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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Onboarding Program at CVM

by Shannon Bradbury, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

On October 4, 2010, CVM’s Office of Management (OM) started an onboarding program for new employees. The program, part of the center-wide Workforce Initiative, is a way to welcome newcomers to CVM and make them feel valued. Unlike the traditional one-day orientation, the onboarding program continues for a year. The program helps employees prepare for their new work roles and settle into their new work environments.

OM designed the onboarding program with input from current employees throughout the center. The program’s three major parts are based on the best practices of industry and government leaders:

  • Welcome Packet –Mailed before the employee’s first day, the welcome packet introduces the newcomer to the center’s history, values, and internal structure.
  • New Employee Integration Program – This 90-day program pairs the newcomer with a more tenured CVM employee, called the “Integration Host,” within the same office. The “host” employee shares information not in the welcome packet and helps the new employee build relationships.
  • New Employee Onboarding website – A resource for both new and tenured CVM employees.

The goal of CVM’s onboarding program is for new employees to feel comfortable and well-adjusted in their new positions sooner than before. Positive feelings in the workplace increase employee engagement, retention, productivity, and motivation. A win-win for employees and CVM!