Many companies assume that having an worker onboarding course of implies that they don’t want a proper worker orientation – or vice versa.

However they’re really not interchangeable. Worker onboarding and orientation differ and complement one another, and there’s worth in leveraging each.

Worker orientation vs. worker onboarding

For brand spanking new hires, worker orientation is a one-time occasion that welcomes new workers to your organization. It’s extra normal in focus.

Conversely, worker onboarding is a collection of occasions and trainings (together with orientation) that helps new hires progress into profitable workers. It’s extra job- and department-specific.

All about worker orientation

At orientation, human sources personnel and firm management formally introduce new hires to your group. If carried out on-site and in individual, orientations are normally conference-room or classroom-style occasions that carry collectively new hires from completely different departments throughout a corporation. For digital or hybrid workplaces, orientation can happen over videoconference.

Sometimes, HR and firm management ship info by way of shows, movies and question-and-answer classes. Many occasions, corporations schedule time for every of their leaders to greet new workers, introduce themselves and clarify their roles inside the enterprise.

Ideally, your organization ought to conduct worker orientation inside an worker’s first few days of employment.

Right here’s a full guidelines of what worker orientation sometimes entails:

  • Overview of your organization’s mission, imaginative and prescient and values
  • Obligatory new-hire paperwork
  • Dialogue about profit plans and enrollment directions
  • Evaluation of security, well being, safety and every other crucial insurance policies
  • Evaluation of administrative procedures
  • Distribution of company-issued supplies and tools, corresponding to parking tags, constructing key playing cards and laptops
  • Guided tour of the office
  • Required normal coaching for all workers on subjects such because the code of enterprise conduct and moral enterprise practices
  • Dissemination of key organizational contacts, corresponding to a delegated HR consultant or IT

Previous to orientation, it’s a good suggestion to let new hires know:

  • Instructions for learn how to entry orientation
  • The agenda and period of orientation
  • Particular objects they should carry
  • Contact info for the person or group conducting orientation

For digital orientations, maintain the next in thoughts:

  • You’ll must work more durable on the outset to fight worker isolation. Contemplate sending new workers welcome packets prematurely. These packets could embody a small present, orientation supplies or company-branded merchandise.
  • Set expectations for the digital setting, suggesting attendees take part from a distraction-free setting with minimal background noise and a robust Wi-Fi connection.
  • If needed, guarantee that you’ve got established safe techniques and settings in order that workers can safely transmit delicate info contained inside their new-hire paperwork.
  • Hold scheduling in thoughts; sitting in a digital session for a whole day is a special expertise, and generally extra exhausting, than being in an in-person setting. The schedule of each choices may look completely different.

All about worker onboarding

Worker onboarding is extra of a strategic plan to assist new hires perceive their day-to-day job duties and work processes by way of conferences, starter initiatives and job-specific coaching, which can assist to determine areas for growth.

That is the time once they can acclimate to the corporate tradition and begin to stay out the mission, imaginative and prescient and values they have been launched to in orientation.

They get to know their group members and supervisor, and study who to go to for sure questions and work approvals. Throughout this time, it’s crucial for managers to schedule common check-ins with new hires to allow them to join head to head and have a chance to share suggestions. It’s additionally vital for group members to construct camaraderie by way of work or informal actions.

After all, encouraging sturdy connections and sustaining engagement is more difficult in digital or hybrid work environments. Just a few concepts to onboard new distant workers successfully so that they really feel included and a part of a group:

  • Pre-recorded welcome video, with an introduction from every group member, that seems within the new worker’s e mail inbox on their first day
  • Staff-wide welcome assembly by way of videoconference
  • Digital group constructing that happens repeatedly
  • Digital lunches or pleased hours
  • Common check-ins between managers and new workers by way of videoconference for digital teaching, sharing suggestions and in addition to get to know one another and construct rapport

On the finish of the onboarding course of, new workers ought to have the instruments, sources and connections they should be profitable. The period of time this takes can vary from three weeks to 6 months – it actually relies on the person and their position.

Why each matter and supply worth

Let’s evaluate the main focus, period, setup, content material, final result and general worth of orientation and onboarding to focus on the need of every.


  • Focus: Function within the firm
  • Period: One-time occasion
  • Setup: Classroom or group videoconference
  • Content material: Huge image
  • End result: Prepared for coaching
  • Worth: Get workers acquainted with your organization’s mission, imaginative and prescient, values, insurance policies and different normal necessities. This permits them to really feel welcomed, included inside the bigger group and dedicated to your organization as a complete.


  • Focus: Function in division or smaller group
  • Period: Sequence of occasions over an extended time frame (months)
  • Setup: On the job (in individual or distant)
  • Content material: Individualized
  • End result: Actively contributing
  • Worth: Staff achieve readability about their position and are invested of their day-to-day work and objectives, with an understanding of how they and their group contribute to the bigger image. They really feel built-in inside their group and empowered for achievement. That is the crucial first step to fostering long-term worker engagement, whereas reducing worker stress and decreasing turnover.

Summing all of it up

Worker onboarding and worker orientation are every crucial elements within the introduction of workers to a brand new work atmosphere. They don’t seem to be interchangeable however, reasonably, complement one another within the general objective of accelerating worker engagement and serving to them really feel ready and able to work.

Orientation is a one-time occasion that welcomes new workers to your organization and includes a guidelines of normal, necessary steps to finish. Onboarding is a collection of coaching over an extended time frame that helps workers study extra about their particular person position, their group and the way their job pertains to broader firm objectives.

For extra details about coaching workers to be their greatest and empowering them for achievement, obtain our free journal: The Insperity information to management and administration.