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New Employee Supervisor Resources

Congratulations hiring a new staff member!

These pages contain information, resources, and tools to successfully acculturate and develop your new employee. USGS strives to create a rewarding environment where staff are informed and engaged and have strong working relationships with their supervisor and colleagues.

A successful orientation process makes a positive impression on a new employee by making them feel welcomed and confirming their decision to work for USGS.

Orientation is more than completing new hire paperwork or attending an orientation event. Orientation is a collaborative, strategic approach that provides your new employee with the needed information, tools, and resources to effectively meet organizational goals. As a supervisor you are KEY to this process!


Orientation aims to:

  • Increase new employee productivity by deepening their understanding of the USGS mission, vision, operations, and encouraging commitment to the USGS Guiding Principles and Code of Conduct
  • Improve retention rates of new employees by providing key information appropriately timed to ensure they feel engaged, successful, and connected. This includes providing them with their work and how that connects to the bigger picture as soon as possible
  • Provide relevant, timely, useful information over their first twelve months. Be aware of information overwhelm 
  • Streamline processes and provide best practice information to enable supervisors to deliver high-quality, consistent and accurate information 
  • Foster an environment of employee engagement



As a supervisor, it is critical to prepare for a New Hire’s arrival before their enter on duty (EOD) date. The literature shows that when new employee onboarding and orientation is organized and well prepared, it serves to increase job satisfaction, performance, commitment, and retention while reducing stress! 

An employee’s initial impression of their job extends far beyond their initial meetings with you. What transpires after the first week or two is considered part of their orientation experience. The orientation experience offers a better strategic approach for your new employee’s success and provides them with a better sense of the USGS and its culture. 

The supervisor’s role in getting their new hire off to a good start is vital, especially since the most important relationship is that of the employee and their immediate supervisor. The relationship generally begins with your first phone call to the employee and continues as you find your rhythm. Some things to remember:

  • Work closely with HR and IT to ensure a new hire’s smooth entry and transition into the workplace 
  • USGS Orientation Program will provide your new team member with the guidance and information they need, help them better understand and navigate our complex organization and feel at home at the USGS
  • Orientation Guide will collaborate with your new team member during his/her first year to provide guidance and advice that helps foster and promote the skills and professional development of a new employee  (see below)

  • Your energy and enthusiasm matters
  • Help your new employee assimilate into your local workplace and culture as quickly as possible 
  • Provide guidance to ensure proper training and development 

Orientation is not about giving you something more to do. Supervisors are often stretched thin and juggle many projects, responsibilities, and priorities. The purpose of the orientation program is to provide an established process to create a more engaging and effective experience for both you and your new employee. The USGS Orientation Program provides tools and suggestions accomplish a successful onboarding and orientation process. The tools provided will create a stronger bond with your employee and a shorter path to productivity. Regular meetings builds rapport and provides an opportunity for you to resolve any potential issues or questions as they arise.


Selecting your Orientation Guide for your New Employee

Selecting an Orientation Guide is an important step in this onboarding/orientation process. An Orientation Guide is a co-worker that will help your new employee "learn the ropes" during their first year. They collaborate with a new employee offering guidance and advice that helps foster and promote skills and building professional development. They serve as a critical peer link and play an essential role in your new employee’s early employment.


  • Orientation Guides help employees feel welcome, help fill in gaps, and reduce anxiety
  • Provide a positive perception of the USGS and the work team
  • Help ensure understanding of the organization structure, culture, policies, procedures, and practices of the USGS
  • Support new employees during their first year of employment by answering questions and providing "insider" advice
  • Introduce the new employee to the concept of Public Service, its uniqueness, and its importance

Please consider the following criteria in selecting an Orientation Guide:

  • High performer
  • Positive role model  
  • Understands the new employee’s job  
  • Understands the Bureau’s mission and culture 
  • Has patience and good communication skills  
  • Has strong interpersonal skills  
  • Shows interest in taking on the responsibilities associated with the Guide role  
  • Can make time to be accessible to the new employee and meet regularly
  • Understands the concept of Public Service

Remember, the Orientation Guide will be part of the new employee’s work life for their first year, so it is important to choose this influential person with care. Check in with the Guide regularly to ensure that have what they need to be successful. Ask for feedback at the end of the years to help improve their. The USGS has created an Orientation Guide training to provide detailed information on the Guide’s responsibilities. 


Top 10 Orientation Communication Tips - Supervisors


First 30 Days

During the first 30 days, meet with your new hire several times to review the expectations of the USGS, their expectations, discuss progress and continued efforts toward integrating them into the USGS. Suggested discussion topics during this time include:

  • Discuss the initial experience and how is it matching their expectations
  • Ask about any concerns or issues 
  • Review progress toward initial goals
  • Discuss and create IDP/Learning Plan
  • Identify any additional training needed
  • Ensure all Benefit forms are completed
  • Check-in to make sure they are meeting regularly with their assignee 
  • Answer any questions


First 90 Days

In the first 90 days, meet with your new hire regularly. The goal is to provide guidance and feedback to ensure continued success and if applicable their future with the USGS. Suggested discussion topics are:

  • Discuss experiences and their alignment with their expectations
  • Review progress toward initial goals and modify as necessary
  • Discuss any of his/her concerns or issues
  • Provide feedback on performance and ask for feedback from the employee


Resource Documents and Links for Supervisors

Supervisor Checklist for New Employees

Supervisor's Toolkit

Orientation and Training of New Employees

Entrance on Duty Forms

HR New Employee Checklist

USAStaffing New Employee Onboarding Information

New Employee Benefits Handout