What is Onboarding?

Per Wikipedia: organizational socialization, and a mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.

Per Collins English Dictionary: the induction and assimilation of a new employee into a company or organization.

Per Student Affairs:  a fun, engaging, and structured program to provide new employees a supportive and welcoming environment, connecting them more quickly to their colleagues and to the organizational culture, with the goal of success in their new position.

Who Participates in Onboarding?

New employees
Participate in new employee activities such as New Employee Orientation; engage in divisional/campus activities and committees; partner with your supervisor to complete the new employee checklist; Take advantage of campus resources.

Supervisors
The role of the supervisor is one of the most significant in an employee’s work life.  Most employee turnover is caused by the relationship with their supervisor.  Their participation in the onboarding process begins before the employee’s first day and continues through the first year.  A primary program objective is to provide the supervisor with a supportive structure to help the employee be effective in their new role.

Department Human Resource Specialists
A supportive, proactive resource prior to start date; On the first day, the specialist has time scheduled to meet with the new employee to ensure all required paperwork is completed and submitted to the appropriate people; scheduling any necessary payroll & benefit meetings with Central HR; collects new employee checklist from Supervisor to submit to VCO; ongoing HR resource for new employees and their supervisors.

Administrative Services Human Resources Staff
A resource to new employees seeking more information about position appointments, letters of offer, tuition reimbursements and other employment related matters.

Central Human Resources/Payroll Department Staff
A resource for application of benefits and timely processing of initial payroll paperwork.  It is important for new employees to contact these offices if paperwork is being filed very close to deadline dates or if confidential personal circumstances need to be discussed with these offices.

Onboarding Program Committee
The committee oversees new employee program design and implementation as well as provides process for ongoing program review.

Autumn Anfang
Eric Jessup Anger
Jen Murray
Kelly Haag
Rebecca Freer
Yvette Alicea-Reed

Program volunteers
Host the new employee breakfast; New Employee Orientation subject matter leaders.

Key Program Components

New Employee Checklist
A step-by-step checklist to assist the supervisor in onboarding the new employee pre-start date, 1st Day, 1st Week, and 1st Month.  Upon completion of first month items, supervisor, director and employee sign confirming completion and submit to department HR Specialist who will then forward to Administrative Services HR staff.

New Employee Orientation
An opportunity to meet people across the division and learn how their department connects with others.

There are four major areas of focus for the day:

  • Getting to know Student Affairs
  • “It’s all about the Students” – Being Student Centered
  • Engagement and Resources
  • Diversity and Inclusivity

The orientation program will be held 3 times a year following peak hiring periods (late July, mid December and late April).  The program will begin at 8:30 and end at 12:00 with activities throughout the morning. Breakfast is provided.

New Employee Survey
Four to six weeks after the new employee start date, the employee will received a survey to gather feedback on their onboarding experience.  The survey focuses on three major workplace categories:  1) A welcoming and supportive environment, 2) Orientation to new job, unit, division, and campus, and 3) Training for their new responsibilities.  The feedback is reviewed by the committee and incorporated into the onboarding program.  The survey is submitted completely anonymously.

New Employee Website Resource
A new employee will be directed to this site as early as the offer letter.  The site includes information such as what to do on the 1st day, payroll and benefits, “56 things to do in your 1st year as a Panther”, where to buy Panther gear, UWM Fight Song, campus map, places to eat on and off campus, frequently asked questions, and more.