Onboarding for Managers & Supervisors

Onboarding at RIT



Welcoming New Employees

Congratulations on hiring your new employee! As a supervisor, it is a privilege to help welcome the new employee to RIT. Successful onboarding is the process of helping new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. At RIT, the new employee onboarding process begins with the job offer and continues through the first year of employment.

RIT's Office of Staff Recruitment has developed resources to help managers and supervisors introduce new employees to their jobs, duties, co-workers, work environment, and University. These will help boost employees' confidence as they navigate the department's policies, processes, culture, and day-to-day responsibilities. Research shows that effective onboarding will result in a faster learning curve for new hires, improved communication, and a productive and engaged workforce.


As a supervisor, it is your job to ensure that everything is in place to welcome the new employee. Once your new employee's start date is determined and communicated to them through the offer letter, you should begin preparing for their arrival. Setting the stage for the new employee's first day is critical to creating a positive impression and building strong connections from the start. The following pre-arrival action items are recommended to do before your new employee's first day.


Complete the Hiring Process:

  • Signed Offer Letter: Forward signed offer letter to hreaf@rit.edu.
  • Complete the New Hire EAF: Log into Career Zone and complete new hire EAF and then dispositioned all candidates.
  • Background Screening: Background Screening Process needs to be completed before requesting access to various university services for your new employee.
  • I9 Process: There are two sections to the Employee I9 for employees who are local. If an employee is starting employment outside of New York state, please have them contact hr@rit.edu before completing the steps below:

    Section one should be completed independently by the new hire prior to their start date.

    Section two can be completed by scheduling an appointment with Human Resources by visiting appointments.rit.edu and selecting Human Resources. This appointment can be done in advance of their start date or completed within their first three days of employment.

    We encourage new employees to complete the I-9 process sooner rather than later so that there is time to receive their UID from HR before their first day of work, assuming everything has cleared without issue. Your employee's UID is necessary for requesting accesses to your department, email accounts, and much more.

    Note: Internal transfers from one department to another do not require I-9 or background check completion.


Create a Welcoming Environment:

  • Pre-Arrival Checklist
  • Send welcome message: Send a welcome email to the new hire or phone call and let them know you are excited for their first day. Stay in regular communication, especially if there is a significant time between the acceptance and the start date.
  • Prep workspace: Identify/prepare employee’s work area. Ensure the work area is clean and set up with basic office supplies (e.g., scissors, tape, pens, post-its, stapler, trash/recycling cans, etc.). See Office Supplies/ Equipment for additional resources.
  • Assemble welcome packet: Include job description, contact names and phone lists, campus map, parking, and transportation information, information on your unit/school, departmental passwords/codes for copiers, and other reference sources used.
  • ITS: Contact RIT Service Center for Information Technology Services (585) 475-5000 or help.rit.edu, our local IT support team, to have systems set up in advance (network drives, printer access, etc.).
  • Invite new employee to essential tools:Make sure you give access to the relevant folders, Slack or messaging tools, and departmental email distribution lists.
  • Create training schedule:Create a training schedule for the new employee’s first two weeks of employment.
    • Create a schedule for employee’s first week (first-day assignment, first-week tasks, critical meetings, etc.).
    • Put a note on your calendar as a reminder of the new employee’s one-year anniversary.
  • Review onboarding siteReview the New Employee Onboarding website to familiarize yourself with the information, tools, and resources provided to your new hire to help orient them to RIT.
  • Team Introduction: Send department colleagues a brief Welcome to Our Team email, introduce the new team member, and encourage your department members to welcome the new employee personally.
  • Email first-day information: Provide clear direction regarding where and when the new hire should report to work, list any items which must be brought to finalize HR forms, arrival times and location, and where to park.
  • Arrange team lunch: Make sure to invite the entire team to lunch on the employee’s first day or arrange a virtual lunch.

The first day is a new employee’s first real impression of RIT. Your goal on the first day is to make the new employee feel at ease in a welcoming and engaging environment. Their first day on the job should be well planned, set an accepting, inclusive tone, and start to establish new work relationships that will be important to their, and your team’s success.

  • Greet your new employee enthusiastically, provide a warm welcome to RIT, make the first day on the job special
  • Help your new hire completed the following tasks to ensure that they are off to a productive start at RIT:
    • Receive their University Identification Number (UID).
    • Obtain an RIT ID from the Office of the Registrar (Eastman Hall, 1st Floor).
    • Work with ITS to get set up on the RIT network (computer, email, phone, WiFi, voicemail, videophone). For technical support, visit the RIT Service Portal for assistance.
    • Purchase a parking permit through myParking.
    • Review Kronos for hourly employees. Show employees where time clocks are located and discuss how and when to clock in and out (meal breaks, etc.).
  • Introduce the new employee to coworkers and key contacts.
  • Take the new employee on a tour of the department/building. Do not forget to note the location of bathrooms and the kitchen and nearby facilities, including lunch options, and provide them with a Campus Map.
  • Set up required building access.
  • Discuss job duties and responsibilities, departmental initiatives, expectations, schedules, and more.
  • Review organizational chart.
  • Describe how the employee’s job fits in the department and how the job and department contribute to the unit/college/division and RIT.
  • Discuss your management style and expectations.
  • Set up meetings with “key players” if applicable, and decide if there are reoccurring meetings the employee needs to be aware of.
  • Provide department and building-specific safety and emergency information (fire exits or other building emergencies, etc.).
  • Encourage the employee to explore the New Employee Onboarding website. It provides a breakdown of their onboarding experience, including what requirements they have to complete and when, and what opportunities for engagement they may find at RIT. If they are relocating to the area, this website also has a wealth of resources that can be very helpful.

