Hiring Manager's Guide

New Employee Orientation at Royal Roads University

New employee orientation at Royal Roads University is a collaborative process that relies on the involvement of numerous members of the University to help new employees become productive and successful contributors to our organizational success.

An ongoing leaning and acclimatization process, new employee orientations is closely linked to the recruitment and selection process, and includes both pre-arrival and arrival phases, as well as ongoing processes.  Since a new employee's first impressions are formed during the selection process, on his/her first day, and during the first few weeks with a new organization, it is important that employees receive a positive, honest and consistent message during both the recruitment/selection and orientation process.

Orientation Program Outcomes

Royal Roads University is committed to its employees and to the investment of ensuring their orientation is welcoming, informative and meaningful.  A successful program shapes a new employee's experience and can have a lasting impression.

Our new employee will:

  • Feel welcome as a member of the RRU community.
  • Possesses the core knowledge and understanding or RRU that support him/her in the alignment of individual work plans and goals with the strategic goals and vision of the organization.
  • Experience and understand our unique culture and values, and is an active contributor to its sustainability and continual improvement.
  • Engage fully in the organization.

Departmental Orientation Desired Outcomes

Your new employee will:

  • Understand his/her position outcomes and responsibilities.
  • Understand departmental goals and the strategic vision of the University, and recognize how his/her job contributes to their achievement.
  • Have a good understanding of departmental procedures, customs and traditions.
  • Feel like part of the team, and supported by his/her manager, their navigator and colleagues during his/her transition into the workplace.
  • Have access to the resources and information necessary to assist him/her in becoming a successful member of the department/division and the organization.

The Orientation Partnership

The following diagram illustrates our partnership approach to new employee orientation and outlines the various roles and responsibilities of those directly involved.

Orientation Program Components

University Welcome Package

Our University Welcome Package is just that - a package of information welcoming new employees to our organization.  This package contains letters of welcome, general campus and orientation information, as well as forms to be completed prior to arrival.  Human Resources forwards the package to new employees on behalf of the University, ideally prior to the new employee's start date.  If the hiring process does not permit, the package is left at the new employee's workstation on Day 1.

Online Orientation Information and Resources

Detailed orientation process information is available on the orientation pages of this site.  These pages provide orientation program recommendations and resources for hiring managers/departments, new employees and their navigators (peer support).

Checklists

To assit hiring managers/departments and new employees during the orientation process, HR has developed checklists highlighting pre-arrival and arrival processes, based on internal and external best practices.  The New Employee Checklist, Hiring Manager's Checklist, and a Safe Welcome to our Campus Checklist can be found on the orientation pages of this site.

Orientation Resources for the Manager

In addition to information contained within this guide, our For the Hiring Manager orientation page provides additional relevant information for hiring managers/departments.

Orientation Program Tours

Human Resources , in collaboration with Grounds and Gardens and Visitor Services, offer new (and existing) employees a series of year-round campus tours, held once a month.  These tours offer employees the opportunity to meet a few of their RRU coworkers as well as learn more about the history and uniqueness of the gardens and buildings at this national historic site.

Navigator (peer support) Program

RRU uses an informal "peer support" system, in addition to the direction and assistance provided by their supervisor, which helps welcome new employees to the organization and make them feel "at home".  peer support individuals, whom we call Navigators, are selected but their departmental manager/director to assist new employees upon their arrival.  The role of the departmental Navigator can change hands over time or be taken on by two or more individuals when necessary.

Welcome Wagon Committee

To bring together and provide support and direction to those individuals who make such a positive impact and lasting relationship with our new employees - the departmental Navigators, a Welcome Wagon Committee has been established.

New Employee Orientation Workshop

As an additional orientation program component, the Human Resources department organizes and facilitates monthly New Employee Orientation Workshops.  These workshops provide new employees with the opportunity to further develop their knowledge of RRU and network with other staff and faculty.  Workshops focus on supplying employees with the current information they will need in order to contribute and be successful and Royal Roads University.

The Hiring Manager's Role in Employee Orientation

Ensuring an effective orientation process is an important component of management responsibilities at RRU, and although organizational systems, policies and culture do impact employee satisfaction and commitment, studies illustrate that the employee-manager relationship is key to an employee's decision to stay with an organization.

As a manager, your role is to create a positive working environment for new employees and to ensure that their first impressions and experiences are positive.  Supporting your new hires throughout the various components of the organizational orientation program, and leading them through and effective departmental orientation will increase their likelihood of success.

Human Resources supports managers in delivering new employee orientation by providing recommendations and resources, and by initiating the pre-arrival process.  Once we send the University Welcome Package to new employees on behalf of the organization, it's all up to you and your team!  Following the rocommendations on the Hiring Manager's Checklist, and delivering a customized departmental orientation, will enable you to positively impact your new employee's first experiences at RRU.

Although a new employee's first experiences are important, the ongoing experience can make or break the relationship.  New employee orientation should be considered a process and not a one-time event.  As a manager, you need to continue to support your new hires following the initial phases of orientation.

An Effective Departmental Orientation

The arrival phase of new employee orientation consists primarily of departmental orientation.  It is critical that managers be present and commit to actively leading a thorough departmental orientation.  Making it a shared responsibility between you and your team members, will help you "share the load" and will also support healthy working relationships within the department.

Managers:

  • Help to develop a positive employee-manager relationship.
  • Establish an environment of trust and honesty.
  • Ensure effective two-way communication between manager and new employee.
  • Influence the new employee's impressions and attitudes about the workplace.
  • Select a Navigator (peer support) to assist new employee.

Team Members:

  • Help to integrate the new employee into the work environment.
  • Ensure that the new employee has the necessary tools and resources.
  • Help to assimilate the new employee into the organizational culture.

Customizing Your Departmental Orientation

In addition to the action and discussion items included in the Hiring Manager's Checklist, you might consider including some of the following in your customized departmental orientation:

Departmental Orientation Package

  • Statement of departmental strategic outcomes/mission/vision.
  • Copy of employee's role profile.
  • Departmental organizational chart.
  • Department phone numbers and resource list (who to call for what).
  • List of scheduled departmental meeting times and appointments with key people.
  • Outline of department office and break hours (if applicable)

The "Personal Touch"

  • Plan to be present on your new employee's first day.
  • Take the time to get to know your new staff member, personally and professionally.
  • Encourage team members to share their stories, and to include their new co-worker in daily social activities and organizational events.
  • Start talking about your new employee's positive attributes prior to his/her arrival.

Some "Welcoming" Ideas from RRU Employees!

  • Hold a small party over breakfast or lunch to celebrate new employees joining the team.
  • Place a welcome note from the department on their desk using an RRU greeting card.
  • Take a team picture the first day.
  • Provide a small gift (flowers or fun objects) to help them through the first week!

Summary

Having reviewed the guide, you will now have an understanding of the various components of new employee orientation at RRU, and your role, as a hiring manager, within the process.  Please be sure to access the online readings on this site for additional information.

If you have any questions regarding the orientation process, or would like to share some of you creative ideas, please contact Lisa Robinson.

We wish you and your new employees a successful and enjoyable orientation experience!