Manager’s Guide to Onboarding

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Onboarding @ Stanford Manager's Guide

Info and checklists in a (PDF) print guide:

Play this 5-minute slideshow about the overall onboarding process at Stanford.

Related Links
Visit the Managers and Supervisors Toolkit, created by the Human Resources Information Systems group, for information on various aspects of managing people.

Did you know?
The Department of Labor reports that 66% of new hires are more likely to remain with a business for three years or more if the employees take part in a structured orientation process. So a thoughtful Onboarding process is a retention tool in and of itself!









Please note: all links on this page that lead to PDFs or to another party's website will open that website in a new browser window.

Welcome Center to Replace New Staff Orientation 

Beginning in 2015, we will no longer offer New Staff Orientation. The current version is being replaced by the new Cardinal at Work Welcome Center, a one-day training intended for new hires on their first day of employment. This new orientation combines an enhanced orientation to Stanford benefits with completion of important required start-up steps including:

  1. Enrollment in Training
  2. I-9 Completion
  3. SUNet ID Creation
  4. Issuance of Stanford ID Cards
  5. Parking & Transportation Support (including issuing of CalTrain stickers and parking permit purchasing)

The Welcome Center is delivered every Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday) at 3160 Porter Drive.  Participants receive a catered breakfast and lunch, and enjoy opportunities to network with other new hires throughout the day. See the full schedule here.

Please be aware that we will also be sunsetting the website, with key resources moved to the Manager’s Guide at

Please don ’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.


If you've arrived at this page because you're planning to recruit, select, and hire a new regular employee or contingent worker, please visit the Staff Employment site for information on recruitment and selection services.

Using This Guide

As someone who supervises or manages people, you have primary influence on the success and satisfaction of your employees at work. The new hire's first few weeks establish the foundation for a positive relationship between you and the new employee, to whom you are key in providing support and direction.

This guide helps you plan and successfully implement the processes through which your new employee becomes fully oriented to your work group and the University. The information is organized in time periods (to match employee information in this website) with checklists, tools, and information.

The time periods may occur differently for you and your new employee, at your discretion.

Your local Human Resources staff may have additional school or department specific information for you and your new employee to use during these time periods.

  • If your new employee cannot attend the New Staff Orientation, you may wish to print a copy of the New Employee Quick Start Guide (pdf document) to help guide him or her through the initial time on the new job.

The Onboarding Process

Info and checklists in a (PDF) print guide for:

Before the New Employee Arrives
Orienting a new employee is a process that can last up to a year, depending on the new employee's job and his or her prior experience. What happens between the offer letter and that first day depends on planning and communication that assures a memorable welcome and alleviation of a new employee's natural anxiety.

The New Employee's First Days
"Will I be successful? Will I fit in?" New employees ask themselves these questions; supervisors and managers help provide the answers. Ensuring the work space is ready for the new hire, clarifying departmental organizational structure, and communicating your expectations are fundamental during this time period, as is success in the employee's first assignment.

The New Employee's First Weeks
Attending meetings, completing training, and getting to know the work group supports a new employee's progress toward both productivity and acculturation. New employees need to know how the work group operates and communicates; learning this may include confirming or correcting first impressions. New employees also need progress reports, and the end of three months is a good point in the initial review period to give specific feedback to assist the new employee in setting priorities and completing training.

The New Employee's First Six Months
"What does it mean to work at Stanford? How am I doing?" During the first six months, new employees can extend their involvement in their work groups and in the Stanford community, and receive clear performance feedback from you. Supervisors and managers are wise to ask for feedback from the new hire, as well, to identify any opportunities to ensure a mutually successful relationship.

The New Employee's First Year
Note this milestone and make it an opportunity to review and celebrate the first year and look forward to the future. Communicate the employee's eligibility for benefits programs and opportunities that come with one year of service. Have a discussion of what contributions or role shifting the employee may be thinking about for the future.

Also view the Index of Manager's Tools





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