Orientation Suggestions (downloadable pdf) compiled by Andi Cheney for PAHRTS. A brief list of do’s and don’ts to facilitate a successful new-hire orientation process.
A good orientation will put the new hire at ease and also excite them, plus it will decrease organizational turnover!
Do Set Goals:
What do you want the employee to take away? You want your new employees to know that they are valuable resources, that you care about them, and that you are setting them up for success. This is first and foremost a welcome – what do you want that to look like?
Don’t Push Paperwork:
Ideally your new hire should have all paperwork completed before this orientation, including contracts, handbooks, and health care forms. Likewise, all the technical requirements (desk space and supplies, business cards, email addresses, server access, etc) should be ready for them. They should also already know any pertinent info about dress codes – don’t let them miss the orientation by fretting over fashion choices all day.
Do Jump On It:
Schedule the orientation as soon as possible for as many new hires as possible. You can plan your orientation dates around your hiring schedules.
Don’t Forget Supervisors:
If the supervisor can’t make the orientation, reschedule. You want your new hire to feel like a priority.
Do Focus on the Mission:
Make sure to fit the goals of the position into the organizational context. Every theatre employee is working to make the shows come to life, even the accountants. Use the time to share any upcoming projects or give status updates about recent activities. Making
Don’t Just Monologue:
Make space for new hires to speak to each other, ask questions, and even speak to the organizational leadership. Check in with the new hire at the end of the day to review and reflect.
Do Start Big Picture and Scale Down:
Folks retain more information once they’re awake and at ease. Any practical skills will be better absorbed later in the day, especially if there is a hands on learning opportunity.
Don’t Stop at Just One:
Think of orientations as an ongoing process. When new policies or programs are introduced, take the opportunity to re-orient your whole staff around the mission and how the new information fits in.