Unit level onboarding (day one through day 90)

Officially welcoming your new or transferring employee on his/her first day in the department helps him/her feel valued and respected. The first few weeks are critical in establishing a strong foundation for your new team members, reassuring them they’ve chosen well in joining the Trojan Family, and that you’ve chosen well in adding them to your team.

USC encourages an evaluation period of up to 90 days (unless you determine that period needs to be extended for some reason). During this time (which may include the completion of required background screenings or verifications, if they were not completed before the start date), you should observe and evaluate if your new employee is suited for the position. This includes the ability to satisfactorily perform all job functions; work habits, reliability and conduct; relationships with coworkers and superiors; and overall dependability. This is a time for you to get well acquainted with your new employee and ensure s/he meshes well with the team.

DAY ONE

On the first day, try to create a comfortable environment and remember not to overwhelm the new employee with too much information. Onboarding is a continuing process, so there will be plenty of time to give the employee all the necessary information. Ideas for the first day:

Schedule, job duties and expectations

  • Give a warm welcome and conduct introductions throughout the workplace.
  • Review the job description, key responsibilities and expectations.
  • Explain how the employee’s job fits in the department, and how the department contributes to the university.
  • Clarify the first week’s schedule, and confirm required and recommended training.
  • Accompany the employee to lunch (or team lunch, if planned).
  • Discuss parking/commuting options. Be prepared to share which options work for other members of your team or others who you know live in the same area as your new employee.
  • Accompany the employee (or have assigned buddy accompany the employee) to obtain his/her USCard.
  • If employee is non-exempt, provide a payroll calendar and training for appropriate timekeeping system.

Work environment

  • Show the employee to his/her work space and orient him/her to any equipment (computer and otherwise), tools, or logistics needed to get started.
  • Fresh flowers, a welcome banner/sign, or both are a nice addition to day one!
  • Provide keys and any required building access cards or codes.
  • Tour the departmental area to ensure employee is familiar with entrances/exits, access hours, restroom and kitchen facilities, mail delivery, location of printers, copiers, shredders, or other needed office equipment, and first aid supplies. If a “floor map” of this space exists, provide a copy.
  • Help employee obtain (or order) needed office or work supplies.
  • If your department uses an employee inventory form, fill it out together.

Technology

  • Make sure employee knows his/her email address, phone number, and how to log into the USC NetID (Shibboleth) systems. Discuss importance of keeping all passwords secure.
  • Obtain help from your IT support, if needed, to ensure employee’s email is functioning properly and that s/he understands the system (e.g., Outlook, Google).
  • Provide information on setting up voicemail.

Learning and development

  • Allow time for employee to visit the Employee Gateway and other USC sites.
  • Ask employee if s/he has any questions (you will do this repeatedly over the next few weeks and months!).

WEEK ONE

During this period the new employee needs as much support as possible. Frequent communication and engagement between you and the employee is essential; you should monitor performance and provide timely feedback.

Schedule, job duties and expectations

  • Give the employee his/her initial assignment – something small and manageable for an early success!
  • Add employee to relevant email distribution lists.
  • Add recurring meetings to employee’s calendar.
  • Debrief with employee after s/he attends initial meetings and/or training.
  • Provide additional context about the role the department plays in USC’s overall mission. Introduce the employee to the university mission statement. You can also look at org charts in Workday – the photos are helpful in understanding key personnel.
  • Communicate policies and procedures for standing meetings, expected clock-in/clock-out times, taking breaks, call-in procedures when sick, how to put in a request for vacation time, holidays and winter recess, etc.
  • Make sure your employee can identify his/her appropriate HR Partner, HR/Payroll Analyst, SBO or other relevant business office personnel, IT help, and communications help.
  • Arrange a personal welcome from the unit/department leader, if not already provided.
  • Remind employee s/he must enroll in benefits within 30 days from start date.
  • Ensure employee knows s/he can approach you with questions!

Work environment

  • Make sure employee is aware of available safety and security protocols and services such as evacuation procedures, emergency preparedness plans, TrojansAlert, the USC Trojan Mobile Safety App, escort services when needed (DPS, Campus Cruiser, Uber, Yellow Cab use available through USCard, etc.), and free software to protect laptops and smartphones.
  • Discuss procedures for handling injuries on the job. Tell the employee to report all job-related injuries to you, regardless of how minor.

Technology

  • Encourage your new hire to carefully read all content sections of the Employee Gateway to ensure they’re aware of the vast array of opportunities and experiences available to them (including benefits, perks, and other opportunities).

Learning and development

  • Draft a training plan for new employee (you can assign training in TrojanLearn).
  • Ask for the employee’s first impressions, any learning experiences, etc.

MONTH ONE

Schedule, job duties and expectations

  • Conduct regularly-scheduled one-on-one meetings during which you provide timely, meaningful feedback, and elicit feedback from your employee. If any problems or concerns arise, address them. Remember that research shows employees who have regular meetings with their managers are three times more likely to be happy at work.
  • Explain the performance management process for your unit.
  • Discuss performance and professional development goals.
  • Schedule employee to attend any relevant orientation.

Work environment

  • Ensure employee is familiar with USC’s ergonomic program (through Environmental Health and Safety), and have him/her schedule an evaluation if appropriate.
  • Ensure the employee is gaining familiarity with the campus area including restaurants, parking structures, etc.

Technology

  • Ensure the employee understands how to access voicemail remotely if they have need to do so, and has tried other remote access systems if applicable (VPN, etc.).

Learning and development

  • Encourage the employee to explore TrojanLearn to find content that s/he may be interested in accessing.
  • Ensure required training is being completed (primarily for managers; harassment prevention and Campus SaVE Act training must be completed within 60 days of hire, and Management Essentials is also required).