New hire staff are like fledgling birds leaving the nest for the first time. Your work place is a whole new world and they are unsure of how to survive in your world. Employees need a good orientation to give them the lay of the land. Remember the in first Harry Potter book when Professor Dumbledore tells the students about the changing staircases and the forbidden forest? Dumbledore is providing them with the orientation they need to survive in the new world of Hogwarts.
An orientation is the key to getting fledglings started properly. Its hard to leave the comfort of what the employee had before whether that was the couch at home, school, or a previous job. They are acclimated to that previous environment and will be the most useful to the new employer with a good orientation. The orientation helps to ease the employee into productivity and assimilates them in to the new culture. In the movie "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead" Sue Ellen gets a very brief orientation to her new position. She used a made up resume to get the job and has no idea what she is supposed to do. Sue Ellen's orientation looks like this.
True, this is not an example of a model orientation, but it does give Sue Ellen one very important thing. It gives her an opportunity to have success on the job right away. The first time her boss asks her how the report is coming, Sue Ellen was able to perform her job to her boss's satisfaction.
Success on the job for a new hire employee is a powerful thing. For a new hire, one success in a work day can be difference between a "good day" or a "bad day". If you want your new hire to put down roots and stay, they have to have some successes. People who struggle to figure out the new job get frustrated and that plants the seed of leaving. Once that seed is planted it is like a weed. It is very difficult to keep it from growing. Once that seed grows and matures, you lose your good hire.