Part 2: Onboarding

Onboarding is the process of equipping new employees with job- and organization-specific knowledge and skills necessary to become effective team members. This important step ensures engagement, development, and alignment across the team. This section provides onboarding checklists and tools for:

  1. Preparing for the first day >
  2. The first week >
  3. The first 1-3 months >
  4. Onboarding your Executive Director >

1. Preparing for the first day

The first day is critical. Being prepared shows that you are committed to supporting your new hire in quickly gaining confidence and becoming productive in their role.

Inform your team members and board of the start date.

Assign an individual responsible for onboarding your new hire. This is typically the hiring lead.  

Set up their workstation, ensuring that any handover documents are up to date.

Notify the Provincial Divisions Office of the new hire and request an email address, member account, and access to other required central IT platforms.

Request or assign a computer and arrange for passwords and access to computer drives, email address, telephone number, and other communication devices (if applicable).

Arrange for a security system access card and keys (if applicable).

Update the office phone list and distribute to board and team members, including the new hire.

Assemble HR forms for first day. If possible, send forms in advance and set up personnel records, including payroll.

Send key organizational documentation to the new hire in advance, such as HR Policies and Privacy/Confidentiality Policies, etc.

Announce the new team member to key stakeholders, as appropriate.

Contact the employee one week before the start date to provide logistics about what time to start, who to ask for, where to go, where to park, etc.


2. The first week

Welcome your new employee and describe the onboarding process.

Conduct a tour of the office, including washrooms and emergency exits, as applicable.

Provide office orientation, including computer, shared files, printers, photocopiers, supplies, mail/courier, booking meetings, etc.

Review telephone and email systems, including setting up voice-, and email signature requirements.

Discuss code of conduct, dress code, scheduling, hours and break times, as applicable.

Describe expectations related to internal and external communications such as email and other written and in-person communications.

Describe and/or provide documents related to:

  • Division history, evolution and culture, including the local state of health care and community demographics
  • Organizational chart
  • Team members’ roles
  • Team members’ contact information
  • Current strategic plan and operational plan
  • Programs and services
  • Recent financial and annual budget information

Review the job description to orient the employee to the context of the position, expectations/deliverables, key relationships, and other team members.

Review and discuss the probation period requirements (see Probation Period Plan and Performance Review Form).

Develop suitable goal(s) for the probation period and include in the Probation Period Performance Plan and Review Form.

Provide calendar invitations to any upcoming meetings that the employee is expected to attend.

Update the website and telephone messaging with the new employee’s name and position.

Review business expense claims and the petty cash process, as appropriate.

Order business cards, as applicable


3. The first 1-3 months

Explain the purpose and schedule weekly check-ins with employee to provide regular feedback.

Suggest relevant websites, newsletters or learning resources. 

Identify potential learning opportunities for the new employee to attend.

Provide opportunities for knowledge sharing with other team members.

Request an orientation from your engagement partner, as appropriate to the position.

Provide regular opportunities for feedback to/from employee and, if necessary, revise the probationary period goal(s) in the performance plan accordingly.

Conduct an official performance review at end of the probationary period, using the Probation Period Performance Plan and Review Form.

Review the benefits package and complete required forms, as applicable near eligibility date.


4. Onboarding your Executive Director

In addition to the steps outlined above, ensure the Executive Director is oriented to the following:

  • History and current status of the board and individual board members.
  • Board Meeting structure, process, and schedule, and the board's expectations for the Executive Director.
  • Constitution, bylaws, and governance policies.
  • Document of Intent.
  • Human Resource policies, files, and related information.
  • Current finances, budget, and process, and appropriate bank access.
  • Bookkeeping and payment process.
  • Status of current and potential stakeholder/partner relationships, agreements, and committees, including any Terms of Reference.
  • History and current status of the Collaborative Services Committee, including members and Terms of Reference.
  • Evaluation framework.
  • Communications Plan.
  • Provincial Divisions Office resources and contacts.