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How long does an orientation last?

There is unfortunately no straight answer to this question as each company is, of course different. However a good orientation length is a balance between sending your employees in blind and forcing them to spend days covering every one of your policies and procedures. It should always be remembered that if you have too little or too much you run the risk of scaring your employees off through boredom.

Orientations have been reported to last anywhere from three hours to three weeks. Some places skip them altogether which is not recommended as it can lead to employees being unprepared and cause general confusion which can negatively affect your workplace culture.

To figure out the length that you need for your orientation you need to consider what is important for your employees to know/do. Questions such as 'do they need to be taught this in orientation?' or 'is it perhaps better for them to learn it on the job? Is it going to be interesting for the employee and if not, what can be done about it? Is it possible for the orientation to be split up, so that employees have time to get experience with which to help them understand the concepts they are being taught?'

A good orientation will last the length of your employees work-life teaching them all they need to know in a suitable time period with an annual follow up for anything that need to be refreshed.

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