Think back to the last time you started a new job and completed onboarding training. Did you have a deluge of content to sift through? Being a brand-new employee can be overwhelming in and of itself … add to that a massive, disorganized stack of training materials and it can feel downright scary.

Instead of inundating new hires with tons of content, streamline the materials to create training that eliminates fluff and focuses on specific tasks and key info employees need to be successful during their first few days and weeks on the job. There are important benefits to having a solid orientation program in place: it ensures new staff get up to speed and productive more quickly, saving the company time and money.

Here’s a list of topic ideas to help guide your content for your new employee orientation training.

Company Overview

Culture and values: Include a description of the company culture. Is it a progressive, laid-back company or a serious, conservative workplace? You might also share your company’s core values, mission statement, and code of ethics or business conduct, if one exists.

Company history: Try to keep your company history short, concise, and relevant. An explanation of how, why, and when the company was started along with a brief timeline of key events in the company’s history should be sufficient.

Team structure: Let your new hires know how the company is structured. Consider providing an organizational chart as well as descriptions of the various teams and their core functions. You might want to include the name and contact information of a key person from each team.

Leadership: Your new employee orientation training might include short bios of the high-level executives and leadership figures within the organization.  

Attendance and Leave

Hours of work: Clearly outline the hours of work. This will vary depending on if it’s an office job with core business hours or a retail environment with shifts and set schedules. You might also cover the overtime policy as well as details for clocking in and out, if required.

Time off: You’ll want to cover details about vacation time, personal days, and sick days, if they are available. Describe the process for requesting vacation time or taking a sick day.

Miscellaneous: Consider also covering leaves of absence, absenteeism, breaks, meals, and any other policies or rules related to attendance and leave.

Compensation

Getting paid: Use this section to let your employees know how and when they get paid. What are the pay periods and the payroll deductions? Provide instructions for how employees can set up direct deposit with their bank and/or financial institution.

Submitting expenses: Outline your company’s policy for travel expenses. Lay out any rules or per diems, as well as instructions for how and when to submit expenses or receipts.

Bonuses, commissions, and raises: If your company offers bonuses or commissions, you might want to outline the policies surrounding those and how and when employees will receive them. You can also include any policies on raises and how to advance within the organization.

Benefits

Insurance: Provide information and details about the company’s health, life, and disability insurance plans. If anything needs to be done to sign up or get a card, include information about how to do this in the training.

Savings: Inform your employees about any 401(k), retirement, or savings plans your company offers. If they need to sign up, let them know what forms they need to fill out and how they should enroll.

Miscellaneous: If your company offers any other perks or benefits, such as career development opportunities, paid training or education, employee discounts, preferential rates for products, or anything else, let your employees know how they can take advantage of this.

Systems and Applications

Communication tools: You’ll want to teach new employees how to use all the company’s communication tools, including email and phones. If you use any other communication tools such as Skype or Slack, let your learners know how they can get access and start using those tools.

Software and hardware: Instructions on how to use tools, websites, or systems that are used company-wide can be covered in the new employee training. The training can also cover how to use printers, copy machines, coffee machines, or any other equipment.

Company Policies

Safety and security: Cover anything employees need to know related to safety and security. Where to park, how to access the building, keycodes, or employee identification passes can be explained here.

Compliance training: If your company has any compliance training, such as workplace harassment, diversity, or computer security training, that all employees must complete, provide instructions for how and when to access that training.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions: Add a list of frequently asked questions. Need some ideas? Ask your Human Resources team what questions they think you should include here; they might have some insights.

Contact information: Include contact information in your training for key people that new hires need to know about. You should also provide details about who they should get in touch with in case of further questions.

Post-Course Evaluation

Follow up your new employee orientation training with a brief survey. Encourage employees to provide feedback about what information they felt was missing, or what information was unnecessary. Use these suggestions to make improvements and updates to your courses.

Example Courses

Need more inspiration? Check out these example new employee orientation courses to get more ideas on how to structure and organize your content.

Hopefully this article inspires you and gives you a few ideas about what to include in new employee orientation training. Is there anything else you think should be included that wasn't covered in this list? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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