Supervisor Guide to Onboarding.UI

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding involves the actions you take as a supervisor to welcome, support, and manage the transition of a new employee.  These actions help the employee feel engaged in work at UI and rapidly achieve performance expectations/goals.  Onboarding at UI is considered to start with the acceptance of an offer of employment and continues through the first year of employment.  Your unit’s HR Rep will send a welcoming email to new staff and encourage them to view UI’s Onboarding presentation (hyperlink) to provide them info and resources to prepare them for employment at UI.  You will also receive an email encouraging you to begin to prepare for the new staff member by using the resources, Preparing for New Staff (hyperlink).

To support you as a supervisor as you work with your staff member over the first year of employment, you will receive reminder emails about topics that you may wish to discuss that develop your relationship with staff.  Resources that provide information or links to UI services related to those topics are also provided and can be found under Supervisor Periodic Updates (hyperlink).  Four themes that have been found to support employee engagement are used for the updates:

  • Engaging Work and Strategic Goal Alignment – helping staff understand how their work supports the unit, college/division and UI helps them feel an integral member of the University
  • Performance Expectations – knowing what is expected and providing ongoing feedback helps staff develop skills and perform to their best
  • Work Life and Wellness – healthy staff who feel cared about are more likely to be top performers and as a supervisor, you can encourage healthy work habits and remind staff of University services to support health and wellness. 
  • Development – new staff need to learn their responsibilities, unit and UI policies to become proficient in their work, but staff also need to continue to see opportunities to grow and develop through UI courses and experiential learning. 


Why do Onboarding?

Supporting new employee transition has been shown to be more effective in developing engaged, productive and committed employees by focusing on the supervisor-staff relationship through frequent developmental feedback and providing support for individual needs.  Onboarding differs from traditional orientation practices that focus more on forms, policies, and the teaching of job duties for compliance and competence purposes.