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  • Writer's pictureFeasibility Plus

Orientation- Its Need and Kinds

Induction, also called orientation is an introductory stage in the process of new employee assimilation, and a part of his or her continuous socialisation process in an organisation and aims at gaining employee commitment, reducing uneasiness/ nervousness, helping him or her understand organisation’s expectations and conveying what he or she can expect from the job and the organisation. Orientation is offered by most employers and is meant to educate new employees about the goals and responsibilities of the position and company, as well as to answer any questions they may have about HR, benefits and payroll information along with planned introduction of new employees to their jobs, coworkers, and the organisation.

However, orientation should not be a mechanical, one-way process. Because all employees are different, orientation must incorporate a sensitive awareness of the anxieties, uncertainties, and needs of the individual.

Orientation in one form or another is offered by most employers. The orientation is meant to educate new employees about the goals and responsibilities of the position and company, as well as to answer any questions they may have about HR, benefits and payroll information.

Effective orientation programs reduce the anxiety of new employees by providing them information on the job environment and on supervisors, b) introducing them to co-workers, and encouraging them to ask questions.

The ease with which employees adjust to a new job and work environment is, often, a function of the expectations they bring to the job. If expectations are realistic, adjustments will be relatively simple. If, however, expectations are unrealistic or unreasonable, the adjustment will be more difficult. In the latter case, orientation can be instrumental in modifying employee expectations.

In one study of considerable importance, researchers discovered the following about new employees:

1. The first days on the job were anxious and disturbing ones.

2. ‘New employees initiation’ practices by peers intensified anxiety.

3. Anxiety interfered with the training process.

4. Turnover of the newly hired employees was caused primarily by anxiety.

5. The new workers were reluctant to discuss problems with their supervisors. Employee orientation is aimed at minimising such problems.

Finally, a good orientation program will create a favourable impression of the firm and its work. Just as a favourable first impression of an individual helps to form a good relationship, so a good initial impression of a company, a co-worker, or a supervisor can help a new employee adjust better. Further, the effectiveness of an orientation program can have a lasting effect on absenteeism and turnover.

A firm needs to make four strategic choices before designing its orientation program. They can be

1. Formal or Informal

In an informal orientation, new hires are directly put on the jobs and they are expected to acclimatise themselves with the work and the company. In contrast, orientation can be formal too. In formal orientation, the management has a structured program that is executed when new employees join the firm.

The choice between formal and informal orientation will depend on the management’s goals. The more formal the program, the greater the likelihood that the new hire will acquire a known set of standards However, innovative ideas to solve organizational problems and healthy questioning of the status quo are likely to be generated by a person who has been inducted informally.

2. Individual or Collective

Another choice to be made by the management is whether the new hires should be inducted individually or in groups. Individual orientation is more likely to preserve individual differences and perspectives but orienting each person separately is an expensive and time-consuming process that also denies the new hire the opportunity of sharing anxieties with fellow appointees.

Collective orientation of the new hires solves the problems stated above. Most large firms tend to have a collective orientation approach. But small firms, which have fewer new appointees to socialise frequently use the individual approach. Individual socialisation is popular even with large Finns when they hire executives whose number is small.

3. Serial or Disjunctive

Orientation becomes serial when an experienced employee inducts a new hire. The experienced employee acts as a tutor and model for the new hire. When new hires do not have predecessors available to guide them or to model their behavior upon, the orientation becomes disjunctive.

Orientation programs range from brief, informal introductions to lengthy, formal programs.

A follow-up meeting is crucial and usually takes place between a new employee and his or her supervisor a week or so after the employee has begun working.

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