The On Boarding process created by members of CU Research Administration was designed to create a more efficient, more organized, and more welcoming process for introducing a New Hire to her/his new position within our organization.  

The process creates new efficiencies in the areas of communicating important information for new employees, getting them set up with all the tools needed to do their jobs before they arrive, familiarizing the new employee with the University and their new environment, streamlining the On Boarding process for Supervisors, providing necessary training resources and guidance, and providing what we call “Enfolding” – helping the new employee to feel a valued part of our group and our culture immediately upon arrival and throughout the first few weeks of their hiring.  

To assist in the accomplishment of these new efficiencies, we’ve created a Welcome Packet, including the following tools:  

Employee Checklist Matrix:

This is a checklist of all the tasks and trainings that need to be completed by the employee in their first 1 – 2 weeks with our office, as well as guidance on where to find needed materials/websites, and a point of contact they can use for each item.  

New Employee Information handout:

Containing an abundance of helpful information about our office  

Supervisor Training Checklist:

To be used by the new employee’s Supervisor to assist him/her in tracking all the tasks that the new employee must accomplish in their first few weeks with this and provide an easy way to follow-up.  

Peer Resource Professional Responsibilities:

We created the concept of having a “Peer Resource Professional” (“PRP”) – an established employee additional to the new employee’s Supervisor who serves as a point of contact for a smooth transition into the team. Each new employee is assigned a PRP to assist with team introductions and day-one logistics. There are additional daily follow up tasks for the first week. The PRP is also responsible for checking in with the new team member daily for the next three weeks to help take care of things like taking the new hire to get his/her Buff One card, helping them obtain a parking permit, and answer any logistical questions the new team member may have.  

University Information/Overview:

This section of the On Boarding packet includes information about the University and the surrounding area (for those new to Boulder).  


This section contains information on important policies such as out Telecommuting policy, requirements on DEPA filing, and many others.  


“Enfolding” is a term we coined to encompass those activities that help the new employee to feel like they now belong to our group, that we as an organization value that they’ve joined us, and that help them feel “at home” with us in their new work environment. This includes making sure their arrival is announced and they’re introduced to everyone, that the members of their Team check-in with them frequently, that our Director meets with them personally, that their Supervisor and others invite them to lunch, and other important acts of kindness.  

Professional Development:

We think it’s important that our new employees not only feel embraced and valued when they first arrive, but also that they know our commitment to them doesn’t end there. By including this section, we will remember to tell them about all the opportunities they can look forward to within the professional associations we belong to and that we’re committed to their continuing education and employee development in our field and at the University.  


As we developed our On Boarding program, we realized we also needed to define our procedures for when someone leaves our organization so we included this section to “close the circle” appropriately.  

Other Items to Note:

First Day Scheduling: In advance of the new employee’s start date, we send a schedule for what their first day will look like and who will be their POC for each activity of the day. This helps the employee know exactly whom to report to, at exactly what time, and what they will be engaged in their first day.  

Supervisor Training: We have created a Supervisor’s Training Manual and a training program required for all our Supervisors so they know what’s expected of them and precisely what tools are available to them in On Boarding their new employees.  We have included a pdf file of the contents of our Supervisor’s Training Manual for your review. This version is OCG’s version; SPA has a similar version fitting their specific needs.  

How does this impact the University?

Our On Boarding process has saved Supervisors as well as New Employees both time and effort.  

We really didn’t have an On Boarding process previously, so we faced many time-wasting and embarrassing incidents as a result. Our new employees often didn’t have the right tools their first day on the job and they were confused by having to use outdated checklists. There was also a lack of credibility that ensued when our Supervisors didn’t know what they were supposed to be doing to help the employee their first day – with few tools available - and having received no training on how to properly use the few tools we had.  

By having a well contemplated and streamlined On Boarding process, we estimate we have saved approximately 16 person-hours in wasted time and effort per new hire in the first 4 weeks of their employment. Because our organization has been and is currently undergoing a major reorganization, our staff has increased by 28 employees since the implementation of the program. Thus, we estimate the short-term savings equates to 2 full working days per hire – approximately 56 working days in the last year alone.  

Equally as important is the potential long-term savings created by the process – in terms of employee retention. When an employee feels that they have joined an organized unit that values them, when they feel impressed by the effort that’s been made to ensure their smooth enfolding into their new job, they can feel proud of being a CU employee from day-one. We believe the establishment of this pride and the feeling of being cared about as an employee early in a new employee’s career with our unit and with the University is the foundation for an employee’s ultimate work productivity and commitment.  

CU Research Administration is also committed to providing a high level of Service Excellence. In many respects, our employees are our customers, and showing our new hires the respect they deserve in their On Boarding sets a positive example for them. We believe this attitude of Service Excellence is carried forward then to our external customers – putting forth a positive image of the University into the broader community and potentially attracting additional high caliber talent into our organization.

Implementation Status

We introduced our On Boarding program in our Office early in January, 2014. Over the three months that followed, our team fine-tuned the program and held our first On Boarding Supervisor training on April 15, 2014. We have been using it very successfully for a little over one year. We actively seek feedback from all our new hires, and that feedback has been extremely positive. In those instances where improvements that could be made were noted, we’ve implemented those improvements with a commitment that we will continue to improve and maintain the program so that it is a living, growing part of our business culture.  

In the past few months, we have been asked to share our On Boarding program with other units on campus who have heard about it – something we’ve been honored to do. We have already shared our program with CU Staff Council and with Human Resources, and are happy to share it with any other units on campus who we may be of service to in helping to get their own On Boarding programs started.

Submitter's Information

Submitter's Name: Joan Eaton
Submitter's Email:
Additional Team Members: OCG: Dave Christopher, Regina Montano, Pat Dodson, Laurie Clauson SPA: Chyrlann Taylor, Charlotte Whyte, Jeni Comley