Everyday is bring yourself to work day!
Everyday is bring yourself to work day!
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Creating Employee Moments that Matter from Day One: The Importance of Orientation & Onboarding New Hires
CREATE EMPLOYEE MOMENTS THAT MATTER FROM DAY 1: The Importance of Orientation & Onboarding for New Hires
Orientation and onboarding are familiar terms to anyone who has started a new job. While the terms are often used interchangeably when referring to a new employee’s introduction to your organization, they represent two distinct processes in the journey of a new employee. Orientation is a crucial initial experience, or “moment that matters,” when a new employee is introduced to the organization, its culture and logistics of joining a new team. Onboarding is a comprehensive and ongoing process that extends well beyond initial orientation sessions. Traditionally, new employee orientation is treated as a time for administrative tasks and paperwork. However, in the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, Texas Christian University (TCU) transformed its approach to welcoming and engaging new staff employees.
Since January 2023, TCU HR has been delivering bi-monthly orientation sessions designed to meet the diverse needs of new employees and teams. This followed the introduction of an updated roadmap in November 2022 that aligned hiring dates for all staff with TCU’s payroll calendar along with crafting updated materials for managers and supervisors to ensure they are well-informed, skilled in communication, and committed to fostering an inclusive environment within their respective departments.
The impact was immediate and tangible. Building on this success, a redesigned new staff orientation and onboarding experience was launched to further enhance the support provided to TCU’s newest team members.
TCU’s new staff orientation model has evolved into a dynamic first week focused on culture-building, formulating professional goals, a detailed benefits overview and technology sessions. Week-Two for new employees includes self-directed, asynchronous learning and check-ins from their department teams and leader. Recognizing that it takes an average of 9 months for new employees to master their core duties and responsibilities, HR has introduced a structured approach to onboarding that spans the entire first year. This includes touchpoints and templates for manager 1:1 meetings, current employees serving as Connection Coaches, and follow-up using surveys at 30, 60 and 90 days.
A commitment to employee success extends beyond orientation and onboarding. HR continues to implement innovative programs and processes that leverage technology, digitize paper-based procedures, and amplify positive employee experiences.
While orientation serves as an important initial step in introducing new employees to an organization, it is so important to remember that onboarding is a multifaceted, ongoing process that ensures their long-term success and integration. Beyond paperwork and logistics, onboarding focuses on developing skills, nurturing cultural assimilation, and fostering engagement, ultimately contributing to a more satisfied and productive workforce. TCU recognizes the significance of onboarding and has invested in a more comprehensive onboarding program with a singular goal to retain talent, boost productivity, and create a positive workplace culture for all of our Horned Frogs.


Onboarding new team members into a department’s rhythm takes time and attention. It’s not necessary to have a vacancy to discuss:
  • What gaps exist in how our team works together could we address that prevent us from doing our best work together?
  • What steps do we need to take to build (or strengthen) trust and navigate change within our team?
  • What can we do as a department to create a welcoming environment for new colleagues and guests?


    Uncover onboarding excellence with Dani Saadu! Energize your new hires from day one and become a master of the art. Watch now!
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    New Employee
    Roxana Aguirre
    Senior Admissions Counselor – Access Initiatives

    "As a returning employee to TCU, my first two-week experience was a welcomed relief. Having been through the previous model or employee orientation and orientation models at other institutions, I can clearly see that the current model and timeline have a lot of thought and intentionality behind it. I appreciate being able to acclimate myself at my own pace and process the information that is being delivered. This experience definitely shows that TCU cares about their employee experiences. I would particularly like to thank all of the HR team who made this such a seamless transition." 

    Connection Coach
    Corey Reed
    Director of Web Management

    "For me, personal connections have been the most powerful part of my TCU experience, both as a student and now as an employee. Serving as a Connection Coach is a way to help new Horned Frogs make some personal connections of their own right away. It’s a small way for me to reinvest in what makes the TCU community great."

    Let's make a connection TCU
    Are you a current TCU employee searching for a meaningful way to support new hires during their crucial first 90 days? Well, look no further! As a Connection Coach, you'll have the opportunity to meet new employees within their first week, offer periodic check-ins, and play a vital role in ensuring their smooth transition.
    Ready to get started? Simply fill out the form below!
    Apply Here!
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    Questions? Reach out to us at hrevents@tcu.edu
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