Department Onboarding Guide

The University’s employees are our most critical investment in achieving our vision, mission, and goals. Long term retention of any new employee starts at recruitment. Now that you have your new employee recruited with a planned start date, you want to foster their (and your) success. Use the resources below to prepare for the best start possible. You may need to make adjustments based on departmental processes and business operations. Printable Version

Let’s Get Ready!: 9 Steps to Successful Preparation for Your New Employee

Enter the hire action using JAR in the HR System prior to the employees start date. Finalizing the hire action is contingent on a cleared background check.

JAR Process Information

Once the JAR action is finalized, the employee will have an active Unity ID and access to MyPack Portal. Their NC State email will also be active, but as the supervisor, you determine when you want to provide that information to the employee.

Onboarding FAQs

Prior to the employee starting, notify the department of the start date, work location, and role in the department. The announcement can be provided via email or during a staff meeting.

Sample New Employee Email Announcement

Designate someone from the department (other than the supervisor) as a “Buddy” for the new employee. A Buddy serves as a single point of contact for basic questions and guidance for getting oriented in the department.

Buddy Guidelines

Buddy Checklist

Order or assign a telephone to the new employee’s work station and submit any applicable activation or password reset requests to OIT’s Business Applications & Communications Services.

Communications Phone Services

Have fun with welcoming your new employee! A few items to include in the Welcome Packet include:

  • Current Position Description
  • Department Employee Guide (Departments can use this template and populate it with department specific information to cover many of the topics listed below in a single document.)
  • Contact Names for the Department
  • Schedule for the First Week (Sample New Employee Schedule)
  • Department/Unit Organization Chart updated with the new employee’s information
  • Mission/Vision of the Unit
  • List of useful Department and Campus listservs/communication groups the employee needs to join
  • HIPPA and FERPA Information (if applicable)
  • A Performance Management Plan should be prepared in advance of the employee starting work. The Plan must be provided to and discussed with the employee within 30 days from their start date. There are guidelines regarding the Performance Management Plans for SHRA, EHRA-NF and Faculty available through Employee Relations.

    Performance Management Guidelines

    Part of the Performance Management Plan is to develop a schedule for required and preferred trainings that will help equip the employee with knowledge and skills to best perform the assigned job duties.

    Trainings of interest by the employee can be discussed and incorporated into the Training Plan once the employee starts and should be part of the Performance Management discussion in the first 30 days.

    Training Resources can be reviewed in the Supervisor Toolkit under Developing Self and Others.

    Identify any initial supplies to get started (e.g. pens, pencils, highlighters, stapler, paper clips, sticky notes, notepads).

    Confirm with the employee how they would like their name to appear on their Name Plate and/or Business Cards.

    Name Plates are requested through your Building Liaison

    Business Cards are requested through WolfXpress to be in compliance with University brand requirements.

    Initiate any reasonable accommodations requested by the employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Requests are submitted through the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED).

    NOTE: Accommodations should only be provided if requested by the employee.

    ADA Accommodations for Employees

    Contact the employee a few days before their start date. Employee’s often have last minute questions before their first day. Discuss when and where to report, the best building entrance location, and who to expect to greet them. Ensure the employee knows where to park and how they will obtain a temporary or permanent parking permit, if applicable. Remind the employee about proper work attire for the job (e.g. required uniform, safety boots, business casual, etc.). This is a good time to share the department employee guide.


    They’re Here!: 7 Steps to Making Your New Employee’s 1st Day Great!

    Make the employee’s arrival personal and memorable.

    The employee’s impression of the department on the first day will make a lasting impact and set the tone for the work environment and department culture. Below are a few suggestions to facilitate a positive experience:

    *Ensure someone (preferably the supervisor) is designated to greet the employee when they arrive.

    *Post a personalized ‘Welcome’ sign in the employee’s work space.

    *Provide snacks as a welcoming gesture.
    NOTE: In advance, find out any preferences or dietary restrictions to make a more positive impact (e.g. their favorite soda and/or snack, gluten free or diabetic needs).

    Introduce the employee to colleagues and other key staff in the department. Be sure to include team members who will serve as key contacts for them as a new employee (e.g. their Buddy, the department HR representative, building liaison, etc.).

    Creative Welcome:
    Have various team members write a brief welcome on the inside of a blank notecard. On the front of the each notecard, put a letter that when put together spells out ‘WELCOME’ or something specific and fun to your unit. As the employee is being introduced, they will receive the notecards and can then display them as a reminder for how excited everyone is to have them as a member of the team.

