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New Hire Orientation

If you find most NHOs to be "less than effective," I have an idea you can steal. In fact, I hope you do.

For those who've been "lucky" enough to sit through a mind-numbing corporate orientation, you'll understand when I say that most of these things are a huge waste of time and energy. Why so harsh? Well, in my experience, a new employee cannot possibly remember the overwhelming amounts of detail we throw at them. Yet somehow we feel compelled to continue this archaic practice.

That's why I'm challenging some brave soul to rethink the entire process. What if--stay with me, here--we made orientation exactly that: an orientation. Think of it literally. When we are in a new geographical area, we have to orient ourselves to the surroundings. That has never once meant learning every detail about every detail. When visiting a city for the first time, no one needs to know the name and function and leadership structure of every company in town. New hires don't need to know all that stuff either. More than anything, I think new hires need to be given a functional road map of the company and then shown how to use that map to get answers to questions as they arise. Most importantly, they need to be made to feel like what they just signed on to really matters. They need to walk away feeling that this journey with your company, though not without challenges, will be exciting and full of people willing to help along the way. If properly oriented, a new hire then has a reason to pursue knowledge that will aid in the day-to-day, rather than being inundated with it up front and out of context.

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