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

Date: March 23 2012

TORONTO, March 22, 2012 /CNW/ - 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% No............................................... 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 Follow Accountemps for workplace news at