Employee Orientation Guide

Employee Orientation Guide (downloadable pdf) by Joan Garry Consulting: A schedule of pre-orientation preparation and a sample day of agenda. From Joan Garry Consulting (external link).


If your staff directory is not painfully out of date, you’re not “cold”. If you do a bagel breakfast to welcome your newest employee, you are getting “warmer.” If the Executive Director stops by for 5 minutes and says welcome and talks about what makes this organization unique and special, you are very, very warm.

Here are some other things to consider when building a new employee orientation program. Yes, I said program. Do not roll your eyes. An orientation is key to productivity and retention and helps turn a nonprofit job into a vocation.


Ask yourself a simple question. What would be really helpful for your new employee to read, watch, absorb PRIOR to day 1 that could offer her/him valuable context? 

Not just talking about an employee manual here folks. Assuming you have one.

Create a binder that everyone gets sent (electronically if possible) a week before their start date. It should be about the organization and not about their position.

Try to pull it together in such a way that all docs are in an e-folder or binder or something that sends a message that you are organized and professional (even if you don’t always feel that way).

Items to include:

• Annual Report

• Current Year Budget

• An org chart (up to date please)

• Staff Bio Book (invest in creating this – create one at your next staff retreat as an icebreaker and use those)

• A link to a video of a speech by your Executive Director

• A document (a speech for ex) or a video that tells the story of the history of your organization

• A copy of a SUMMARY of the current strategic plan

• A copy of the new employee’s job description and their supervisor’s job description as well

• Is there anything that you can include that offers external validation of your work from someone outside the organization?

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