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An effective orientation can help new employees learn about company policies, as well as validating their decision to take the job. There is often a measure of uneasiness and concern when an employee begins the job, but effective orientations provide a comprehensive review of the employee handbook with all its restrictions and warnings. A friendly, supportive and inspirational orientation deserves a short, heartfelt after-orientation letter of appreciation.
Gather the facts for your letter. A good orientation program is a gift to a new employee who may be wondering if they made the right decision, so a thank-you letter is appropriate. Don't gush, pouring out continuous praise and flattery, which may be seem insincere. Focus on the content of the orientation program and your reactions, rather than the presenter's style.
Highlight two or three specific points in the orientation that you found particularly useful. There is often a lot of important information to fit into a short time frame, and trainers are left wondering if new employees were able to absorb the information. Mention how the content gave you practical tips you can use on the job immediately. Affirm how the orientation helped you feel comfortable in your decision to take the job.
Share connections you may now feel as a result of the orientation. Mention how the orientation helped you understand the company's values and mission and how they align with your own career objectives. Stay positive and highlight elements you enjoyed.
Send the letter by email within a day or so of the orientation to the person who conducted the orientation or the human resources manager, as well as sending a copy to your boss. Keep the letter short and specific. If you don't get a response, don't follow up. The purpose was to share information, not to start a conversation.
Mary Nestor-Harper has more than 12 years as a human-resources director and more than 19 years experience as an HR/management consultant. She has been published in "Training Magazine," "The Savannah Morning News" and on the Web. A television and radio business, career and motivation expert, she shares career and job search tips as Ageless Media Network's career expert on WTKS-AM 1290, Savannah, Ga.