New employee orientation program checklist

First days at work are important for new hires. Employees fill out paperwork, meet team members and get to know their new workspace. New employee orientation, done right, lays the groundwork for a smooth onboarding.

Orientation should not be confused with onboarding, however. Onboarding is continuous. It begins with the hiring process and ends when a new employee is fully settled into their role.

Orientation is part of onboarding. It refers to the actions a company takes during a new hire’s first days to help them:

  • Adjust to their new work environment
  • Complete tasks required by law
  • Learn about key company policies
  • Prepare themselves to take on their job duties

Use the following new employee orientation checklist to remind yourself of tasks to do during a new hire’s first day at work:

Administrative support

    • I-9 form
    • W-4 form
    • Employee acknowledgement and consent form
    • Background check form
    • Direct deposit form
  • Explain regular procedures, like:
    • How to enter and leave the building (e.g. use of a security token)
    • How to place orders (e.g. for stationery)
    • How to request time off (e.g. how to request sick leave)
  • Arrange for new hires to obtain staff photos (e.g. for a badge, business card or online avatar.)
  • Provide new hires with an employee uniform, if applicable.

Company policies overview

  • Explain employment agreement terms and make sure new hires sign these forms. These might include:
    • Non-disclosure agreement
    • Non-compete agreement
    • Confidentiality agreement
    • Employee invention agreement
  • Provide resources on perks and benefits, like:
    • Health and life insurance
    • Mobile plan reimbursement
    • Company car policy
    • Stock options guide
    • Training program guide
    • Performance bonus guide
    • Employee wellness program
  • Provide new hires an overview of key company policies, like:
    • Vacation/ paid time off
    • Work from home
    • Sick leave
    • Safety guidelines
    • Absenteeism
    • Data security
  • Go over what a typical day at the office looks like and mention:
    • Regular work times
    • Breaks
    • Lunch options
  • Give new hires a copy of your employee handbook and answer questions they may have.

Office tours and introductions

  • Lead new hires on an office tour and show them where each department is located. Also, walk through common areas, like:
    • Bathroom
    • Kitchen
    • Dining area
    • Balcony
  • Point out to new hires who to look for when they need assistance with specific issues. Include:
    • Their direct manager
    • Your HR team
    • Your IT team
    • Your office manager
  • Introduce new hires to all teams.
  • Schedule meetings for new hires with colleagues and team leaders from other departments.
  • Show new hires the company’s meeting rooms and explain how they can book them.
  • Indicate where the building’s emergency exits are.
  • Schedule a teamwide meetup to welcome new hires in less formal setting (e.g. a group lunch or after-hours drinks.)
  • Assign a work buddy or mentor to assist new hires with onboarding tasks and questions during first days or weeks.

Workstation setup

  • Explain how to use office equipment, including:
    • Telephone (internal and external calls)
    • Printer
    • Fax
    • Kitchen appliances (e.g. coffee machine)
    • Video conferencing tools
  • Provide an overview of the main corporate online channels, including:
    • Intranet
    • Email
    • Messaging application
    • Company website
    • Shared drives
    • Data security software
  • Assign a member of the IT team to assist with computer setup. Make sure new hires understand how to use all company tools and software needed for their role.
  • Schedule a detailed training on IT security guidelines.
  • Schedule a product demo if relevant.
  • Provide stationary and explain where to find office supplies, like:
    • Pens and pencils
    • Notebooks
    • Post-it notes