Posts Tagged ‘Orientation’


Photo by: Scott Beale laughingsquid.com

Here’s a quick tool that I often use to make all the informal meetings and activities more formal.  Here’s the example.  A new employee goes from department to department as part of an orientation.  It’s often different every new employee are there are few standards for what to do.  This is also the case when deparment heads appear in a classroom with their PowerPoints. 

 So what I ask everyone do to is fill out this short template.  It not only forces others to think through what they are doing but it’s a start of standardizing and improving the quality of training.  Here it is:

Activity Description

Type of Activity: _(Job Shadowing,Self-Study, Presentation, etc.)

Location: _(Department, Off-Site Visit, etc) 


(Provide a brief description of the purpose, process and payoff of this activity.  Usually one short paragraph.)


(Describe what you expect the producer to get out of this activity.  Usually 2 or 3 short bullets.  Make them the answer to the statement that follows.)

As a result of this activity producers will be able to:


(Describe how you intend to conduct this activity, is it a short presentation, will they watch someone work, will they read product literature, will they role play, etc.)


(List any materials such as handouts, video, websites, etc. that you plan to use.)


(Describe any evaluation or testing your plan to do.)

Next Steps

(Is there any follow-up to this activity.)

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Here are two very traditional new hire orientations.  First, you put new hires in the classroom and then have each department head come in with a PowerPoint presentation and talk for an hour.  I’ve seen this go on for up to five days.

 The second method is to have new hires go to each department and get a short presentation on what that department does.  It’s a little less formal and you get to see the department.  I’ve seen this last for up to two weeks.

So, when you ask new hires how they liked this orientation here’s the typical response.  (You actually don’t need to go to the expense of doing this survey here’s what you always get.)  “That was really interesting but I don’t remember much of it.” or..”it would have been more helpful after I’d been here a while.” or..”I couldn’t stay awake.”

These methods are actually more like a hazing than anything of substantial value.  It’s too much, too soon and delivered in the worst possible way.

What’s the alternative? 

First of all, the information is valuable.  However, it’s probably different every time it’s presented and it doesn’t have a context.  So what we do is try to capture that information and put it into some type of reference material.  Could be online but doesn’t have to be.  Then new hires read or go through that information over a period of several weeks and then they get an opportunity to meet with departments for informal discussions or maybe some job shadowing.   In other words, it’s spread along a Learning Path.

Here’s an easy way to capture this information.  The next time you go through your traditional orientation tape record it and then transcribe it.  Now with the PowerPoints you  have all the information you need for a good writer to put it together.

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