• Onboarding

  June 28, 2016

New Hire Orientation Checklist

Conducting a well-planned orientation program for new staff pays many dividends for both you and your new hires. Use the list below as a guideline for creating your own effective orientation program.

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If your company is adamant about providing exceptional customer service or is passionate about teamwork, then the orientation program can ensure that this message is provided in a consistent way to all new hires.

  • Culture (Company background)
  • Values
  • Vision/Mission
  • Policies


  • When and where to arrive
  • Where to park
  • Whom to report to
  • Let other staff know new employee is starting
  • Work station, office materials or other equipment are ready
  • Computer and telephone access are prepared or scheduled



  • Explain hours of work/shift
  • Pay Days
  • Grooming & dress code
  • Vacation time
  • Sick leave
  • Breaks
  • Explain training procedures & expectations
  • Explain performance evaluation
  • Employee Handbook

Welcome your new employees

  • Warm welcome
  • Introduce the new employee to all key staff
  • Introduce the new employee to everyone with whom the new hire will be working over the course of a shift
  • Illustrate the “big picture,” how each position relates to the others on the team
  • Demonstrate how the team relates to other departments or areas of the operation
  • If possible, the owner, CEO or other senior executive should also meet with the employee
  • Share your company’s vision, mission and values as well as its history
  • Assign your new hire a “buddy” who can answer simple procedural questions later.

The basics

  • Point out the location of the washroom
  • Point out the location of the lunchroom
  • Give a quick tour of the facilities
  • Show your new hire where to store personal belongings
  • Point out the break-room or where to take breaks

Company policies and standards

  • Review your policy on Internet and telephone usage on company time
  • Smoking policy
  • Discipline
  • Theft
  • Absenteeism
  • Harassment and bullying free workplace
  • Upgrades and on-the-job training
  • Overtime practice
  • Personal use of equipment and supplies
  • Promotions and job postings
  • Collective agreement
  • Informal and formal grievance procedures
  • Training

Workplace security, safety and emergency procedures

  • How to lock up
  • How to call for help
  • How to deal with a threatening employee or customer
  • Fire procedures
  • Personal safety procedures
  • Reporting accidents
  • First aid room/resources
  • COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan
  • COVID-19 Health &Safety protocols, procedures and policies
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Some companies also provide basic training (such as WHIMIS and safety procedures) at this time

Complete all paperwork

  • Have new hire sign up for company’s benefit programs
  • Have new hire complete all payroll forms
  • Explain when, how and what they get paid
  • If a union represents the new employee, there is often a component of the program that has the union representative talk explain the requirements and benefits of union membership

Set job and company expectations

  • Probationary period and performance-appraisal time
  • Review the job description, pointing out what’s expected in regards to:
    • Major duties and responsibilities
    • Performance standards
    • Hours
    • Staff meetings
    • Workload
    • Training
    • Pay particular attention to sharing your customer service philosophy

Begin the training program

  • On the first day, provide preliminary training, whether it’s how to run the cash register or how to handle phone calls
  • Explain that you’ll offer ongoing training in the days ahead—whether it’s mentoring one-on-one or attending a training session
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