Department Orientation

Reinforce Important Information

University facts and policies presented at the initial orientation sessions should be reinforced in writing if possible and referred to as needed in continuing employee communication programs. Videos, online resources, custom software, and brochures can also be effective means of delivering factual materials. Additional information and more in-depth data should be introduced when the new employee becomes more familiar with the job.

General Information

Manage the expectations of new hires to ensure they are realistic.

Best practice is to ensure that new hires understand all aspects of the University culture when they join and ensure that the new hires have realistic expectations about what they can likely achieve within certain timeframes. By doing this, unrealistic expectations new hires may have, can be avoided. In a new role any experience of success or perceived failure can tend to be amplified in the mind of the new recruit. As a result, it is important to ensure new hires are fully informed before joining so that any particular challenges an organizational culture may entail will be known. This also helps in providing some perspective about abilities and potential contributions in the shorter term.

The Office of Diversity and Human Rights (DHR) have developed an e-learning module for the the AODA Customer Service Standard. It is essential that all regular full time and part time staff receive this training. This e-learning module is complemented by face-to-face orientation for some service providers, particularly those who provide extensive services to our constituents. Please contact DHR for more information.

Performance Management

Ensure new hires receive specific feedback early in their tenure. Review the performance planning, assessment and development process during the first two weeks of employment.

Provide constructive feedback soon enough and regularly enough so that ineffective patterns and behaviours do not become ingrained.

New hires should have an appraisal at the six-month mark in their tenure. One-on-one feedback should be provided to the individual and this discussion forms the basis for a development plan.

Generating Ongoing Achievement & Learning (G.O.A.L.) is the University of Guelph's tailored program for performance planning, assessment and development.

Create a network for all new hires.

Problems can arise when new hires fail to establish networks within the new organization. It is critical that in a new recruit's early days with an organization they feel a sense of being part of the organization. This can come through forming relationships with other new hires or by assigning a mentor.

You only have one opportunity to make a first impression; and for employers the orientation of new hires is that opportunity. (See News Release: Socialization Key to New Hires' Success, Finds Researcher, November 05, 2010) 

Take the time to do it right and reap the rewards of another satisfied new hire.

A Department Orientation Checklist has been created for your use.

If you require additional information, contact your HR Consultant.