Panoramic view of the palouse from on top of a butte.

Use the following onboarding tips and procedures to help welcome new employees to Washington State University:

Resources for Departments

Guiding Principles of Onboarding

Engage new employees early and often.

As soon as new employees are hired – and even before they officially start – connect them to the WSU community. Send them their official offer letters, make welcome phone calls, and provide them with links to key resources with the New Employee web page.

Onboarding is a process that occurs over time (6-12 months).

Onboarding new team members is a process that takes time – it’s not a singular event. Onboarding needs to extend beyond the one-day orientation program. Take time on the candidates first day to set a schedule of regular check-ins.

Managers play the most important role.

A new employee’s relationship with their manager is often the most significant in an employee’s work life. When managers take the time to create strong onboarding practices and meet with new employees frequently, employee productivity, retention, and loyalty is higher. To help establish this bond discuss some of these suggested topics at your first meeting

  • Their goals and aspirations for this position
  • Their concerns or hesitations coming into this position
  • Both your communication styles

Onboarding is essentially a three-step process.

First, new employees should be given information about their new workplace culture that will make them feel comfortable and at ease on their first day. Examples of such information include, on campus parking, workplace attire, a schedule of their first day and if they need to bring anything special with them on that first day.

Second, new employees should be introduced to their team and learn about their employee relationship expectations. The new employee should be introduced to each member of the office by their supervisor and their supervisor should help facilitate the conversation of how they will interact in a work setting.

Once these questions are answered, the new employee can be introduced to the departmental mission and goals, along with the how these align with the University’s mission and goals. If weather allows, this conversation would pair greatly with a tour of campus.

Facilitate the process of socialization.

Entering into a new workplace can be extremely overwhelming for a new hire! Help them adjust to their new surroundings and teammates by getting a group together and having lunch or going to grab coffee with one another!

New employees who feel connected to other new hires, experienced staff members, and other members of the community are much more likely to transition into their new position much smoother.

Provide early exposure to senior management.

A very positive and motivating message is sent to new employees when a senior staff member takes the time to speak to new hires; it helps strengthen the employee’s connection to the University.

Link to printable Guiding Principles of Onboarding document.