Our continued goal during the first week is to help the new employee assimilate into RIT and your department’s culture. New employees will be invited to participate in RIT’s Online New Employee Orientation; however, it is ideal to also provide formal orientation to your department/division within their first week of work.

  • Daily check-ins and plan a team meeting.
  • Introduce them to the RIT Service Center and Employee Self-Service.
  • Review the University Level Policies and the Human Resource Policies and Procedures.
  • Within the employees first week at RIT, they will be invited to complete New Employee Orientation online where they will learn more about our University, RIT’s culture, and discover the many perks of being an employee at this great University.
  • They will also receive a separate invitation to the virtual Benefits Orientation, via Zoom, to hear all about RIT’s great employee benefits.
  • Review their job duties, responsibilities and expectations as well as the department’s goals and department and/or division’s website.
  • Discuss office culture, RIT’s mission, SPIRIT Values and provide an Overview of RIT with your new employee.
  • If possible, pair-up your new employee with a mentor inside or outside of the department as another resource.
  • Confirm that your new employee has the equipment and resources that they need (phone system, voicemail, intranet, network access, software, hardware, printers, email, mail, business cards, IT support, access cards, building security, safety and emergency procedures, phone lists, office supplies, etc.).
  • Explain policies and procedures for overtime (for hourly employees), annual and sick leave accruals, use of annual and sick leave time, holidays, etc.
  • Explain how to request annual/sick leave and how to properly report off from work (is it ok to text or do they need to call?).
  • Ensure that the new employee understands the business processes and workflows which will impact his or her specific position.

In the first 30 days, establish the foundation for your new hire’s RIT journey to understand their new work environment, the organization’s mission and goals, how they will make contributions, and understand expectations. Schedule one-on-one check-ins at least weekly to clarify questions, address concerns and monitor progress.

  • Weekly check-ins
  • Ensure your new employee is on track complete their assigned courses in RIT's Talent Roadmap:
  • Encourage your new employee to review their first paycheck information to ensure it reflects Benefits plan choices, Payroll deductions, and personal information correctly.
  • Encourage new employee to check the campus online directory to make sure his/her name and contact information are correct.

By this time, you are actively facilitating your new hire’s knowledge, both about their new role and about their workplace; helping them meet others with whom they will work, understand the processes and practices they need to know to do their work, and making progress on established goals and deliverables. Be clear and consistent about expectations and how performance is measured, so your new employee knows where to focus their efforts. Your new employee may feel “new” for some time, but they will grow to be more comfortable, confident, and productive with some guidance.

  • Begin having conversations about professional development courses and programs and learning opportunities to show you are invested in your new hire’s future at RIT and to reinforce our community’s values around continuous learning.
  • Create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-framed).
  • Ensure that your new employee is gaining exposure to a variety of project types and learning opportunities.
  • Introduce Individual Development Plan (IDP) and discuss the types of future projects and opportunities for assignments.
  • Promote networking opportunities (RIT Young Professionals, Staff Counsel, Advising Counsel, etc.).
  • Continue to communicate the department and RIT Mission and Vision.
  • Introduce the new employee to the Division of Diversity & Inclusion and their various program offerings.
  • Identify strengths and determine what knowledge, skills, abilities and assignments will complement or enhance them.
  • Identify areas where employee needs to grow and improve to achieve competencies related to their job.
  • Hold monthly meetings to review performance expectations and goal achievement.
  • Schedule and hold six-month performance review meeting.
  • Check in regularly to assess how their onboarding process is going, what additional information is needed from you, if there are gaps in training that need to be addressed, and what would help them feel more comfortable and/or independent. Ask open questions that show you are open to hearing their candid viewpoints of their initial experience, such as:
    • What has been your most important learning during your first 3-6 months here?
    • What do you wish you’d known sooner?
    • What can I do now to support your effectiveness and success?
    • At this point in time, what would help you the most to feel comfortable?

At this stage of onboarding, your new employee should be working from an agreed-upon list of priorities and goals that you have discussed. As the supervisor, you should continue to regularly check-in to make sure the new employee is fully engaged in their role, build relationships with the team, and understand how their role fits in with the bigger picture at RIT. Ongoing feedback and training will support your new employee in becoming a valued member of your department and the RIT community for years to come.

  • Establish clear expectations for performance as the employee learns the job and roles and responsibilities evolve over time.
  • Give ongoing positive and constructive feedback.
  • Discuss additional training that may be helpful for productivity and/or professional development.
  • Encourage the employee to get involved in the university community. Keep a look out for cross-functional opportunities for your employee to get involved in the RIT community, if they are interested.
  • Maintain regular check-ins will help you keep abreast of any new developments in your employee's experiences, and give you insight into how they are they are developing their skills and interests.

Additional Resources