps suggests. Nearly one-third (32 per cent) of human resources (HR) managers interviewed said their companies do not offer a formal orientation program to help prepare new staff.

Overlooking the orientation process could be a missed opportunity for employers to help new hires feel like part of the team -- and ensure they are set up for a productive future with the company down the road. When asked to name the greatest benefit of their orientation program, 30 per cent of respondents said it helps employees better understand the company's values, guidelines and expectations, and another 30 per cent indicated that it assists workers in preparation for long-term success with the organisation.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 150 Canadian HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees.

HR executives were asked, "Does your company conduct a formal orientation for new employees?" Their responses:

            Yes.............................................. 67%
            #.............................................. 32%
            Don't know.......................................  2%
                                                             ----
                                                             101%*

HR executives whose firms offer an orientation program also were asked, "What is the greatest benefit of your orientation program?" Their responses:

         New employees better understand
           company's values, guidelines and expectations ........ 30%
         New employees are better prepared for
           long-term success with the company ................... 30%
         New employees feel a connection
           with company more quickly ............................ 21%
         New employees make positive contributions
           more quickly ......................................... 14%
         Company better understands the needs of new employees...  6%
                                                                 ----
                                                                 101%*
    *Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

"Employee orientation programs help facilitate a smoother start to the job," said Gena Griffin, a district president of Accountemps in Canada. "When professionals see that their company will provide guidance, set clear expectations and support their professional development goals from the beginning, they are likely to perform at a higher level quicker and feel more compelled to stay there long term."

Accountemps offers five tips for managers on helping new hires acclimate:

    1.  Roll out the red carpet. The employee wants to make a great
        impression right out of the gate, and it's important for you to do
        the same. Try to personally greet the new hire on the first day to
        make him or her feel welcome. Go out of your way to reiterate how
        happy you are that the individual has joined the team.
    2.  Aim to ease anxieties. Starting a new job is nerve-racking. Encourage
        questions and offer introductions. Schedule a departmental lunch to
        give the newcomer a chance to get to know coworkers in a less-formal
        setting.
    3.  Arrange day-in the-life tours. During the initial weeks on the job,
        ask the new employee to meet with and observe key colleagues he or
        she will be working with across the company. These training sessions
        will enable the person to learn who does what, while gaining a
        broader understanding of various departments, job functions and the
        inner workings of the organisation.
    4.  Provide a roadmap. Paint a detailed picture of what the employee can
        expect in the first few months. Address topics the new hire needs to
        learn, review core job responsibilities, explain top priorities and
        highlight performance goals. Maintain an open-door policy and
        schedule regular touch-base meetings to ensure you both remain on the
        same page.
    5.  Make use of mentors. Consider assigning a mentor who can provide
        guidance and share institutional knowledge. A mentor can shorten the
        learning curve, allowing the new employee to make more substantive
        contributions early on. And from a purely emotional standpoint, being
        linked with a supportive adviser gives the new hire a stronger sense
        of belonging and accountability.

Accountemps has more than 350 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com. Follow Accountemps for workplace news at twitter.com/accountemps.

SOURCE Accountemps



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