Chapter 6

Employee Orientation




The employing unit supervisor and/or designee has the responsibility for orienting unclassified staff to duties, job performance expectations, work unit structure and functions, department work rules, and reasonable accommodation requests. Employees new to the university and state service should receive an explanation of their rights and benefits under the Academic Staff Policies and Procedures.


The employing unit may choose to have group orientations or individual orientation. If the employing unit wishes to plan group orientation sessions, assistance may be obtained by contacting the Office of Human Resource Development at 263-1016.

If the employing unit prefers to have the supervisor conduct a personal orientation session with each new unclassified staff member, the following suggestions may be useful.

Benefits Briefing — Provide the employee with a New Employee Benefits Packet, or provide the link to the on-line packet.  The on-line packet contains links to essential forms, brochures and fillable applications for benefit plans.

Encourage new employees to attend Benefits 101 for an overview of available benefit plans, enrollment deadlines and coverage effective dates. Employees should attend within 30 days of hire.  Information is available at:
The employing supervisor may describe benefits including health, dental, vision, life and income continuation insurance plans. The briefing should also include Worker’s Compensation and Unemployment insurance.  The benefits summary may be used as a guide.
Benefit questions can be addressed to or 608-262-5650.


Employee Assistance — Explain services available to employees and their immediate family members in case of personal or work-related problems. For specific concerns, contact the Employee Assistance Office 263-2987.

Employee Handbook — The new employee is issued a UW-Madison Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (, which covers a wide range of topics related to the University and employment in the civil service. The Handbook (available from the Office of the Secretary of the Academic Staff, 263-2985) may be used in orientation sessions by references to its contents.

Employee Orientation — Inform the new employee about the campus-wide Employee Orientation and encourage them to attend (

Equity and Diversity—Cover UW-Madison practices and rules to comply with equal employment laws and regulations. For questions about the ADA, contact the Office of Equity and Diversity, 263-2378.

ID Cards — Unclassified staff members are eligible for, and should obtain, a photo identification service card from the Photo Identification Office (B109 Union South). Employees will be asked to present some form of identification such as driver’s license. Lost or stolen ID cards will be replaced by the Photo ID office for a fee.

Initial Sign-up—Paperwork necessary to enroll new employee is completed, such as tax withholding, insurance, security clearance, photo identification card, parking permit, etc.

Jury & Military Leave — Explain the policy on leave and pay for jury duty, and leave for short-term service in the armed forces, such as National Guard or Reserves.

Outside Employment — Apprise new unclassified staff of rules on employment outside the University that could cause a conflict of interest.

Parking — Advice on where to park, reserved spaces and permits shall be provided to new employees.

Performance Evaluation—Summarize the system used to evaluate workers, periods covered, and criteria. Explain who will do the evaluation, employee participation by self-evaluation, and the sign-off or appeal process.

Position Description — A detailed description of the position and an organization chart is provided, both in written form and a verbal explanation of goals and worker activities is expected.

Requests for Time Off for Professional Development — The policy for requesting time off for professional development should be discussed with new employees.

Safety Briefing — If appropriate, provide careful coverage of rules, procedures and concerns for general safety and any special problems connected with work, such as hazardous materials, dangerous machines or substances, dust, humidity or noise. Explain procedures to be followed in case of fire, including the location of exits and extinguishers, as well as the duration and sound of alarms. In work places where safety is a unique concern, this briefing should come early in the orientation period.

Safety Equipment — Protective apparel or equipment, such as glasses, safety shoes, coats, gloves, and so one, is issued with instruction on use and care.

Sick Leave — Explain procedures for reporting absences dues to personal illness, death or illness in the family, emergency involving a dependent child during working hours, policy on pregnancy leave, and emergency leave for death or serious illness in family. The UW-System Unclassified Personnel Guideline (UPG) Chapter 10 ( outlines the sick leave benefits for unclassified staff.

Telephones — Explain your unit’s telephone system and provide an inter-office and/or campus directory, as necessary. Explain the policy on personal and long-distance calls.

Training — Explain on-the-job training and/or career-related training.

Vacation/Holiday — Explain the UW-Madison policy on unclassified leave; eligibility and amount and accrual of vacation time, personal holidays, and legal holidays observed by State employees. The UW-System Unclassified Personnel Guideline (UPG) Chapter 9 ( outlines the vacation benefits for unclassified staff.

Work-Group Observation — Introduce the newcomer to fellow employees with whom he or she will work closely; employee may spend time observing what they do. Other workers should explain their jobs and answer questions.