Standard D8 Explained

Why is it essential for employees to be provided with appropriate orientation and training? Orientation improves an employee’s performance, strengthens their commitment to their organization,1 and can promote staff retention.2 An effective orientation process not only conveys the practical information a new employee will require to succeed in their role, but should also familiarize him or her with the organization’s social environment and its unique culture.2 Although orientation should begin as soon as an employee takes on a new position, it can take up to a year depending on the role.1

New recruits to your organization may also need to undergo some form of training before they can fully take on their new role. Effective training improves an employee’s ability to contribute to organizational goals, to deal with challenges and change, and to manage or work on new initiatives.3 Training also improves staff productivity, motivation, and retention, and leads to a decreased need for supervision.3

Orientation can include information on:1

  • HR management policies
  • Information on employee benefits
  • The organization’s mission
  • The organization’s governance, management, and reporting structures
  • The organization’s funding structure
  • The organization’s programs and services
  • Expectations of the job
  • Resources available to support the employee
  • Roles and responsibilities of volunteers and staff
  • The organization’s culture and values2
  • The organization’s stakeholders (clients, donors, board, media, etc.)


From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

  1. “HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
  2. “Orientation,” Getting the Right People,” in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
  3. “Getting Your Organization Ready for Employee Training and Development,” Learning, Training and Development, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.


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