Formal and Informal Orientation Programs

Formal and Informal Orientation Programs

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March 26, 2018


Orientation refers to the process through which the organization introduces its new employees to their coworkers and is provided with work related information such as performance standards, working hours, place of work, benefits, facilities, and names of the supervisors and other colleagues. There are two types of orientation, formal and informal induction (Manuti, Pastore, Scardigno, Giancaspro, & Morciano, .2015).

Formal Induction

Formal orientation is a planned process of introducing a new employee to the job, organization, and the work colleagues. This type of induction is normally time consuming for both the supervisor and the new employee. The supervisor or any superior officer must be aware of the needs of the new employees and must deliver them before the employee starts performing his duties. In the organization where I work, the workshop supervisor usually assigns one of the senior employees the task of inducting a new employee until they get accustomed to their daily duties and responsibilities. Nevertheless, the employee is first briefed by the Human resource department of the important aspects of his employment such as remuneration, the values of the organization and general expectation such as dress code. Also, the employee undergoes an OHSAS training program (Manuti, Pastore, Scardigno, Giancaspro, & Morciano, .2015).

The advantage of formal induction is that the new employee will make fewer mistakes, which is a common occurrence among new workers in a new workplace or environment. However, this approach to orientating employees depends on the relationship of the two employees and the coordination between them. I sometimes observe a lack of chemistry between the superior officer and the employee they are inducting to the extent that the officer in charge may knowingly mislead the new employee. To avoid such scenarios I would like for the organization I work for to put new employees through an in-house training program organized by the human resource department where they are acquainted with the processes, expectations, responsibilities, and duties before they are even introduced to their new workplace (Cascio, 2018).

Informal Induction

Informal orientation is not planned and is often ad hock. New workers learn through the method of trial and error. They gain familiarity with work environment and their duties by themselves. This type of orientation normally stresses the new employee during the early days of his/her employment. Critics would argue that experience is the best teacher and that leaving the employees to discover the new workplace on their own is the best practice. Furthermore, it saves the organization time and resources that would have been spent other crucial areas. However, such thinking lacks broad perspective. This is because the employee in the process of self-discovery may make a lot of costly mistake to the institution. Furthermore, during the period the employee is not fully productive hence, the organization is not reaping the most from the expertise of the worker (Manuti, Pastore, Scardigno, Giancaspro, & Morciano, .2015).

The most effective way to introduce an employee to the organization is through a mix of formal and informal induction practices. The formal orientation process will answer the most important questions that the employee may have regarding the institution while the informal induction processes boost the morale of the employee (Cascio, 2018).


Cascio, W. (2018). Managing human resources. McGraw-Hill Education.

Manuti, A., Pastore, S., Scardigno, A. F., Giancaspro, M. L., & Morciano, D. (2015). Formal and informal learning in the workplace: a research review. International journal of training and development, 19(1), 1-17.