Orientation Checklist

Orientation Checklist (downloadable pdf) by the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector (external link)in Canada.


Prior to start

  • Advise Board members and staff of the new employee’s name, position, and start date
  • Arrange for a workspace
  • Equip the workplace with the necessary furniture, equipment and supplies
  • Ensure that all equipment is working
  • Set up an e-mail address
  • Set-up a telephone extension
  • Add the employee to organizational lists – telephone, e-mail
  • Make a copy of the job description
  • Gather information, reports, etc to give the person on the first day
  • Ensure the staff handbook is up-to-date
  • If the employee will need a key to access the office, arrange to have it ready for the first day
  • Contact the new employee to confirm where and when they should report on the first day
  • Set up the orientation team – who will be doing what for the orientation
  • Decide what meaningful tasks the new employee will start on and prepare the necessary background material

First day

  • Keep your schedule as free as possible for the first day

Getting Started

  • Welcome the new employee
  • Outline the orientation process for the day
  • Introduce the new employee to his/her coworkers
  • Introduce the new employee to his/her ‘buddy’
  • Give the employee a tour of the assigned workspace and the rest of the office/facility including:
    • Where to safely put belonging (if not in their office)
    • Where to hang coat, store lunch; location of the washrooms
    • Location of the photocopier, fax machine, and supplies, etc.

Organizational Overview

  • Overview of the organization
  • Organization Chart

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Review the employee’s job description and expected outcomes
  • Explain how the job is related to the other jobs in the organization
  • Give specific outcomes for the first day such as a look at the organization’s website, review of a specific document, etc.
  • Identify the work that needs to be accomplished in the first week
  • Give the employee reports, information that is need for the job and explain what each item is

Work expectation

  • Start and finish times
  • Lunch time
  • Probationary period
  • Safety procedures, as appropriate


  • Complete the necessary paperwork for pay and benefits
  • Complete other paperwork as required
  • Identify options for parking
  • Provide password for equipment as appropriate


  • Review health and safety procedures
  • Allow for time for the new employee to set up their workspace, review the materials you have given, etc.
  • Take the employee out to lunch
  • Have a task planned for the first day

First two weeks

  • Check to see if there are any problems with equipment or the workspace
  • Ensure that the employee has met all the other staff members
  • Review the performance management system
  • Order business cards, if appropriate
  • Tour other sites of the organization, if applicable
  • Explain the internal communication process including staff meetings
  • Have the employee review the policies and procedures manual
  • Explain how absences are called in and covered, telephone and e-mail protocol, internet use policy
  • Explain the travel and reimbursement process
  • Ask if the new employee has any question or if there is anything that needs to be addressed
  • Confirm that the employee understand what is expected – duties and responsibilities
  • Review all fire and safety procedures

First six months

  • Review probation procedures
  • Schedule regular meetings with the new employee to ensure that they are on track
  • Establish performance expectations

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