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The goal of a new employee orientation program is to welcome your new-hires in a manner that makes them not only convinced that they chose the right organization, but also emotionally committed to your organization and its mission. 

An emotional connection and belief in the organization's purpose outlasts potential bumps in the road (such as a care-less supervisor, or an unanticipated pay freeze).  There is no single "magic bullet"that will achieve this goal, yet there are many thoughtfully designed "wow's" that when executed collectively will create the world-class result you are trying to achieve.

Here are 3 simple examples of what organization's aren't doing, and if they did would be on their way to world-class: 

1) Awesome welcome signage for new employee orientation  This special touch goes way beyond simply directing new-hires to a location they may have never been.  In light of the "everything speaks" theory, it sends the message that "we've been expecting you", "we are happy you are here", and "we realize that nervousness may have set in so we will make this as comfortable for you as possible". Be sure to place the signage in spots along their arrival journey, ie in the parking lot, front entrance, hallways, and at classroom entrance.

2) NEO classroom walls that tell the story of your organization   Putting thought and care into the room design pays off in spades- not only for new-hires, but for existing employees as well.  Connecting emotionally to your employees includes sharing with them the legacy of the organization and using visual and tactile means is extremely effective.  

Display the typewriter you used in the early days to write correspondence with potential clients; share a photo of your founder in the first office that was created; frame the first contract your company signed or the first customers that were served (See: 3 Ideas to Strengthen Your Service Culture).  Connecting employees with the heritage and tradition of the organization helps them feel responsible to carry on the legacy, realizing that they are part of something larger than themselves and their job tasks.

3) NEO graduation ceremony   Make a big deal of successful completion of your new employee orientation program.  A "graduation" ceremony marks the transition from new-hire to the 60-90 day training period.  Completing NEO accelerates the assimilation process and celebrating it with recognition and presentation of the new-hire's nametag/namebadge, pin, office plaque, business card, certificate of completion/welcome, etc. solidifies a sense of accomplishment early on; in a situation that is all to new to otherwise feel accomplished.  

*As an added bonus, name the NEO ceremony something significant.  For example, at Walt Disney World the successful completion of the NEO program called "Traditions", ends in the employees (or cast members) "Earning Your Ears"!

Remember, your employees are just as important as your customers when it comes to working every day to earn their trust, respect, and business.  Make use of these examples to plus-up your new employee onboarding program.  It's the strategy that keeps on-giving- in the form of employee - and ultimately customer - commitment and loyalty.  

For more great ideas on how to improve customer and employee loyalty, and create a world-class new employee onboarding program, subscribe to our SPARKS! Blog and check out these resources:

new employee orientation employee onboarding program checklist  


ABOUT DONNELLY EFFECT: With over 20 years of Disney leadership experience, Mike Donnelly, Chief Experience Officer (CEO) of Donnelly Effect shares his insights on Talent Selection and Hiring, Employee Onboarding, Customer Experience, Workplace Culture and Leadership- among others.  Donnelly Effect is home of the exclusive "World-Class Workshop" series and offers consulting services and keynote addresses to audiences of all sizes and industries. Since 2007, Mike Donnelly has been a contracted Disney Institute Facilitator, delivering Disney training to audiences across the United States.


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