IV. 4. Orientation
Orientation is the process of introducing a new employee
to an institution, its services, and the community. It is the beginning
step in becoming a full-fledged agency/worker. Although an applicant
is given some introduction to an institution by filing an application
and having a personal interview, a more formal introduction is ordinarily
advantageous. This may be made by the director of the institution or
the supervisor under whom the new employee will work. It is best if
the new worker is helped by both in addition to being given assistance
by other workers. Sometimes films, tapes, or written materials are valuable.
When a new employee arrives, it is best if the director
shares his or her personal philosophy, discusses and describes the institution,
and allows the person to ask questions. Getting answers from the person
at the top is meaningful for an employee. The interview should be warm
and personal. The administrator may take the new employee around the
building and point out working quarters and relevant physical facilities.
The administrator should explain the basic policies of
the institution, its organization, its services, its board, its community
relationships, and all other pertinent factors. The new worker should
be given a copy of the policies and procedures manual.
Whatever the introductory method, the following are usually
described in orientation:
- Institution history and services.
- Basic policies, regulations, and procedures.
- Institution organizational structure, including the
level and position of the new employee in the institution.
- Basic information regarding such items as salary,
working ours, vacation, sick leave, and parking.
- Office arrangements for the employee.
- Fringe benefits, including health and life insurance,
retirement plans, and recreational facilities.
- Opportunities and challenges, including data regarding
promotion, salary increases, and opportunity for creativity.
A friendly introduction to the staff is significant. Although
this depends somewhat on the size of the institution, it certainly should
include personal introductions to those on the staff who will be working
closely with the appointee. An opportunity should be provided for an
interview with each key person. Again, these introductions should be
positive and warm. In addition to personal interviews with key personnel,
new employees might be invited to talk for a few minutes at a staff
meeting, to share with the group some of their experiences, ideas, and
New employees need to be introduced to the community also.
This can be done at a luncheon meeting with one or more key persons.
Also, the first time new workers attend a community function, they should
be introduced to the community leaders. Sometimes a special meeting,
luncheon, or dinner is held to introduce a new worker to the community.
In addition to personal introductions, it is imperative that the new
worker receive information about the key community agencies related
to the work, including data about their services and personnel, so the
worker is not altogether a novice when contact is made with them.