What Is an Orientation Checklist, and How Do You Write One?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 2, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The goal of orientation is to help new hires adjust to the work environment and engage with the company's culture. Orientation checklists organize employees' first days and ensure a strong start for new hires.

In this article, we'll discuss the definition of these checklists, help you write one, and give you important tips for successful orientation days.

Related: How To Create a New Employee Orientation Program in 8 Steps

What are orientation checklists?

Orientation checklists help you organize orientation days for new hires. You might have a jam-packed orientation with lots of ground to cover. Checklists help you stay organized and ensure employees' first days run smoothly.

In addition, a successful employee orientation encourages new hires to establish professional friendships. By creating a checklist, you remember every detail of new hire orientations.

How to create a checklist

Here is a guide to help you create an orientation checklist:

1. Consider introduction details

Step one is to introduce new hires to the company. Give them a heads-up before you start formal introductions. You may find it helpful to inform new hires when they can expect introductions.

Introductions help humanize your company and make recruits feel welcome and excited to form new professional relationships. Consider introducing new hires while offering them a tour of the organization.

2. Provide all relevant paperwork

Remember to share all paperwork in your orientation package. This paperwork includes relevant information about the job position and what they can expect on their first day. You might also include various legal and tax forms when compiling orientation paperwork.

Related: A Guide to the Most Common Forms for New Employees

3. Elaborate upon compensation and benefits

It's normal for employees to wonder about vacation time, health benefits, and compensation. Clearly document all payment and benefits information and share them with employees on day one.

When discussing salary and benefits, show them any processes required. For example, show new hires how to request time off from work.

4. Additional information

If you have any other unique information new employees should know about their new position, include it in your paperwork. Consider any HR requirements and employee training.

If new hires need ID cards and uniforms, arrange to have this equipment for their orientation day.

Tips to ensure a successful employee orientation

Here are some tips to ensure your employee orientation is successful:

Communicate with the employee regularly before orientation

Effective new hire orientations begin before orientation day. You may find it helpful to send employees a welcome email before and during the onboarding process. Consider sending them useful resources, login information for their company email, and organizational charts.

Related: How To Become an Effective Communicator

Encourage questions

Employees typically have questions during their orientation. These questions surround work hours, paid vacations, dress code, and other company policies. By encouraging new hires to ask questions, you introduce them to a positive company culture and establish a strong professional relationship.

Develop an employee handbook

You may find it helpful to create a handbook that details your orientation schedule, as well as general resources for the new employee's tenure.

Remember to also include policy information and the location of important documents.

Share company history

Share your company history with new hires and describe company goals. This shows new hires how the company began and how upper management plans to grow the organization. Have fun with this part, and try to engage your recruits with thoughtful graphics and enticing storytelling.

Complete paperwork during orientation

Collaborate with the HR department to determine which paperwork new hires to sign. Of course, you could email them and have them fill out forms later. However, sorting all the paperwork during orientation is another checked box down the list.

Additionally, new hires can ask questions about compensation and benefits while you're around rather than wonder as they review everything alone.

Establish employee goals and expectations

Share company expectations regarding workload, deliverables, quality, and conduct. This ensures employees understand what the organization expects of them. You might also add a note inviting employees to share their expectations and career goals.

Related: How To Achieve Your Goals in 6 Steps (With Benefits)

Encourage optimism

New hires might feel nervous on their first day. But, that's the leadership team's cue to channel positive energy and genuinely engage with employees.

You may find it helpful to pair new hires with other staff members or with coworkers to establish strong professional relationships and collaboration. Consider organizing lunch for new employees to meet the rest of their department.

Accomplish small tasks

Set small goals and tasks during orientation to help new hires experience small wins. Anything too tedious might overwhelm them. Describe each task on your checklist for each employee if necessary.

Of course, monotonous tasks won't engage new hires on orientation day. To spice things up, position tasks and quizzes around team-building games. Keep training videos short, and maintain your schedule instead of lingering too long on individual events.

Related: How To Prioritize Work Tasks

Introduce employees to managers

A new employee should know exactly who they report to. On top of that, introduce them to the entire management team and higher executives if applicable. This begins the working relationship between new hires and supervisors and mitigates any initial feelings of intimidation.

Background checks

If your company requires background checks, try to complete them before orientation day. This ensures overall comfort during orientation and prevents unsettling conversations. Relevant information for background checks includes previous addresses, legal names, and dates of birth.

Related: What Is a Background Check?

General checklist example for employee orientation

Here is a general checklist for employee orientation:

Introduction to company

  • describe company culture

  • provide organizational overview

  • elaborate upon company mission

  • show employee corporate videos


  • obtain tax information from new employees

  • provide employee with employment contract to sign

  • explain benefits package

Benefits and compensation

  • discuss health, life, and disability insurance

  • discuss retirement benefits

  • determine whether employee has dependent and could benefit from potential dependent care benefits

  • explain salary procedures

  • describe potential commissions, incentives, and bonuses

Administrative procedures

  • show employee their workstation

  • provide employee with computer login information

  • give employee key cards and access keys

  • provide business cards

  • provide list of telephone numbers

Review key policies

  • describe organization's anti-harassment policy

  • discuss company's vacation and sick leave

  • discuss overtime policies

  • describe dress code

  • elaborate upon employee safety policies

Introduction and tours

  • introduce employee to staff members, their coworkers, and department heads

  • provide a tour of the organization

Detailed checklist example for employee orientation

Here is an example of a checklist:

Date: October 1, 2020

Orientation checklist

Administrative support

  • *Help HR with onboarding process: Determine which employees need additional training and which employees need.*

  • *Paperwork: Help new hires complete paperwork like the benefits package and employment contract. You may find it beneficial to explain company processes and procedures.*

  • *Procedures: Inform employees on how to enter the main building, how to place orders, and how to request additional workloads or vacation days.*

  • *New hire support: Arrange any staff photos and provide new hires with uniforms and ID cards.*

Company policies

  • *Legal forms: Ask employees to sign non-disclosure, non-compete, confidentiality, and employee invitation agreements.*

  • *Resources: Discuss employee benefits like health and life insurance, cellphone bill reimbursement, gas reimbursement, training programs, and employee wellness programs.*

  • *Additional: Discuss paid time off, remote work, safety regulations, and data security.*

Office tours

  • *Office tours: Show new hires any areas where they can expect to work and show new hires the work stations for various departments.*

  • *Introduction: Introduce new hires to staff members during the tour.*

  • *Meetings: Schedule meetings with new hires and company staff to introduce new hires to the company. Show new hires the meeting rooms.*

Office and workstation

  • *Equipment: Show new hires how to use important equipment like telephones, printers, fax machines, and kitchen appliances.*

  • *Computer setup: Contact an IT member to help new hires with computer setups.*

  • *Security: Schedule a meeting between the IT department and new hires to provide an overview of security guidelines.*

  • *Stationary: Show new hires where to find important office supplies like pens, notebooks, and post-it notes.*

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