Simplifying New Employee Orientation: A One Week Cheat Sheet

orientationYour company is growing, fast.

It seems like you’re hiring new employees every other week – maybe you are!

Amid this chaos, it’s easy enough for the necessary procedures involved in introducing new individuals to the workplace to lose precedence.

A lack of resources, overwhelmed managerial personnel or large scale pressing projects are just some examples of reasons why the orientation or the new employee training doesn’t always go to plan for every new hire.

So, just how can you make sure you implement and maintain a comprehensive orientation process indefinitely?

Well below I’ve compiled a Cheat Sheet to aid you in that quest!

Read it, print it, and take from it everything that applies to your organization. Make it your own and develop a strategy around it, and whatever you do, adhere to it, and don’t forget about it!

Day 0 (What to arrange before the employee's first day)

  • Issuing of Contract that details important details and policies which employees need to be aware of before signing off on agreeing to become an employee at your organization, including:
    • Pay, holidays, sick leave, absences, overtime policy, grievance procedures, working hours, breaks, internal promotions/applications, opportunities for training and development and performance reviews (and much more).
  • Provision of all necessary tools and equipment such as a desk with lockable drawers, computer hardware, telephone, stationery and ergonomically designed seating arrangements including a chair, foot rest, keyboard and mouse.
  • Software provision for that employee's specific role and requirements.
  • Setup of accounts and creation of login details to all essential programs, subscriptions and internal systems such as email, CRM software and LMS.
  • Reminding the new employee of important details for their first day such as dress code, opening hours, working hours, location, parking, passcodes and who to report to.
  • Notify all staff of new employee's imminent arrival; discuss their role through the most suitable format for your organisation:
    • Arrange a meeting if your organisation is small in terms of personnel.
    • Sending out an email, making a group live chat announcement or scheduling a number of meetings to make the announcement are potential options in a larger organisation.
  • Carry out meetings with the relevant internal personnel for organising all aspects of the orientation (Use this cheat sheet to assign tasks to colleagues in preparation for their arrival - don't be scrambling at the last minute!).
  • Cater for any of their individual requirements such as allergies or lifestyle choices.

Day 1:

  • Give the new employee a warm, non-intimidating welcome!
  • Allow the new employee to grab a drink and have a quick chat with the colleagues they'll be working with closely.
  • Show the employee the necessary areas of the workplace which they need to be aware of such as the kitchen and bathroom
  • Do an in-depth review of the role - this should be an informal chat in which you do most of the talking, covering:
    • Rationale behind the organizational requirement for the role.
    • Purpose of the role holder in relation to the businesses bottom line.
    • A recap on the typical tasks included in the role and what is expected/realistic in the execution of said tasks.
  • Issue with employee handbook (important elements the employee doesn't strictly need to know before joining the company) - discussing issues such as equality and diversity, health and safety, suitable professional conduct, internet policy, discipline, workplace security and conflict issues.
  • Issuing of other important documents and policies such as pension scheme details.
  • Take the necessary induction measures such fire safety and first aid.
  • Assign a mentor.
  • Introduce the employee to typical and accepted lunch and break practices and routines including smoking policy details:
    • Ask team members that the new employee will work closely with to invite them for lunch!
    • Inform the employee on what to do with their belongings to ensure safety.

Day 2:

  • Discuss Day 1 - there's a lot to take in, so make sure you address any issues that may have arose in Day 1.
  • Work with the employee to establish a suitable work schedule that is beneficial for them, their team and the business.
  • Begin the necessary selected training/learning - be sure to take a blended learning approach!.
  • Provide a full tour of the workplace now that time is available after the hectic first day has been completed.
  • Hold another meeting with relevant personnel to provide an easy to understand assessment and explanation of where the role fits within wider operations:
    • Discuss the organizational structure and illustrate the links between individual, team, departmental and business goals in relation to the rationale for the employees role.

Days 3-4:

  • Now that work schedules have been discussed and training has begun, you can approach:
    • Performance management (what type of management will suit the employee best? Discuss common practice in your workplace and attempt to find a way to make any compromises if needed).
    • Workload management (how is this currently managed in your workplace? What does your culture dictate and what does the employee expect? Work out the best possible solution).
  • Educate the new employee on the organizational history, explaining:
    • How the company has reached it's current position.
    • The level of current and expected growth.
    • The desired future direction of the company.
  • Explanation of regular processes - every workplace is different, so think of every organizational process that will effect the new employee, and make sure to explain how they all work.
  • Check up on their early progress in their training/learning program - what feedback do they have? Is there anything that can be tweaked for a more mutually beneficial arrangement?

Day 5:

  • Orientation Stage 1 review, discussing;
    • Ideal adaptations moving forward, simulation of issues encountered, and of course a summary of how you - senior management - feel the employee has performed on their first week of working with you.
    • Future objectives and the appropriate accompanying training that is necessary for the employee to achieve their progression goals and evolve their role in the direction they desire.
  • An after-work hangout! There's nothing better to truly invite your new employees into the club that is your business.


Remember, this cheat sheet is just a guide - you must adapt it to the requirements of your organization and the nature of each new employee's role and personality.

Don't blindly follow what I have prescribed, but instead use my advice to inform your organization on what needs addressing in your existing orientation process.

The day-by-day theme used throughout is only an idea of how you can organise this orientation process, so make it your own!

Making changes to your orientation process? If your new employee training needs revisiting, talk to Mindflash for honest advice and assistance on which type of solution is best for your workforce.

Author bio: Jordan Bradley works for High Speed Training (HST), a fully accredited specialist eLearning course provider based in the UK. He enjoys his responsibility of managing HST’s Hub – a blog which posts weekly insightful articles on a range of topics related to their array of online courses. Jordan spends the rest of his time running around the countryside, travelling on weekends to visit friends he wished lived closer, and fighting hard in the battle against laziness, amongst other things.

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