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Welcome aboard: Your guide to a successful employee orientation in Alberta

Finding qualified labour is a real and expensive struggle, with hiring and training bringing significant costs to your business. When you finally find the right employee, it is important to set them off on the right foot; how you start the relationship with your new employee will set the tone for the duration of employment.

Why is an employee orientation so important? In addition to long-run cost savings, a proper employee orientation:

  • Establishes clear standards and expectations
  • Creates consistent management
  • Outlines and highlights important company policies
  • Ensures a consistent treatment of all employees

Where do you start?

In the first few days, you want to make the employee feel welcome and comfortable with their environment and co-workers. Introduce them to management, colleagues and customers that come in. Ensure they know about the business they’re working for. You can include:

Don’t forget the paperwork!

Setting up payroll is essential, but also ensure you have other employee information to ease communication down the road:

  • Prepare payroll information, including the TD1 and other tax forms
  • Obtain personal information for the employee's record
    • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    • Banking information for payroll deposits
  • Update contact information
    • Employee’s physical address and email
    • Cell phone number
    • A list of emergency contacts

Human Resource policies: Worth their weight in gold

Sometimes written policies can get overlooked, but a formal written policy can help create structure, consistency and communicate expectations to all employees. Our Counsellors keep a variety of templates of HR polices for our members. For a new employee, you want to introduce:

Better safe than sorry: Review occupational health and safety

Many workplace injuries happen when employees are not familiar with health and safety requirements at their workplace. You should ensure all new employees are familiar with:

  • Safety standards
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Injury reporting
  • First aid station and representatives
  • Workplace violence procedures

You have a legal obligation to properly inform, instruct and supervise your employees and to do everything you reasonably can to protect them!

A quick check-up: Schedule a feedback meeting

It is always good to keep the lines of communication open with your new employee. Plan to have a meeting at the end of the first day and then again at the end of the first week to ensure you are both in sync.

You can ask questions, such as:

  • What surprised you?
  • What was the most interesting thing about our business that you have learned?
  • Did you interact with a client? How did that go?
  • What do you need to learn next?
  • What is the key safety practice to be injury-free in this job?

Creating a successful employee orientation plan will set the groundwork for a productive and satisfying employment relationship. Your new employee will feel welcomed, valued, and have an easier time integrating with current employees, leading to an employment relationship that helps your business strengthen and grow.