CU Boulder’s Onboarding Philosophy

The purpose of onboarding is to move new employees to higher levels of productivity faster. Our campus onboarding philosophy is based on the research of Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen which encompasses the entire first year experience of a new employee. Onboarding is a process, not an event.

 The four pillars that support our onboarding philosophy are: Graphic showing the four pillars and phases of onboarding

  • Cultural Mastery
  • Interpersonal Network Development
  • Strategy Immersion & Direction
  • Early Career Support 

 The four phases of onboarding a new employee will move through during the first year are:

  • Prepare
  • Orient
  • Integrate
  • Excel

What to expect from CU Boulder HR

We will provide supervisors:

  • Learning opportunities through programs specifically designed for managers such as the Manager’s Academy, the Highly Effective Manager and onboarding briefings
  • Tools to help onboard your new employees over the first year including checklists, templates and job aides
  • Consulting services to help take your department’s onboarding program to the next level
  • Email communications with information to help navigate onboarding responsibilities as a supervisor over the first year

We will provide your new employees:

  • The New Employee Welcome Experience, day-long experience to introduce new employees to campus
  • CU Discover Series, a series of sessions that offer opportunities to dive deeper into the initiatives, mission and operations of CU Boulder.
  • Web-based information to help connect new employees to resources

Learn more about the New Employee Welcome Experience

Your role and responsibilities:

There are things your will need to do and should do to prepare for your new employee’s first day at CU Boulder. 

  • Ensure you have a signed offer letter, the employee has passed the background check(s) and you have identified a start date with your new employee.
  • Talk with your new employee and make sure they understand what time and where to arrive for their first day, transportation & parking options and dress code expectations.   
  • Download the Onboarding Checklist for Supervisors.
  • Create a plan for your new employee’s first week and be sure to include anyone one in your department that may have onboarding responsibilities.