There’s so much that goes into an effective employee orientation or onboarding experience that one little blog post couldn’t contain it all.

So I’ll be selective, with a little gem I picked up from the Currents Group, a consultancy in Ontario, Canada, via the Workforce.com website:

A day or so before you plan to introduce your new hire, ask everybody to think back over their term of employment to their first month on the job. What would they have liked to know then that they know now?

When you do bring the newbie in and take them around the office, invite each of the person’s new co-workers to tell that little story of their first month, seen in the light of what they subsequently learned about the job. For instance, a customer service veteran might tell a new rep: “I wish I’d known the best way to calm an irate customer. What you have to do is say, ‘That must have been a horrible experience for you.'”

By having long-time employees give these kinds of tips, you’ll accomplish two things:

  • Jump-start the new hire’s learning process by helping him or her cut through the “noise” of the new job to what’s really important.
  • Automatically build empathy for the new employee among your veterans, who will be forced to remember what it was like to be the new kid on the block.

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