New Employee Orientation on Employee Satisfaction and Retention
One of the most integral parts of successful and efficient business production is associated with employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction can be achieved through a systematic and successful delivery of employee training and orientation. "Starting a new job with a new employer is difficult not only for the new employee but also for the employing organization. This is true regardless of the new employee's position in the organization."
Beeler) Successful hew hire orientation programs can make or break the smooth transition of an employee into a new environment. "No new employee, no matter what the extent of previous experience and training, can be expected to perform well on a new job without considerable preparation. Workers must sense that they have been fully prepared to do the full job for which they have been hired."
It is clear from the literature that without a certain level of confidence and knowledge on the part of the employee about their job description, their benefits, the dynamic of their work environment and a certain level of camaraderie between employees, employees may choose not to remain in their positions. Sometimes employees will even opt for lower pay or worse benefits in order to secure these other things. The holistic dynamic of the work place plays a very important role in job satisfaction.
New employees can be a potential threat to business; without proper orientation and training, they can interrupt day-to-day operations and impair the quantity and quality of services. Through no fault of their own, new employees also may damage the professional image of the organization.
Due to the considerable risk that is involved and the potential benefits of building a successful initial relationship between the new hire, the team she or he will be a part of, and the job he or she will perform is imperative. The resources used to establish the success of any person new to his or her job are considerable and when utilized successfully can begin the process of building great employees yet, when utilized ineffectively can stagnate not only individual employees but can put a firm at risk for overall business failure. Realistic and practical communication with a new employee is crucial and must begin from the very first day.
Research associated with past and present trends in new hire orientation is therefore essential within the dynamic of every business. Finding best practices, retiring old ineffective models and implementing new ones can be a product of a successful research base. The most crucial factor associated with new hire orientation is of course one of the most crucial human resource issues of all time, long-term employee retention. The purpose of the proposed study will be to begin the groundwork for the establishment of a mainstream general system of successful employee orientation that can be tailored to meet the needs of many businesses.
In theory the process of successful new hire orientation will ensure, early competence at tasks, general employee satisfaction, and will also ensure improved long-term retention of valuable employees.
General employee satisfaction will be ascertained through a quarterly review system and will be based upon a score of ten or greater on a self-report satisfaction survey. Early task competence will be evaluated based on the observation of new hire productivity within the first ninety days of employment with the firm and will be secondarily addressed on the satisfaction survey as a question regarding his or her personal feelings of task confidence within the first thirty days of initial employment. Long-term employee retention will be ascertained by a data analysis of employees in the study group having attained a retention period of longer than two years from time of hire. The proposed study will evaluate a group of new hires entering the firm over a six-month period and will follow them for eight quarters or two years of employment. The data will then be submitted to the director of human resources for evaluation and implementation of other needed changes.
In summary the proposed case study will evaluate an implemented a new hire orientation program in an attempt to establish best practices to ensure, early task confidence, general employee satisfaction and long-term employee retention.
In a 1993 survey of a very large number of businesses and organizations, published in 1995 a group of researchers attempted to ascertain the level to which companies are now providing training and learning opportunities to their employees.
It seems that there is a growing trend among organizations to offer training and orientation that better meet the needs of employees. Though it may seem that this is along time coming the research points out that until recently people were expected to remain in one position much longer and enter the workforce at a younger age. The trend for more and more specialized education is growing and as these researchers point out the need for appropriate data about what works and what does not is growing with it.
Frazis, Herz and Horrigan)
In a 1998 article research from 1996, pertaining to employee retention rates within correctional institutions many important factors associated with employee retention are outlined. Though this data is specific to correctional institutions many of the maxims associated with the findings are universal to all work environments. "During 1996, 23,745 correctional officers quit their jobs at 52 adult correctional agencies - reflecting a national annual turnover rate of 12.9%. While there are many reasons why employees separate from their agencies, a primary cause is dissatisfaction with some aspect of the job."
Dennis) Employee dissatisfaction is the number one reason why all employees voluntarily give up their positions in any company. Dennis then goes on to discuss the issues addressed within the study:
The specific factors influencing job satisfaction, as well as the correlation between the management traits of prison administrators and the level of job satisfaction and staff turnover, were examined during a recent research effort conducted by the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC).
Then he continues by outlining the research format and purpose: "Questionnaires were distributed to the entire population of 2,426 full-time, permanent employees based in the 11 prisons operated by the Kentucky DOC. A total of 1,330 questionnaires were completed, reflecting an overall return rate of 55%." (Dennis) summary of the results of the research demonstrates the empirical purpose of the study and offers some guidance for where the organization intends to put the research to work within the system.
The results of the survey reiterated a long-held tenet of management theory: that those employees who feel more empowered are more satisfied with their jobs, and thus, are more inclined to stay with the organization. From those results, researchers can make recommendations on how to better empower employees and increase overall job satisfaction.
The purpose of Dennis' research being much the same as the goal of this particular proposal, the development of best practices that will empower the employee and offer him or her a work environment that will ensure retention.
In an 2000 article assessing the role of organization socialization in new employee orientation Klein and Weaver address issues that have been linked to employee retention:
Organizational socialization is the process by which employees learn about and adapt to new jobs, roles, and the culture of the workplace (Fisher, 1986; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). Organizational socialization has been linked to a number of important organizational outcomes including increased organizational commitment, job involvement, role orientation, and tenure (Allen & Meyer, 1990a; Bauer, Morrison, & Callister, 1998; Fisher, 1986). Although socialization is an ongoing process, the focus of the current study is on the socialization of new hires, which is when adjustment issues are most intense and problematic and when employees are most susceptible to the organization's influence (Berlew & Hall, 1966; Jones, 1983; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979).
Klein and Weaver 47)
The practical application of the study applied the principals of a new orientation program which included the following principals:
The stated goals of the particular orientation program examined in this study were to help new employees (a) feel more a part of the organization, (b) learn more about the organization's language, traditions, mission, history, and structure, and - better understand the organization's basic workplace principles. The outline of the program was as follows: (a) an introduction and overview during which a notebook containing various informational resources was distributed, (b) a videotaped welcome from the organization's president, - a game/exercise aimed at familiarizing employees with the organization's traditions and language, (d) a videotape and discussion covering the mission, history, and structure of the organization, and (e) a lecture/discussion of the organization's basic workplace principles.
(Klein and Weaver 47)
What Klein and Weaver found is that the impact of the orientation program was significant on the factors addressed by the study and the outcomes are a part of a very small body of knowledge on the subject. The authors call for much further assessment of the…