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New Employee Orientation Checklist

Feb 12, 2021

Business handshake in the middle of a meeting at the officeEverything goes better when you work from a list—this includes new employee orientations.

Yet as you know from experience, the primary goal of employee orientations is not to check off a large list of employer to-do items. The goal of any employee orientation is to make new employees feel welcome; to set them up for success, to make them glad they joined your company so they can engage as quickly as possible.

For more about this topic, I invite you to read my earlier post, New Employee Orientations: From Dreadful to Delightful in 3 Easy Steps

Your new employee orientation checklist

Here is a framework you can use and adapt, to give your new employees the best start possible. This checklist can be used for any employee, regardless of position.

Phase 1: The Basics 

As you probably recall from your own first day on the job, new employees are often overwhelmed. Allow them to ease in and absorb all there is to learn. Read: You don't have to cover all of these on Day 1.

Decide what matters most from the employee's perspective, and plan accordingly. Note that some of these items need to be covered before the employee's first day.

  • Prepare the employee's physical workspace and equipment prior to employee arriving
  • Walk through the workspace with your new hire and provide an in-depth tour
  • Plan the new hire's first week and work hours; review schedule and work hours with the employee
  • Help set up computers and other necessary equipment
  • Discuss dress code, parking details and other important guidelines
  • Provide company information session on background, mission and values
  • Review all policies, including safety and security measures (caution: this is often where eyes start glazing over ... be sure to end the employee's first day on something  enjoyable and low-stress)
  • Cover details on compensation and benefits
  • Review job description and duties
  • Answer any questions the new employee might have

Phase 2: Keeping Up the Momentum

  • Make a warm introduction of the new employee to managers
  • Prepare other team introductions
  • Provide an overview of training schedule and timeline
  • Give any initial assignments to get their feet wet
  • Touch base every day to see how they are settling in
  • Ensure that all equipment is working properly and key accounts are accessible
  • Provide an overview of what employee evaluations will look like and set goals
  • Have lunches planned with new employee and co-workers throughout the week
  • Answer any questions the new employee might have

Ongoing: Keeping the Communication Lines Open

  • Provide feedback on a regular basis
  • Get feedback from employee on a regular basis
  • Review past assignments and upcoming assignments with employees
  • Schedule regular meetings to help keep employee engaged
  • Conduct performance reviews at 3 months and 6 months and set goals for each timeframe
  • Conduct yearly performance reviews and set goals for the year
  • Always be willing to answer questions

The above checklist(s) will help you keep your new employee orientations on track—and ultimately give new hires a great start at your company. To learn more about the difference between employee orientation and employee onboarding, check out our recent post that discusses each in more detail.

Does your employee orientation make you proud? 

Your new employee orientation should make you feel proud and confident. If it doesn't and you're ready to change that, reach out to me today. Together, we'll determine how I can best help you.


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