First Week - Human Resources at Ohio State

Manager Guide to Onboarding New Employees

for managers of staff employees

First Week

Objective: New employee builds knowledge of internal processes and performance expectations; begins to settle into the new work environment.

Helpful Information by Topic

  • Encourage employee to review benefits information on the HR website and remind them about:
    • Benefits enrollment deadline (30 days)
    • Retirement election deadline (120 days)
    • Personal Health Assessment/Biometric Screening appointment
    • YP4H benefits and signing up for their Biometric Screening
  • Helpful links: Benefits Overview and Benefits Webinars and Presentations
  • Provide additional contextual information about the department and organization to increase understanding of the purpose, value add to Ohio State, goals, and initiatives. Provide organizational chart, if available.
  • Make sure the new employee schedules their appointment to complete the I-9 Employment Verification Form. The Workday onboarding portal will provide instructions on how to schedule an appointment and what documentation is needed to complete the verification process. All new employees need to complete this within the first three days of employment.
  • Explain the process for goal-setting, feedback and annual performance reviews.
  • Review the process related to the probationary period (if applicable).
  • Discuss roles and responsibilities. Employees should understand the scope of their job, their duties and the parameters within which they can operate. For example:
    • Provide a copy of the job description (available in Workday) and review it with the employee. Have them sign the copy, make a copy for your records and return the original to your HR office.
    • Discuss roles, responsibilities and expectations and how you provide feedback to employees (email, one-on-one, etc.)
    • Describe how employee’s job fits in the department, and how the job and department contribute to the unit, business area and the institution.
    • Review hours of work. Explain policies and procedures for overtime, use of vacation and sick time, holidays, etc. Explain any flexible work policies or procedures.
  • Discuss expectations – Employees should understand job performance and professional behavior expectations. The more specific – with examples of desired behaviors and performance milestones – the better.
    • This discussion should include expectations for teamwork and collegiality. Provide employee with guidance on how to deal with conflict with others and reassure them that you are available to provide support and guidance.
    • Be sure to discuss the culture of the unit and how things are “done.”  Each unit has a unique culture, and new employees need to understand how to navigate the culture. This discussion includes coaching the new employee on the politics of the organization and how to build support and rapport with other employees.
    • Discuss performance assessment tools.
    • Describe your leadership style (see template).
  • Schedule weekly/biweekly meetings with the new employee.
  • Schedule a 30-day check-in meeting with the new employee.
  • Schedule a 90-day check-in meeting with the new employee.
  • Touch base each day to help the new employee acclimate and feel welcomed and included.
  • Ask if they attended New Employee Orientation. Do they have any follow-up questions or feedback? Ask about other onboarding programs in your organization or unit, if any.
  • Schedule new employee to meet for at least 30 minutes one-on-one with team members to get to know them personally and discuss:
    • Job duties
    • How job roles interact
    • How they might work together in the future
  • Make sure the employee knows who to ask for information. Help the employee feel comfortable asking tough questions.
  • Arrange for a personal welcome from the college/unit leader, human resources leader/HR team.
  • Confirm the employee has fully functioning computer and systems access and understands how to use them and resources and support available to them.
Gateway to Learning

Ask the employee to familiarize themselves with Gateway to Learning, a website that outlines opportunities for learning and development. Training is one way to engage in learning opportunities. Other professional development opportunities include mentoring, on-the-job experiences, job shadowing and networking. There are many resources to browse on Gateway to Learning, and the site is updated frequently.


The university’s learning management system supports both instructor-led and online learning courses offered at Ohio State. Training can be assigned in BuckeyeLearn by managers 24 hours after the new employee has their name.# and after you have had an initial BuckeyeLearn introduction with new employee. Managers should determine which training will be assigned (required) and which training is optional. Sample learning opportunities for the employees first week include:

  • Introduction to BuckeyeLearn (online course)
  • Protecting Institutional Data (online course)
  • Report = Support: Identifying and Responding to Sexual Misconduct (required online course – automatically assigned)
  • Understanding the Sexual Misconduct Policy (online or Instructor-led course – automatically assigned)
  • Business and Finance Core (information on financial training updated for Workday)
  • eTravel: Traveler (required for anyone traveling on university funds)
  • PCard (required for anyone holding using a payment card for university business)

As a manager, you are responsible for ensuring your employees are familiar with all applicable university and college/unit policies. The New Employee website provides a list of key university policies that should be reviewed during the early days of an employee’s employment.