You are here: American University Human Resources COVID-19 Onboarding New Staff

Onboarding New Staff While Working Remotely

This page provides guidance to university supervisors around onboarding staff during Expanded Telework Status. This guidance may change based on any changes to the university’s operating status. Please contact Danielle Johnson with any questions you might have about staff orientation or onboarding.

New Staff Orientations will be virtual

Update February 15, 2021

HR will facilitate new staff orientation virtually until further notice. Orientation will run from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm using Microsoft Teams. HR will email new full-time staff and their supervisors in advance to ensure the new staff member has access to the systems needed for orientation. The Office of Information Technology will follow the HR orientation and host Technology Training at 2:00 pm via Microsoft Teams.

Departmental Onboarding

Onboarding is a joint responsibility of HR and the hiring department. During the Expanded Telework Period, here are a few suggestions that departments can implement to help new staff members get started in their new position from a remote location:

  • Initiate a 15 - to 30-minute "get-to-know-you" phone conversation with each existing team member (who has been notified to expect that call). These calls foster collaboration and take some of the pressure off of the supervisor to be the primary contact person.
  • Continue team collaboration by setting up regularly scheduled team meetings to help staff members become acquainted and keep new staff from feeling alienated and disconnected from the group. Use videoconferencing to welcome new staff, so they can start connecting faces and voices and build relationships. Use of videoconferencing allows for a richer experience and helps new staff learn more about your team. Introducing the new staff member to the team culture will help them feel a part of the team quicker.
  • Establish a “virtual buddy” for the new staff member who can use teleconferencing tools to help the staff member learn about the department and new position. Encourage the buddy to proactively reach out to the new staff member on a regular basis.
  • Share departmental policies, procedures and other job aids with the new hires for them to review and access.
  • Set up one-on-one virtual meetings with the new staff member. Set realistic expectations, goals and tasks that they can accomplish in their first weeks on the job. Keep lines of communication open and be available to resolve problems and answer questions – help them understand that your virtual door is open to them. Use technology to extend coaching and mentoring so your new person feels supported.
  • Hold a regular Monday morning team "kickoff" meeting that is a combination of chit-chat and discussions about plans and priorities for the upcoming week. This will help the new staff member get to know the team better and understand the individual roles of the team and how they can get involved. End the workweek on Fridays with a 30-minute virtual meeting to recap the week's happenings and share feedback.
  • Introduce the new staff member to AsuccessfulU. Encourage the staff member to complete their required online harassment prevention. Identify other courses in ASU that would be helpful to the new staff member in these first days of work at AU on AsuccessfulU and LinkedIn Learning (myAU portal > Personalized Links > Technology > LinkedIn Learning).


Supervisor Resources

Resources for supervisors during American University's COVID-19 expanded telework operating status.