Welcome! Creating an Effective New Employee Orientation Program at Kansas State Libraries


2009-12-02T16:03:24Z, 2009-05-01

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K-State Libraries found itself in the interesting position of a simultaneous hiring boom and organizational redesign that threatened to leave a large group of new employees adrift without guidance from an HR director or unit. Deciding to embrace change from within, an ad hoc task force of three stepped forward to create, implement, and manage a new employee orientation program until an HR director could be hired. We started with formal and informal surveys of staff members to assess needs. Based on those results, and with the endorsement of the Libraries’ leadership team, we created a three-pronged program to orient incoming faculty and staff to the Libraries. The program was designed as a whole-organization orientation, with the intention of standardizing “first month” experiences on the assumption that employees who start off on the right foot will be more likely to adapt, succeed, and be retained as contributing members of the organization. First of the three prongs was a step-by-step checklist for use by the administrative staff and immediate supervisor during the first 3 months of employment. This checklist covered basic necessities like phone lines and computer equipment, as well as orientations to other library departments and information about benefits, policies, and procedures. Next was an orientation notebook for the new employee, containing helpful campus information, documentation for common computer tasks, and general facts about the Libraries. Finally, we solicited and trained volunteer guides to be matched with each new employee. Guides were assigned from outside the new employee’s immediate work area to serve as a social connection/introduction to the rest of the library, and to be a friendly, neutral source for answering procedural questions. As of this writing, 17 individuals have been through the orientation program, and it has resulted in a smoother integration of these individuals into the Libraries compared to those hired before the orientation program was in place.



Libraries, Orientation, Employees, Librarians, Administration, Human resources