Working at the ATSSC/Manager's corner for onboarding new employees
A proper onboarding makes a difference! It is a core people management practice that, when appropriately rolled out, can drive many positive outcomes, such as providing new employees a sense of belonging and inclusion which is key to employee engagement, demonstrating to new employees that they are truly valued, fostering collaboration, helping to reduce stress and increase productivity, and strengthening alignment with the organizational mandate, culture and values.
As part of the onboarding process, the role of the manager and supervisor is to encourage and support new employees, helping them acquire the tools, skills, knowledge and experience necessary to be fully competent during their first year in the organization and beyond.
Below, you will find a checklist to support you in onboarding your new employee from the pre-arrival stage through to their one-year work anniversary.
Once the letter of offer has been signed
- As soon as the Letter of Offer has been signed, contact your new employee with a welcome email – see template.
- Confirm details regarding the arrival of your new employee, i.e. work schedule including hours of work, start date, and location. Make sure you are both clear on whether your employee will be working remotely, in person or through a hybrid model.
- Check if your employee requires job accommodation. If yes, ensure that the necessary workplace accommodation is arranged as soon as possible by sending an email to: Facilities-Installations@tribunal.gc.ca.
- Fill out the Arrival Form as soon as a start date has been established for your new employee.
- Gather basic reference materials such as a phone list, organizational chart with titles, staff lists, other contact lists, email instructions (i.e. signature block), and the job description for your new employee's position, and share with the employee.
- Email all team members and key contacts announcing the arrival and start date of your new employee.
- Encourage a team member to be an onboarding and orientation "Buddy" for your new employee, to answer any questions and provide support and guidance.
- Once five business days have passed since submitting the Arrival Form, check with IT to ensure that your employee's email account has been set up and that arrangements have been made with the employee to equip him/her/them with a laptop, cellphone, and any other needed IT equipment. If there are any delays, ensure that alternate arrangements are made so that the employee's first week is productive.
- Check your availability and ensure you set time aside for the new employee, especially during the first two weeks.
- Prepare a meaningful assignment for the new employee to start within the first week.
- Greet your new employee with a warm welcome and in the case where your employee requires access to the workplace, ensure that arrangements have been made to issue an ATSSC ID card as soon as possible by sending an email to AccessCard-Cartedacces@tribunal.gc.ca. (Email the Security Team at PersSec-SecPers@tribunal.gc.ca for the latest details on this step).
- Discuss the plan for the day with your new employee while identifying key people who will assist in the orientation process during the first week.
- If your new employee is new to the federal public service, ensure that they:
- Tour the workplace (if applicable) and introduce your new employee to team members and extended branch personnel, including your section's administrative assistant. In a remote work setting, set up a MS Teams meeting with members of the team to introduce your new employee. If you have a large team, break it down into smaller groups so as not to overwhelm the employee with new information.
- Introduce your new employee to their onboarding and orientation "Buddy" colleague who will assist in the orientation of the work unit.
- Set time aside to discuss the ATSSC's organizational chart and the mandate of the tribunal you support, or the mandate of your work unit within Internal Services. Discuss overall priorities and objectives of your work unit.
- Discuss preferred working styles (e.g., communication, meetings, questions, feedback, etc.) and establish a shared understanding with your new employee.
- Confirm that your new employee has read and understood the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and the ATSSC Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics, Standards of Conduct, and Conflict of Interest and Post Employment.
During the first week
- Introduce your new employee to other key contacts who can assist the new employee in everyday work.
- Set time aside to help the employee with the registration of myKEY.
- Allocate time to discuss the new employee's job in more detail, explain key duties and procedures, and discuss job expectations/performance objectives.
- Provide your new employee with the terms and conditions applicable to their employment in the relevant format (see applicable collective agreement).
- Set time aside (or delegate to the orientation Buddy) to help your new employee register for mandatory training (if not already done). Your employee will first need to create an account to access the CSPS's learning platform. If your employee is joining the ATSSC from another department and already has a CSPS account, please ensure they update their account information to reflect the move.
- Ensure your new employee is included in upcoming team and all-staff meetings and added to relevant email distribution lists. Discuss the ATSSC Communities of Practice and other relevant committees and/or networks with your new employee.
- Assist your new employee in creating online accounts, as required (e.g., GCconnex, GCpedia).
During the first month
- Check that your new employee has been paid.
- Check-in weekly with your new employee to ensure they are doing well, that they have what they need or to address concerns or questions. Your employee needs to feel supported.
- Observe your new employee's integration into the team. Identify positive dynamics and behaviours in your unit and address challenges as appropriate if any exist.
- Talk about work objectives, expected competencies and learning and development needs, and explain the Performance Management Program. Remember to "claim" your employee in the myEmployees application, found on the top right of the TBS Applications Portal (TAP) page.
- Follow-up to ensure that your new employee has registered for and begun completing mandatory training.
- Create a safe space by communicating expectations (adherence to the Code of Values and Ethics), and that you as a manager are willing and available to discuss ethical dilemmas with your staff.
- Continue to introduce your new employee to key colleagues needed to perform everyday tasks.
- If possible and appropriate, invite your new employee to meetings as an observer; it may help them to understand the culture of the organization.
Three, six months
- Set regular meetings, if needed, to discuss various topics, including progress on work files, integration and comfort level.
- Around the three-month period, informally check on how your employee is acclimatizing to the new work environment. Be specific to gain valuable insight, such as, "How do you feel in your position after three months? Do you have any questions/challenges? How is your workload?" etc.
- Discuss performance regularly and share your views on how your employee is integrating with the team and how they are progressing as it relates to their new work functions. Keep in mind that it usually takes around six months for a new employee to be fully integrated and efficient in a new job. In a remote work setting, it can take a bit longer.
- Follow up to ensure that your new employee has registered for or completed mandatory training courses and discuss the application of learning in the workplace. Also discuss other learning activities that may support your employee's learning needs.
- Highlight any concerns you may have with your employee and intervene as necessary.
- (For employees new to the federal public service) If there are issues that may affect a successful completion of the employee's probation period, contact Labour Relations at LR_ATSSC-RL_SCDATA@tribunal.gc.ca for advice and guidance as soon as possible to ensure appropriate steps are taken.
- Provide regular, informal feedback, discuss learning and development, and continue to follow the Performance management cycle, keeping in mind that things could be out of sync for the first year. To know if you can formally assess your employee’s performance, remember that the employee must have worked for at least half the time of the period being assessed.
- For the mid-year review: the employee must have worked three months between April and October.
- For the year-end review: the employee must have worked six months between April and March.
- After a complete year, remember to indicate in the Performance management application that your employee has successfully completed the probationary period, (applicable to employees new to the federal public service).
- Discuss Career and Talent Management with your employee.
- Discuss with your employee their overall impressions of the workplace. Ask questions such as:
- Is the job what you expected?
- Are you getting all the information, tools and support you need to do your job?
- Do you feel included and part of your team?
- Do you feel recognized for your contributions?
- Have you noticed anything on which we can improve?
- Congratulate your employee on their first year in the federal public service and/or at the ATSSC!