CUSP Submission Shows How to Value Employees from First Day to Last

Question: What do we want for our new CU employees? Answer: An efficient, organized, and welcoming process for introducing new hires to their new positions within our organization. 

Question: What do we do to ensure that this takes place? Answer: Varies by department.

At the University of Colorado Boulder, the CU Research Administration team developed a thoughtful onboarding process to make sure that what they wanted for new employees really happened. Onboarding refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.

The Research Administration On Boarding team included Joan Eaton, Assistant Director-Proposal Development, Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) and her OCG colleagues Dave Christopher, Regina Montano, Pat Dodson, and Laurie Clauson, in addition to Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA) staff, Chyrlann Taylor, Charlotte Whyte, and Jeni Comley.

Together, they developed a Welcome Packet to efficiently communicate important information to new employees and their supervisors. The packet includes an Employee Checklist Matrix, New Employee Information handout, and Supervisor Training Checklist. (They also developed a Supervisor Training Manual to ensure that managers understood their onboarding responsibilities.)

But the team didn’t stop there.

They also developed Enfolding – a unique process to help new employees feel they are valued within the group and the culture as soon as they arrive. Enfolding is accomplished through introductions, check-ins, discussions of professional development, and conscious scheduling of social activities/acts of kindness. Furthermore, the team designated Peer Resource Professionals (PRPs) – established employees who serve as additional points of contact to new employees for a smooth transition into the team. 

Short-term results: The new On Boarding process has saved two working days per hire (approximately 56 working days in the last year alone) and has generated extremely positive feedback from new employees. Potential long-term savings – in terms of employee retention – are expected, as well. No surprise, then, that the team has recently been asked to share their new process with Human Resources, Staff Council, and other units on the Boulder Campus.

Find out what's happening in CU Research Administration by reading Joan's submission to the CU Shared Practices (CUSP) website.

Do you have something to share to improve CU business processes? Tell CUSP about it.

But do it quickly: the deadline is April 30.

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