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Managers & Supervisors:Onboarding New Employees

Supervisor's Guide to Onboarding: A Process for Retaining the Best Talent

On-boarding is a major tool in successful talent management and is critical for successful employee integration. On-boarding creates an understanding of the organizational culture that helps the newly hired employee feel better connected to the organizationʼ s business strategy and creates a sense of belonging. Implementing a well-managed on-boarding process can have a significant and measurable impact on employee productivity, retention, employment brand, services, workplace safety, and future hiring.

Supervisor Checklist

Supervisors play an important role in onboarding -- the checklist ensures you cover all bases.

New Hire Paperwork

ODU uses Onboard for all new hire paperwork and documentation to be completed electronically.

New Employee Welcome

Refer to the New Employee Welcome (N.E.W.) page as a resource for becoming oriented to being a Monarch.

What is Onboarding?

On-boarding refers to the process of welcoming new employees and helping them adjust to the expectations and climate of their new job. It also accomplishes requirements that supervisors have to inform employees about key policies.

Research reveals that when onboarding is done well, outcomes include higher job satisfaction, commitment to the agency, lower turnover, higher performance levels, career effectiveness and lower stress! The ultimate goal of onboarding is a fully engaged and productive employee.

Key Onboarding Components

The collection and processing of new employee data including employment and benefits forms, background checks, and security access.


Getting them to full productivity as quickly as possible (assigning work station, setting up accounts; and ordering equipment/supplies.)


Making them feel part of “the team” (cultural assimilation; conveying policies and expectations; building relationships and providing feedback.)

  • Forms

    The collection and processing of new employee data including employment and benefits forms, background checks, and security access.

  • Tasks

    Getting them to full productivity as quickly as possible (assigning work station, setting up accounts; and ordering equipment/supplies.)

  • Socialization

    Making them feel part of “the team” (cultural assimilation; conveying policies and expectations; building relationships and providing feedback.)

The Onboarding Process

  • Begins as soon as the candidate is offered and accepts the position.
  • The new hire connects with human resources & supervisor as primary points of contact.
  • The supervisor makes arrangements for the employeeʼs work station and basic equipment and supplies and assigns the work buddy/mentor.
  • Human Resources contacts the employee to notify him/her of information and documents needed for the first day and to see if he/she has any questions about the job or benefits.

New Employee Packet:

A new on-campus employee that is hired through a recruitment may receive the following from HR:

  • Welcome Letter
  • Temporary Parking Decal
  • Health Benefits Rate Sheet
  • Webb Center Map
  • Brief period usually limited to one or two days
  • Provides basic employment information
  • New Employee Orientation (NEO) online module is on the COVLC (Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center)
  • Completion of new hire paperwork
  • Comprehensive, broad, and ongoing employee integration
  • Begins when job offer is extended and accepted
  • Extends over several months
  • Introduction to organizationʼs structure, mission, vision, values, and business strategies
  • Socialization process to understand organizational culture and etiquette

Results of Successful Onboarding

  • Positive experience for the new employee
  • Ongoing, clear, and concise channels of communication provided
  • Learning objectives provided at every organizational level
  • New employee aligns with key business strategies
  • Sets milestone measures to determine new employee success and the time-to-productivity
  • Reinforces the business employment brand

First Year Review and Evaluation

  • The supervisor should conduct a thorough assessment, ensure all necessary information has been shared, and address the employeeʼ s questions and concerns.
  • The supervisor should prepare for the annual performance evaluation.

Please see Leaving the University for more information about the employee offboarding process.

Supervisor Onboarding Responsibilities

One of the most important relationships the new employee will have is the relation with the supervisor. Research shows that most employee turnover is ultimately caused by the relationship the employee has with his or her supervisor. Therefore, the supervisor should be proactive and engaged in facilitating the employeeʼs integration into the organization. This makes the ability to assimilate new employees a core competency of supervisors.

An employeeʼs immediate supervisor ultimately controls his or her project assignments, educational opportunities and career progression. Therefore, the supervisor who takes time to provide information, discuss issues, and show concern over the employeeʼs assimilation, and who knows what the employee can do and wants to do, will make wiser decisions and build loyalty over time.

Supervisor Checklist

  Contact and Welcome New Employee to ODU

  • If you did not make the offer, please contact the new employee to congratulate and welcome them to the ODU community and Monarch Family via phone or in person.
  • Inform the employee of the importance of reading the hire letter and notifications sent them via email.
  • Direct employees to the New Employee Welcome webpage for information and resources.
  • Ask if they have any questions at this time. Give your contact information to them to reach you for questions.

  Clean and Prepare Office/Workspace

  • Clean the office or workspace for the new employee. Be sure to include a welcome card from the team or "swag" item to make the new employee feel welcome as a new Monarch.
  • Ensure basic tools (paper, pens, etc.) are available for the new employee.

  Announce New Employee

  • Make an announcement to the team and department of the new employee (email or Teams is fine). Provide a brief background (such as experience, education, etc.) and their start date.
  • Be sure to include others outside the department whom the employee will likely work closely with.

  Verify MIDAS Account setup

  • Verify the employee has setup their MIDAS account. If not, be sure to imform the employee the MIDAS account must be setup in order to access their new hire documentation (online in Onboard).
  • Ask if employee has any questions regarding MIDAS setup and provide assistance as needed.

  Request Computer Account for Employee

  • Complete the computer account request for new employee:
    • Go to https://midas.odu.edu/
    • Login using your MIDAS ID
    • Select "Account Request"
    • Complete required fields and submit.

  Request Keys for Employee

If applicable for their position, submit a key request for employee:

  Order Business Cards

If the position allows for business cards, supervisors are responsible for ordering them.

  • Be sure to contact the employee to verify the information and style of business card they would like.
  • Complete business card order form for employee (if applicable for their position).

  Complete New Employee Checklist

These checklists include all required - and recommended - topics for supervisors of different employee types. Supervisors should discuss each item on the checklist with the new employee and check the space beside the topic as discussed. Employee and supervisor should provide electronic signature indicating that the topics were covered. Supervisor should retain a copy in the supervisor's file and complete onboarding within one week of the employee's attendance at New Employee Orientation (NEO). Be sure during this time to provide walkthroughs of processes and procedures such as Web Time Entry (WTE) as well.

Supporters of the Onboarding Process

Human Resources

Human Resources' role begins early in the on-boarding process during the recruitment and hiring phase. Human Resources staff may:

  • Provide an overview of the On-boarding Process
  • Ensure completion of new hire and benefits documentation
  • Explain pay, benefits and other relevant employment information


The employeeʼs teammates are the co-workers who will work with the employee on a day-to-day basis. They should make the employee feel welcome and support them until they are fully productive. This may look like:

  • Explaining how the group works together as a team
  • Explaining how to get things done & how to obtain supplies
  • Answering day-to-day questions


The Information Technology Services (ITS) department ensures that the employee has the technology needed to perform the job. This may include:

  • Establishing the computer and network setup (e.g. required software, hardware and network login)
  • Ensuring email set up (with access and password)
  • Establishing telephone access with voice mail

Importance of Onboarding

  • Employee Engagement
    • Keeps the new employee engaged and excited about the organization and his/her choice to accept the position -
    • Decreases the time it takes the employee to get to the desired level of productivity -
    • Builds loyalty
  • Employee Productivity
    • Ensures that the employee feels welcomed, a valuable part of the organization, and comfortable with the work environment as quickly as possible, all vital to the employeeʼs success
  • Employee Retention
    • Can be based on how the employee is treated the first 30-90 days of employment
    • Can be affected by the support the employee receives in developing and progressing in his/her career

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