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Orientation/Onboarding Intervention Strategies

Preparing for the Start Date 2.4.2.a

A number of materials should be prepared in advance of any new hire’s start date. Consider putting together an employee handbook that includes the following:
  • Literature about the organization;
  • An organizational chart and map of the building(s);
  • A list of local restaurants, shops, banks, post offices, day care centers, dry cleaners, etc;
  • A glossary of organization-specific terminology and acronyms;
  • A list of internal contacts for inquiries related to payroll, benefits, and technical support;
  • Instructions for accessing the company intranet (if any) and using e-mail and voicemail;
  • A list of current training offerings; and
  • A comprehensive employee handbook that details company policies, procedures, and standards.
It is strongly recommended that new hires submit a signed acknowledgement that they have received, read, and understand the contents of the handbook.

Before the new employee’s start date, managers should also:[1]
  • Place a follow-up call to all new hires. The call should be made after the person has accepted the offer of employment. The supervisor should tell the new hire when to arrive, where to park, and whom to ask for on arrival the first day, as well as note appropriate dress. Any last-minute questions the new employee may have can be addressed in the call.
  • Schedule the orientation session. The meeting should be scheduled with the appropriate human resources representative and/or supervisor.
  • Announce the new hire's start date to employees with whom the new employee will have contact. Provide a brief overview of the person’s background and what the employee’s responsibilities will be. Express enthusiasm over the new team member’s arrival and encourage others to welcome him or her.
  • Prepare the new employee’s workspace. Arrange for a computer, telephone, key/access pass, and any necessary security codes. Clean and organize the workspace, stocking it with the necessary supplies and removing any files belonging to former occupants if they are not related to the new hire's job. Arrange to have the person’s office nameplate posted.
  • Identify key responsibilities and objectives of the job. Provide this information in an up-to-date job description.
  • Develop an on-the-job training strategy. Identify any training the new hire might require in order to be successful. Schedule it as part of the initial orientation or be prepared to assist the employee in scheduling it.
  • If using the buddy system, select a “buddy” for the new employee. This person should be a peer that is available to answer informal questions, check-in during the transition period, and help the employee acclimate to the new environment. See Using the Buddy System [2.4.3].

[1]Morfeld, C. (2000, May 1). Successful employee orientation (part 3). Retrieved from  

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