Tips from TSE: Using evidence to evaluate orientees' experience

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, October 2, 2009

Much attention has been given to evaluating new employees’ performance. However, there has been less attention paid to obtaining evidence-based data from new employees regarding their orientation experience. Why has it been challenging to obtain accurate, objective feedback from orientees?

New employees are often reluctant to offer feedback for fear of reprisal. They know they will be working with their preceptors, manager, and other colleagues on an ongoing basis. They are concerned that any negative feedback may hamper future working relationships and may even be concerned that their continued employment may be sabotaged if they provide less than stellar comments about colleagues or managers. New employees may only be willing to provide honest feedback if their comments are anonymous. Sometimes the only way to honestly evaluate the orientation experience is by turnover and retention rates.

Part of preceptor and management training should include ways to accept constructive criticism from new employees and the dangers of reprisal against orientees. Managers and staff members may not realize how crucial they are to successful orientation. Share any tools used by orientees to evaluate the orientation experience with them. Help managers and staff members learn from the concerns of new employees and take pride in those comments that indicate a job well done.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted from the September issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!

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