Chapter 5: New Employee Orientation
Effectively orienting new employees to the campus and to their positions is critical to establishing successful, productive working relationships. The employee's first interactions with you should create a positive impression of your department and the campus. The time you spend planning for the new person's first days and weeks on the job will greatly increase the chance for a successful start.
- Guiding Principles
- Before the Employee Arrives
- The First Day on the Job
- Follow-up Meetings
- Supervisor's Checklist for New Employee Orientation
An effective orientation will:
- Foster an understanding of the campus culture, its values, and its diversity
- Help the new employee make a successful adjustment to the new job
- Help the new employee understand her role and how she fits into the total organization
- Help the new employee achieve objectives and shorten the learning curve
- Help the new employee develop a positive working relationship by building a foundation of knowledge about campus mission, objectives, policies, organization structure, and functions
Before the Employee Arrives
The new employee orientation process begins before the employee comes to work. Planning ahead for your new employee's arrival will allow you to spend productive time on that first day. So, before the employee arrives you should:
- Notify everyone in your unit that a new person is starting and what the person's job will be. Ask the other staff members to welcome the new employee and encourage their support.
- Prepare interesting tasks for the employee's first day.
- Make a copy of the job description card, Brassring job vacancy listing (JVL), job performance standards, campus organization chart, and your department's organization chart.
- Enroll the employee in the New Employee Welcome & Orientation class through the Employee Development & Training Unit in Human Resources. Ensure that they are enrolled in the Benefits Orientation as well. Enrollment in the on-line or classroom versions can be accomplished at: http://training.ucsf.edu/
- Make sure the employee's work location is available, clean, and organized.
- Make sure a copy of the appropriate personnel policy manual or contract is available for the employee.
- Have a benefits information package available.
- If possible, identify a staff member to act as a buddy for the first week.
- Put together a list of key people the employee should meet and interview to get a broader understanding of their roles
- Arrange for a building pass, parking pass, and IDs if necessary.
- Draft a training plan for the new employee's first few months.
The First Day on the Job
A new employee may be anxious about starting a new job. Try to create a comfortable environment and remember not to overwhelm the new employee with too much information on the first day. Orientation is a continuing process, so there will be plenty of time to give the employee all the necessary information. On the first day, you should:
- Give a warm welcome and try to reduce any nervousness the new employee may feel.
- Discuss your plan for first day.
- Introduce the employee to other staff members.
- Arrange to have lunch with the new employee.
- Show the new employee around the office.
- Review the job description card and organizational charts with the employee.
- Explain ridesharing and transportation services.
- Review telephone, fax, e-mail, and Internet use
- Give the employee the New Employee Benefits Packet. Be sure to discuss any questions or refer the employee to your Department Benefits Counselor. Remind the employee to fill out and submit benefits forms on time. (See Chapter 19, Benefits.)
- Explain that University policy and collective bargaining agreements call for most new employees to complete a probationary period before they become regular status employees. Discuss what the probationary period is all about and explain how and when the employee's performance will be appraised during the probationary period. (See Chapter 6, Probationary Period.)
- Have the new employee complete all the necessary personnel forms.
Over the next few weeks, schedule meetings with the employee to discuss the following:
- Employee's overall impressions. Find out how the employee perceives your department so far. If there are any problems or concerns, address them.
- Organization of the University. Spend time explaining the University's structure. Talk about where your department fits in and how it relates to other departments on campus.
- Mission statements. Discuss the mission statement of the University and how the goals and objectives of your department help support that mission.
- Performance evaluation process. Explain that you and the new employee will be developing a performance plan, discussing her progress and evaluating her performance. Explain the timing of appraisals and the methods you'll use to measure progress. (See Chapter 7, Performance Management.)
- Department work rules. Review your department's work rules with the new employee. Discuss attendance guidelines, call-in procedures, and requests for time off. (See Chapter 8, Around the Office.)
- Controlled substances. Explain that the University does not tolerate the use of illegal substances or abuse of legal substances on the premises or reporting to work in an unsafe condition. You are required by law to give the new employee a copy of the campus Substance Abuse Packet.
- Security. Discuss your department guidelines on security, such as keeping doors, cabinets, and file drawers locked, and wearing the id badge.
- Safety. Review the University's policies and your department's policies on safety in the workplace with your new employee. Evacuation procedures, emergency preparedness guidelines, and the escort service should be included in this review. (See Chapter 17, Health and Safety.)
- Injuries on the job. Discuss procedures for handling injuries on the job. Tell the employee to report all job-related injuries to you, regardless of how minor. (See Chapter 18, Disability Management.)
- Training plan. Discuss your training plan with the employee. Consider incorporating any changes the employee suggests. Implement any changes that you both agree upon.
- Other resources. Tell the employee about any other resources that will help get the job done, Accounting, your department's Personnel Manager, or Mail Services.
- Employee Services. Describe the roles of the Ombudsperson, CARE Services, Wellness Program, and the Campus Personnel Office. (See Chapter 17, Health and Safety.)
Supervisor's Checklist for New Employee Orientation
First Day on the Job:
A new employee may be anxious about starting a new job. Try and create a comfortable environment and remember not to overwhelm the employee. Refer to the new employee checklist for details. Print out a copy and use it as a reminder during all of your regularly scheduled meetings with your new employee for the first 2-6 months.