By IAN FERGUSON WHEN an individual begins a relationship with an organisation for the first time, there are some high expectations that circulate in the minds of these employees. Likewise, the company has some high hopes for the employees they have hired as new team members. These hopes and expectations must be mutually communicated at the very onset of the relationship if the corporate union is to be fruitful. When the organisation fails to initiate this dialogue with the new employee in a formal way, then the new employee is left to make some assumptions regarding the parameters in which he or she is expected to work, and the liberties he or she may or may not have. The orientation programme is a powerful on-boarding instrument used by the company to help the new hire assimilate into the organisation. The programme provides the employee with critical skills, knowledge, attitudes and competencies that will secure their future success in the company. The orientation programme is designed to articulate the culture of the organisation for the employee, and encourage them to absorb and align their goals and objectives with that of the company. The orientation should settle, once and for all, in the employees' psyche that the company is a good fit for them as an individual. Many smaller and medium-sized organisations reading this article may interpret an orientation programme as one that is more suited for the large companies with large numbers of employees, divisions and vast resources. The smaller company may argue that their size and the extent of their human resources simply do not allow them to provide new employees the luxury of a thorough company orientation. Despite a company's size, it is imperative that an orientation policy is established so as to proactively prevent, and circumvent, many labour and industrial challenges that loom in the future. Perhaps with fewer bells and whistles, smaller companies can still provide a meaningful on-boarding training experience for the new hire. Here are a few tips for building and delivering an impactful Orientation Training Program: 1. The training must be presented by qualified individuals who know the products, services, policies and procedures sufficiently to effectively deliver the programme. 2. The training must incorporate, in an interesting way, the company's vision, mission, values and philosophy, while practically sharing with the employee how they connect, and are responsible for living and making reality these foundational statements. 3. The training must speak to the customer service and teamwork environment, and standards the employees are expected to achieve. 4. The training must provide specific information about the products and services, company clients, vendors and relationships with other companies. 5. The training programme must share the company goals, targets and objectives, with a clear indication towards how each employee measures up to them. 6. The training programme must introduce the leadership and organisational structure of the organisation. 7. The training programme must articulate clearly the policies and general Human Resource procedures of the organisation, governing its full complement of staff. 8. The training must incorporate a departmental specific component, which gives the employee full access to information and competencies necessary in their particular division Get the professional help you need today to build a powerful orientation program for your company. You customers, staff and bottomline will thank you. Contact Latoya Swain at 322.2145 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. NB: About the author Ian R. Ferguson has a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Miami. During the course of his nearly 20 years in education, talent management and human resources, he has served both the public and private sector. He currently serves as manager of the Chamber Institute.