    Provide a tour of the facility and any pertinent locations regularly utilized by the employee. Make sure to include restrooms, break rooms, points of entrance/exit, smoking areas, bulletin boards, recycling, mail room, elevators/stairs, vending machines, copy rooms, supply rooms, etc. Encourage sensitivity and respect for colleagues and office etiquette (e.g. noise, radios, conversations, use of speaker phones, and perfumes/colognes). Be proactive!

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), time records are required for employees that are FLSA Non-Exempt. This is federal law and is applicable for both temporary and permanent employees (SHRA, EHRA and Post Doc).

    Review time keeping procedures and deadlines with your employee. Also, introduce the employee to the departmental Timekeeper and discuss how to contact them for missed punches, etc. Include any specific requirements for effort reporting or projects.

    Discuss preferences for requesting time off and entering leave actions in the WebLeave System (currently WolfTime).

    WolfTime Resources

    NOTE: If the department has a different holiday schedule from the University’s, make sure the employee is aware of the differences and how that time is handled.

    Ensure employees know what time lunch and breaks can be scheduled, and how long is designated for each. Provide information about options and locations of convenient places to eat lunch and where breaks can be spent (e.g. break area, campus dining locations, local restaurants, department policy of spending breaks and/or lunches at their desk).

    Cover the department rules and guidelines for office refrigerators, water/coffee funds, shared snacks, etc.

    Schedule time with the employee to meet with either you or the designated personnel for departmental safety review and complete the Safety Orientation Checklist based on the job duties and responsibilities.

    Safety information should be reviewed prior to the commencement of any work functions that may be hazardous and/or have exposure risks. However, any new employee should have the Safety Orientation Checklist completed within the first 30 days regardless of evident risks. Please keep in mind that the Safety Orientation Checklist includes general office safety, emergency evacuation procedures, and information about applicable hazards across campus regardless of the job or location.

    The Safety Orientation Checklist can be completed online through the University’s Online Training Module (REPORTER), or through a process vetted with the University Environmental Health and Safety Office for your department.

    Safety Orientation – Manager’s Safety Checklist

    Environmental Health and Safety University Office

    The Asset & Systems Tracking form should be used to document the assets and system access rights that are assigned to an employee for authorized business use. This includes a computer with appropriate applications and access requests submitted prior to the employee start date. The form will be a guide for setting up key and card access, radio, P-Card, personal protective equipment, specimens, chemicals, and other potential requirements to ensure the employee is equipped for their position.

    The form is maintained in the employee’s department personnel file. The department should review the form with the employee at the beginning of employment and regularly update the information as items are added/removed.

    Make sure the employee is trained on the proper use and maintenance of any tools/equipment/devices.

    Asset Tracking Form

    Personal Protective Equipment

    Review departmental rules and expectations in regards to the use of personal electronics (e.g. smartphones, tablets, and headphones).

    This is also a good time to review the guidelines for the use of social media at work. This includes both logging in on University devices and postings pertaining to work.

    Discuss the Home use of Equipment Regulation and departmental procedures for the use of University equipment at home.


    Keep them Motivated!: 5 Steps to Navigating Your New Employee’s First 30 Days!

    Determine initial and ongoing training opportunities.

    Provide details on mandatory training, on-the-job training, safety training, and other available employee development opportunities through discussion with the employee based on mutual goals and interests for the job (e.g. conferences, certifications, tuition reimbursement) Discuss the time period expected to complete necessary trainings.

    Sample New Employee Training Schedule

    Discuss the levels of supervision above and below the employee’s position, their manager, etc. Share protocol for communicating with staff within and outside of the chain of command.

    Exchange Emergency Contact information and review the departmental expectations for calling in sick, University delays/closings, etc.

    Find out who to contact if the employee is involved in an emergency situation.

    Provide an overview of travel requirements and procedures.

    Discuss the use of the University’s vehicles and travel policies. Ensure the employee has appropriate licensure for operating vehicles and equipment (if applicable).

    The Travel Center (requires Unity ID login and password)

    Let the employee know about staff meetings, safety meetings, or other meetings held regularly and how often. Make sure they know where and when to report for the meetings and that they are added to any group calendar events.

    Schedule a few “check-in” meetings periodically over the next few weeks, 3 months, and 6 months to provide and receive feedback on how the job is going for both the employee and the department. This is a great time to revisit any training needs and opportunities identified after the employee begins the work.