Before Start Date - Human Resources at Ohio State

Manager Guide to Onboarding New Employees

for managers of staff employees

Before Start Date

Objective: Employee experiences Ohio State as a welcoming work environment with informed colleagues and a fully equipped workspace. This conveys caring and builds excitement about joining the team. You can reduce anxiety by letting them know what to expect, where to be, how to get there and who can answer questions.

Contact Human Resources in your unit or organization for additional onboarding information, requirements or best practices.

Helpful Information by Topic

  • In your Workday inbox, select the Onboarding Setup notification and complete the following tasks:
    • Review the sample Welcome Message and customize it for your new hire and unit.
    • Use People to Meet section to identify people for them to meet with. You can also notify those people that they have been designated as a contact.
  • Refer to the Onboarding Setup Job Aid if needed.
  • The new employee’s Workday Onboarding Portal includes a list of items for them to complete.
  • Identify what needs to be completed and by when, whether new employee is already living in the employment area (e.g., Columbus, Mansfield) or relocating.
  • Pre-schedule uninterrupted time to meet with new employee on a regular basis over the course of at least the first month to orient them and help them feel connected.
  • Add regularly scheduled meetings (e.g., one-on-ones, staff meetings, department meetings) to employee’s calendar. NOTE: Calendar access is part of the Identity Management request; you may not be able to add items immediately.
  • Prepare the employee’s calendar/schedule for the first two weeks.
  • Create a supervisor folder for your new employee that will hold copies of recognition emails, important notes, etc. Do not keep medical information in this file. Pass all medical documentation to the HR Office. Review the Personnel Records Policy for detailed information.
  • Review employee’s position description and prepare for expectation and goal-setting conversations.
  • Put together an orientation packet for your employee. Items to include:
    • Names, titles/roles, and contact information for team members and an organizational chart for the department and key constituents (consider reviewing organization charts together)
    • Copy of university and/or unit vision, mission and values and goals/priorities
    • First few weeks’ schedule
    • Copies of unit’s key standards and procedures
    • Any hiring forms that need to be completed the first week
  • Call your new employee (preferable to emailing) to officially congratulate and welcome them into your unit. Convey your excitement for their arrival and answer any questions. Provide this information:
    • New employees attend virtual orientation on their first morning. The orientation outlines many important resources. They will receive an email with orientation details and a Zoom link about a week before their first day.
    • When they have their digital identity (name.#), they can access Workday and see their Onboarding Portal and items assigned to them.
    • Starting time, location and the person to whom they report on their first day
    • What to bring on the first day (items needed for BuckID, identification for I-9, etc.)
    • How to obtain a parking pass if needed and where to park on the first day
    • A contact for additional questions/issues that arise before their start date
    • Link to the New Employee Website ( Ask them to review the Welcome and the Before You Start tab. Encourage them to review the benefits overview, total rewards videos, parking information and digital identify information.
  • Announce the new hire to the department/team/functional area. Include their start date, role and bio. Copy the new employee, if appropriate. This template is available for you to use.
  • Update department website contact information.
  • Set up meetings with critical people (including team members) for the employee’s first few weeks.
  • Select an onboarding partner (buddy or mentor) to connect with to answer questions.
  • Meet with the onboarding partner, and provide guidance, suggestions and tips
  • Arrange for meetings or lunch with the appropriate person(s) or onboarding partner for the first day and during the first week. These can be in person or if needed, virtual.
  • Arrange to have the work area cleaned, and set up cube/office space with supplies (order as needed).
  • Confirm with your appropriate department contact that the office or work area keys are ordered.
  • Confirm with your appropriate department contact that business cards, name plate, uniform, etc. are ordered, as applicable.
  • Confirm with your appropriate department contact that the employee is added to relevant email lists, teams in Microsoft Teams, listservs, etc.
  • Order appropriate technology equipment (computer, printer, laptop, iPad) and software.
  • Contact local IT to have the system set up in advance.
  • Arrange for access to common drives, servers, distribution lists, etc.
  • Set up phone extension/arrange for phone installation.
  • Remind employee to review the Before you Start tab on the New Employee website to learn more about their digital identity.
  • Begin to develop a learning plan. What does the new employee need to learn related to:
    • History and culture of the university
    • Job tasks and skills
    • University policies and procedures
    • Professional and career development
  • Review the assigned learning opportunities in BuckeyeLearn (e.g., Report=Support and Understanding the Sexual Misconduct Policy training, Workday training)
  • Determine the learning opportunities in BuckeyeLearn you as a manager will assign (in addition to the university-wide assignments) and those that are optional. How will you hold your new employee accountable for completing the courses?
  • Encourage new employees to view the online benefits videos on the HR website. IMPORTANT: New employees can enroll in benefits and elect their retirement option in Workday as early as two weeks before their start date. However, their health benefits, if they choose to enroll in Ohio State’s plan, do not start until their first day of work.