UC Merced’s newest employees experienced a different introduction to the campus when Human Resources launched its new experiential and participatory orientation program in June.
As previously reported, New Employee Orientation (NEO) was overhauled by HR’s talent development team into a three-stage program that includes an introductory e-book and video, a half-day hands-on interactive session and Build Your Network, an optional ongoing networking program.
The mission of NEO is to promote a culture of inquiry, discovery and learning with the purpose of engaging and retaining exceptional staff members. Talent Development Manager Rachael Martin said the new NEO redefines expectations for employee engagement in the workplace.
“This is a dramatic shift in focus from how we’ve traditionally welcomed new employees,” Martin said. “Instead of asking what new hires can do for us, we’re helping them to identify their individual strengths so they can align their best selves and the work they do here with the campus vision.”
Each employee receives access to an e-book and video when completing his or her new-hire process. The video introduces employees to the experience of working at a world-class research institution, while the e-book offers critical, time-sensitive information and deadlines that apply to them. The hands-on, interactive sessions are mandatory for new employees, and their direct supervisors are invited to participate as well.
The first Build Your Network (BYN) session took place in mid-June. The monthly two-hour thematic sessions are optional and available for new employees during their first six months on the job. This value-added program focuses on engaging staff throughout the organization by expanding networking and learning opportunities for new employees. Each month, a group of trained staff ambassadors will facilitate discussions along specific themes.
“Imagine, if you could, having a network of individuals to support your success early on, to help you learn from the experiences of others so you can quickly become an active, engaged member of the UC Merced community,” Martin said. “That’s what BYN is all about.”
For information on the program, email Martin.