Tips from TSE: Overcoming orientation challenges

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, February 12, 2010

By Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, CS, RN-BC.

A successful new hire orientation requires planning, execution, and follow-up of learning experiences with the new employee from the first contact. I am a strong advocate for interactive, staff-centered, relationship-based new hire orientations that build on best practices. I believe that a key to the retention of professional nurses lies in onboarding structures, processes, and outcomes.

When implementing a new hire orientation, it's best to build structures and processes on best practices identified in the literature, evaluations from past and present new employees, and outcomes from focus groups. People are an organization's most critical asset. Yet in the first few months of a new job they were once eager to embrace, new hires report feeling discouraged, disillusioned, and overwhelmed. This is frequently the result of how they were introduced and integrated into the new organization.

Orientations are meant to welcome new hires; introduce employees to the organization and coworkers, work environments, and leadership; remove the mystery of their new roles; and provide positive attitudes and skills for successful transition and integration.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the February 2010 issue of The
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