Manager’s guide

As a manager or supervisor, this guide helps you understand your role and the role of the Human Resources/WDRS in orientating your new hire. The goal is a smooth and successful orientation experience for your new hire, which benefits you, your organization and the laboratory at large.

The orientation process is a comprehensive process in which supervisors and managers supplement learning beyond the initial formal HR/ESH&Q orientation session.

The formal Human Resources orientation combines completion of important required FermiWorks on-boarding steps with an enhanced orientation to FRA benefits and policies. The morning orientation session is presented by the Benefits and Employment departments of WDRS and consists of a Welcome to Fermilab video, antiharassment training, overview of benefit and retirement plans, overview of computing policy benefits, and I-9, E-Verify document review. The afternoon Laboratory Safety orientation session is presented by ESH&Q and consists of training in ergonomics, material safety data sheets (MSDS), lockout tag-out procedures (LOTO), personal protective equipment (PPE), general employee radiation training (GERT).

HR/ESH&Q orientation schedule

Manager/supervisor best practices

The formal orientation session is the beginning, but the bulk of new-hire orientation is conducted by you within your department and continues through at least the first month on the job. To help your new hire feel prepared, informed and work-ready as possible, consider these manager best practices to department orientation:

  1. Let your organization know your new employee is coming on board with an email (See Manager Tools section for email template)
  2. Attend new-hire orientation to welcome your new employee
  3. Assign an office buddy. New employee’s orientation is greatly enhanced by assigning an office buddy, a fellow employee (other than the manager) who provides advice and guidance on the different aspects of working at Fermilab. A buddy is also a sounding board who offers encouragement as the new employee acclimates to Fermilab’s culture and workplace.

Manager/supervisor tools

Office buddy selection criteria and process

The successful buddy is an employee who fully understands the laboratory’s culture and environment (has been at the laboratory for at least one year) and wants to be a buddy.

Additional criteria include:

  • Time to be accessible and available to the employee.
  • Familiarity with employee’s role and work unit.
  • Solid performer.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Exemplification of the laboratory’s values.
  • Has demonstrated patience and empathy.
  • Well regarded and trusted by others.

Individuals can volunteer to be considered as a buddy or recommended by others. HR partners and/or the hiring manager can make the final choice based on the selection criteria.

Buddy responsibilities

  • In assisting a new employee acclimating to Fermilab a buddy serves as a valuable resource by creating a trusting relationship.
  • Responsibilities include:
    • Providing information on policies and procedures.
    • Identifying resources in the workplace.
    • Familiarizing the employee to Fermilab’s culture, norms, and unwritten guidelines.
    • Introducing the employee to others in the unit and throughout Fermilab.
    • Taking the employee on an expanded tour of the workplace and campus.
    • Answering questions and referring the employee to the appropriate resources.


What if my employee can’t attend orientation on their scheduled day?
Orientations are held on a biweekly basis with the exception of May, June and July, when they are held on a weekly basis. It may be necessary for your employee to have a later start date and attend the next orientation period.

My new hire is a former benefits-eligible regular or term employee. Should he attend?
Yes. It is imperative that all benefits-eligible employees attend orientation for updated benefit plan and ESH&Q laboratory safety information.

My new hire is a contractor or on-call. Should she attend?
Nonbenefits-eligible personnel (contractors and on-calls) can enroll in and complete the online HR morning orientation session, provided that they have made an appointment on their start date with their HR recruiter to process all I-9/E-Verify documentation. All personnel must attend the afternoon ESH&Q laboratory safety orientation.

How long does orientation last?
It depends on the volume and complexity of questions. In general you should expect your employee to be in orientation for the entire day, 4:00 p.m. at the latest.

Can I visit my new hire during orientation breaks?
Hiring managers are strongly encouraged to join your employee in the employment department (WH15E) prior to orientation (at approximately 8:15 a.m.) for a brief meet and greet session. This is also an excellent opportunity to provide directions to the work area and a first work day agenda.