9 Creative Ideas To Make New Employee Orientation A Success

You are here, reading this article, which means you already know a bit about the importance of Employee orientation. Let’s try to put that in numbers to make sure everyone understands how important it is to get your new employee orientation right. 

A Bersin by Deloitte study shows that without the right new hire orientation, you can lose 4% of your employees in the first month, and worse, about 22% before the first 90 days.

So, now that we have established it is very important to have an outstanding new hire orientation, we are here to help you with it. 

There are a bunch of things you can do innovatively to give your new hires a kick-ass first day at their new company. Make it memorable, exceptional, and make them the personal ambassadors of your company by Day 1. 

Let’s jump right into the 9 creative employee orientation ideas you can implement in your company. 

1. Give Thoughtful and Personalized Swags 

Swags are not a new idea in the new hire employee orientation ideas universe. However, what you give as swags is important. As much as it tempts you to buy a diary and pen with your logo and call it a day on the swags department, stop and think for a moment. 

What would a new hire ideally need in their new job?

  • A pocketbook to take quick notes and carry around
  • A pen
  • Water bottle 
  • A file/folder to keep all their documents and papers safely 
  • A backpack to keep their new laptop 
  • A small stationery kit – with paperclips, sticky notes/post-its, stapler, highlighter pens, etc., 
  • Laptop Stickers that represent your company cultures – like your logo or vision message 
  • A Coffee Mug 

These are just some amazing swags I got from my company, you can personalize them however you like. For example, if you are a shoe company, you might give your new employee a pair of your best shoes, no better way to make them feel connected with the brand, am I right? 

2. Arrange Dates 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your new hire orientation is letting your new hire have lunch or first meal in the office alone. I mean, first days are a bit tough for a new hire as it is, to top it off if your new hire has to find the cafeteria and the trick to use the broken sauce machine without spilling you are just making them second guess everything. 

Do not think your new hire will find a lunch buddy of her own, that is too unfair to assume because not everyone is good at striking a conversation with strangers and going to lunch with them. 

So, if you can arrange dates for your new hire, preferably with a small team who they will work with at their role, it would be a great new hire orientation idea. If the new hire is part of the marketing team, ask folks from the team to catch up with the new hire, and take them to breaks or lunch or dinner. 

3. Make their Desk meaningful 

The last thing you should make your new hire do on their first day is clear out the unwanted stuff of some previous employee and pry through their stuff to clean the drawer and keep their own stuff. 

Get a clean desk ready for your new hire, put up a “Welcome Harry” sign for Harry to easily find and smile as he sees his desk. You can even maybe put out some swags here as a friendly gesture. A filled water bottle, a small stationery kit waiting for him at the desk along with his coffee mug are small yet powerful things that will make your new hire feel good. 

Pro Tip: If you can, find out what your new hire likes the most – Elephants? Toblerone? Plants? Keep a bar of Toblerone next to the welcome sign or a small elephant desk toy. 

4. Create a moment of WOW

When I joined Freshworks, I got a brand new Apple MacBook Pro in the box, wrapped, and everything as my work system. Not only was I a bit scared to use such an expensive system, but I was also in a moment of WOW. Now, this was not part of their new hire orientation idea, just something they follow as a company norm, to create moments of wow. 

Only the first day and you have the most powerful system in your hands for you to take with you. It will make you go wow, right? Yes. So, do something like that for your employees too. 

It does not have to be a MacBook, it can be the latest smartwatch or an exquisite pen, anything you know will create a moment of WOW in your new hire. 

5. Get the story behind the person 

So, usually, you tell the team they have someone new joining and ask them to say Hi. With endless names popping and saying a customary Hi, the new hire will not even register or remember anything about anybody. 

However, if you can put a story about the new hire to your entire team, the connection will be stronger. Get pictures of your new hire, get their story, including details about their native place, their school, college, their past work experience, their hobbies, and weird likes, etc in the story. 

This way everyone in the team can know about the new hire on a personal level, can connect on something they have in common with the new hire, and begin conversations using that which will leave lasting impressions. 

6. Skip the office tour, make it a treasure hunt 

You can still take the new hire on a quick tour of the office, show where the cafeteria and restrooms are, and then take them to their desk as part of your new hire orientation idea. 

Or 

You can make the office tour a game of treasure hunt. Give clues to each place, like, 

“You get your energy to work from here, but you cannot work here,” – can be a clue to find the cafeteria on their own. 

If there is a famous painting or poster on any important part of your office, give a clue to that and make them find that place, this will help them remember these places well and also during the whole running around, bump into people and make new friends. 

7. Take them to Team Dinner 

If not on the first day, at least in the first week, if not with the entire team, at least with the small team they would work with. 

It is one thing to have lunch at the office, but a whole other thing to go to a nice restaurant for dinner. You get to know about a person so much from going to a restaurant with them, and especially dinners are when people are more at ease and themselves. 

It will help everyone know the new hire better, and the new hire can know everyone well too. 

8. Play a friendly game of any sport 

Most offices have some game. Carrom or Foosball or any board game, some are extra, with rock climbing, table tennis, cricket or even football ground.

Whatever you have in your office, take your new hire for a friendly game with a small bunch and make them familiar with the chill routine of the office. It will help the new hire calm some of that first-day jitters and also bond better with the team. 

9. Make the Orientation about the Employee 

It is easy to get carried away and talk non-stop about the company, its culture and values, and vision. As much as it is important to tell all this to your new hire, it should not be one-sided. 

Your new hire already knows your company is good, which is why he or she joined it. So, cut short the whole talk about the company and make the orientation about the new employee. Include their stories, or engage them in activities and conversations with the important people of your company, where they get to interact, ask their questions, and also know about the company. 

Do not stack back-to-back lecture sessions, that’s all. Live a little.

Now that you have these amazing new hire orientation ideas at your fingertips, all you need to do is get started on the orientation process. 

If it gets overwhelming to remember all this while you take care of the endless paperwork and formalities, it means you need a smart onboarding/orientation software that can automate most of your processes, giving you more time to come with great ideas for your orientation. (Which you can share with us in the comments section).

New Employee Orientation