Onboarding gets employees up to speed

ImageAll aboard!  No, no, no…it’s onboard.  The term is onboard particularly onboarding.  For some of you, this may not be a term you have heard, used or quite frankly even cared about in the past.  But it is important.  ONBOARDING.  Think of your past employment experiences specifically when you started a new job.  Remember the organization that provided you with information in an effort to acclimate you to the company versus simply throwing you to the wolves to figure it all out on your own?  The one that touched base with you on how things were going versus leaving you guessing?  These are just a couple of simple examples describing onboarding.  Onboarding can take many forms but its ultimate goal is to help new employees acquire the necessary knowledge they need to become effective members of the organization.

If you are wondering what kind of onboarding is offered at the Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University, check out the list below:

  • Onboarding Checklist – This is an optional tool supervisors can use as a guide throughout the first year of their new hire’s employment.  It includes items to complete prior to the employee’s first day on the job, discussions to have the first week and activities to complete until the employee’s one-year anniversary.
  • General Employee Training (GET) – This is required training for all new Ames Laboratory employees and provides general information about the Lab specifically focusing on safety.
  • University Orientation – This training is provided by Iowa State and covers a variety of policies ranging from discrimination and harassment to drug free workplace and conflict of interest.  It offers an opportunity to get to know other people across campus, learn about the culture and history of Iowa State, and find out about resources available to employees. 
  • Ames Laboratory Mentoring Program – Although this program is available to all employees, it can be particularly helpful for a new employee acclimating to the Lab.  Whether you are interested in finding a go-to person to help with questions, learning a new skill, or developing a plan for your career – the mentoring program may be just the right fit.
  • One-on-One Assistance – Ames Lab Human Resources provides an introduction to Halogen eAppraisal, AccessPlus and the Classification & Hiring System to help employees learn more about performance evaluations, where to find pertinent information and locate their position description.

As illustrated above, onboarding processes can vary greatly and range from very specific to quite informal.  However the format, research has shown their importance in retaining employees.  In partnership with all employees and supervisors, Ames Laboratory Human Resources hopes to continue growing the onboarding process at the Lab.  If you have any questions about onboarding or any of the items listed above, please contact Mallory Schon at 294-8062 or schon@ameslab.gov.