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Employee Orientation Procedure

Approval Date: 2014-07-25

Effective Date: 2014-07-25

Responsible Unit: Department of Human Resources


Orientation at Memorial University of Newfoundland will occur in two phases in order to enable new employees to receive both a macro and a micro view of the institution and the new position.

Overview Orientation
Overview orientation will provide the basic information employees need to understand the overall environment in which they work. It will help employees to understand the broader goals of the university; goals that are beyond the individual units in which they work. This orientation will be a general session to be held in a half-day format followed by a tour of the University. 

Job-Specific Orientation
Provided at the unit level, this component of the Employee Orientation Program will help employees understand their job-specific and unit -specific expectations. This orientation should be conducted and/or coordinated by the senior administrative person in the unit who is responsible for human resources administration (the "HR Administrator").

The HR Administrator will ensure that the Orientation Checklist for New Employees is completed, and is signed by the new employee to signify that all the activities and requirements listed on this checklist have been completed or provided. The HR Administrator will also coordinate with the employee's immediate supervisor to ensure that the activities listed below are completed.

Before the employee arrives:

  1. Determine who will meet the employee at the work site
  2. Have workspace available, cleaned and stocked with supplies
  3. Arrange for key, parking permit, computer access (e-mail account, Banner Finance, Banner Student if appropriate), One Card/Access Card. (If it is not possible to have this completed prior to employee's arrival, have all forms ready for employee) 

Employee's first day:

a. Ensure the employee's immediate supervisor is available to greet the new employee and have an initial meeting with employee. The supervisor should be available to spend most of the day with the new employee.

b. Plan to have lunch with the new employee, perhaps with other staff members, or arrange for someone to do so. This will enable the new employee to be introduced to others on a social level.

c. If possible, assign the new employee a mentor/buddy; someone a new employee can ask questions of, and from whom he/she can learn appropriate behaviors and performance expectations.

d. Clearly communicate job responsibilities - provide a written job description (not just the duties listed on the job ad). Discuss:

  • operation of equipment (phone system, fax machine, photocopier)
  • records and reports
  • confidentiality
  • performance expectations
  • probationary period and probationary review
  • contact with students, other staff and faculty and its importance
  • union information, if applicable, including name and address of shop steward

e. Provide any available employee brochures (e.g. EAP) and advise employee to make an appointment with the Benefits Officer to arrange for benefit coverages if this has not already been done.

f. Provide the unit’s organizational chart and discuss the role, objectives and priorities of the unit. One half day should be set aside within the first week for the employee to shadow staff within different areas of the unit to familiarize themselves with unit activities.

g. Required or planned training - both general and job specific

h. Discuss unit culture:

  • dress code
  • use of titles or first names
  • schedules
  • arrival and departure
  • break/lunch
  • unit leave policy
  • sick days (including who to inform when sick)
  • family leave
  • vacation entitlement
  • flextime
  • appropriate phone greetings
  • eating/drinking at desk
  • personal use of equipment (e.g. phones, e-mail)
  • contributions to employee funds (e.g. gift fund, social committee, etc.)

i. Introductions (within own unit and other units with which employee will have immediate contact)

j. Workplace Safety

  • location of fire extinguishers
  • location of fire exits (include what to do in case of a fire alarm)
  • accident/incident reporting procedures
  • duty to report unsafe conditions
  • right to refuse unsafe work
  • job specific safety requirements/standards, where applicable

k. Miscellaneous

  • location of washrooms
  • location of other services (e.g. cafeterias, University Club, health facilities)

Orientation Follow-up
Orientation does not end on the first day. Follow-up is necessary and may include the following:

  • Offer feedback to employee as required.
  • Ensure that job expectations are being met. If not, this is the time to discuss/re-explain expectations.
  • Arrange a meeting within the first couple of weeks to answer questions and/or to discuss job-related issues or concerns.

Program Review
This Procedure will be reviewed within one year of its initial implementation.


Policies using this procedure:


University Policies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000