WU Onboarding Program
Relaunch of the WU Onboarding Program for new employees
Onboarding refers to the starting and integration phase for new employees in an organization. Until now, there were two programs aimed specifically at recently hired employees: The half-day “Welcome to WU” event and the Trainee Program (amounting to a total of 7 days). Because of the lengthy duration of the Trainee Program, not all new WU employees were able to attend (prerequisites were that the employee’s salary be paid from the global budget, that he or she be employed for at least 1.5 years, and an extent of employment of at least 50%).
These restrictions, in addition to the Personnel Development and Planning Office’s responsibility to make a significant contribution to WU’s austerity efforts (WU’s reaction to reduced public funding and the resulting long-term budgetary considerations), led us to completely overhaul and relaunch the WU onboarding program. Effective immediately, the Trainee Program, which had proven to be expensive and time-consuming and did not reach all new employees, is being replaced by the new, more streamlined, more flexible Onboarding Program aimed at all new employees.
Four building blocks to get off to a good start at WU
The first building block, offered in cooperation with the Personnel Office, is increased support for decentralized
1. Onboarding measures in new employees’ individual workplaces
In addition to this increased support, WU’s new Onboarding Program consists of the following three components, out of which new employees are free to mix and match their choice of any or all of the program components:
2. Welcome2WU (with the Vice-Rector for Human Resources)
3. Strategy Day (with the Rector and the Vive-Rectors for Research and Academic Programs & Student Affairs, followed by a social event)
4. Workshops selected from the WU in-house training program
1. The onboarding process occurs for the most part within the new employee’s institute or organizational unit. The main aspects of the process are getting to know the new working environment, supervisors, and co-workers, and learning about the job. New employees also need to learn about the organizational culture at WU and in their individual unit, to be able to start doing their job as efficiently as possible. The new employee’s supervisor plays a central role during this phase; the Personnel Office has a helpful information package with guidelines and a checklist to support supervisors in this particular responsibility (see: swa.wu.ac.at ) We also plan to continuously keep developing new support tools for management staff and employees. Should you have any needs or questions, please feel free to contact your Personnel Office representative or the Personnel Development and Planning Office at any time. If necessary, they can work with you to develop specific, individual support.
2. Shortly after starting work, the Rector’s Council sends out an invitation to the new Onboarding Program to all new employees. Usually, the very well-received “Welcome2WU” event is the starting point for all onboarding activities. At this event, the Vice-Rector for Human Resources provides a first introduction to WU as an employer, and gives a brief overview of the services and in-house training opportunities available. After a guided architectural tour of the campus, participants have the chance to get to know other new colleagues from other units and institutes at an informal luncheon.
Please use the following link to register for the Welcome2WU event on December 05, 2017 >>
3. The Strategy Day, followed by an on-campus social event, is one of the most important features of the Onboarding Program. This event gives new employees the opportunity to learn about the entire organization and its goals and strategies directly from the Rector herself. In the afternoon, academic staff members meet with the Vice-Rector for Academic Programs and Student Affairs and representatives of the Vice-Rector for Research’s office to talk about the core areas teaching and research, while members of the administrative staff attend a workshop on university management to find out more about working conditions, special organizational aspects, and some of the typical challenges involved in working for a university. The Strategy Day concludes with a social event including a champagne reception and dinner, allowing new employees to get to know each other and start building their own professional network at WU in a relaxed setting. The next Strategy Day is scheduled for September 12, 2017.
Please use the following link to register for the next WU Strategy Day on September 12, 2017. >>
Please also register using this link if you plan to join us for the evening event. >>
4. The fourth building block of the WU Onboarding Program is dedicated to learning and improving the core skills required for performing each individual’s job. For academic staff, this means teaching and research skills, for administrative staff the focus is more on communication and self-management skills. English skills are a priority for both groups, in line with WU’s internationalization strategy and its goal to become a bilingual university. To better be able to pick up each new employee where they stand in terms of previous knowledge and individual skill levels, the WU in-house training program is being reworked to include workshops aimed at a wide variety of skill levels, from basic to advanced. In the future we plan to provide new employees with recommendations for workshops, based on their field of work and previous experience. This additional service will be available after the launch of the next in-house training program in the 2017 summer semester, and will be communicated by email and on our website.
Together with the Rector’s Council we are looking forward to welcoming new employees to WU with our new Onboarding Program and to helping both new employees and their supervisors get off to the best possible start.