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Training and Development Policy Wiki

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Emerging HR Leaders--Onboarding Community of Practice

Onboarding is, not only, the induction of a new employee into an organization, but is the dynamic process of ensuring new employees have the knowledge, skills, and organizational awareness to become committed, effective members of the agency.  Successful onboarding is crucial to engaging employees from their first day on the job and aiding in employee engagement and retention.  Successful onboarding programs often include a variety of interventions and contacts with new employees beyond their first day, often including things like orientation sessions, new employee surveys, mentoring programs, and participation in cohorts.  The Onboarding CoP will help you access tools, resources, and the network that will help you work with your agency to develop a true onboarding program and move beyond the limits of a single orientation session or Entrance on Duty (EOD) session.




Strategic with an impact on bottom-line results


Evolving and progressive


An ongoing process

An event

Used for transferred and promoted employees, as well as new hires

Is most often limited to new employees

Delivers information that is unique and customized to the individual employee and is generally handed out on an as-needed basis

Delivers information that is common to all new hires usually within a classroom setting

Has a long-term focus, and can last up to a year or more

Is a short term program, typically lasting from one day to two weeks

Source: OPM's Executive Onboarding Wiki Page


Communities of Practice (CoP) are collaborative communities in which people with common interests or goals, inside or across organizations, interact on an ongoing basis to share their knowledge, ideas, solutions, and best practices.


  • Help build and retain institutional memory/knowledge
  • Help you stay connected and share knowledge and ideas with other HR professionals across the federal HR community
  • Help build your network
  • Share documents, templates and other resources
  • Through the process of sharing information and experiences with the group, members learn from each other and have an opportunity to grow and develop
  • Attend virtual and in-person CoP meetings and events on various HR topics related to your particular needs and interests

CoP Capabilities

  • Learning about upcoming events (i.e. Webinars, etc.)
  • Get quarterly newsletters, etc.
  • Access to information, resources, and trending HR topics
  • By signing up to be a member of the community, it enables members to get to know each other and engage in knowledge sharing
  • Post to and/or read discussion boards and blogs
  • Access training and career development opportunities

Agency Best Practices and Resources

Agency Challenges

Many agencies have multiple field offices and components which presents difficulty with having uniform onboarding and/or new hire orientation sessions.

Buy-in and support from management can often be difficult when developing onboarding programs that will have new hires away from the office for a full day, or more.

The frequency and consistency of onboarding sessions is often difficult to plan when many agencies may have greatly varying numbers of new hires throughout the year (i.e. two new hires one month and 30 the next month).

Trending & Emerging Topics

Unlock Talent provides leaders with employee engagement and satisfaction trends

HR University’s free online course on “Recruiting Boot Camp Module 6: Onboarding.”

Positive Trend Lines in Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction

Calendar of Events

A virtual calendar will be displayed with upcoming events (webinars, training, etc.) that relate to onboarding and is open to all Federal employees.

Discussion Board

Questions and comments by the audience will appear here.


Open forum for audience comments, questions, sharing of information, links, etc.

Useful Links and Resources

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

OPM’s HCAAF Guidance: Retention,

OPM’s End-to-End Hiring Initiative 

OPM’s REDI Roadmap 

OPM’s HR University (There is registration and login required to access the links below)

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

OPM 2015 Virtual HR Training Conference, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Workforce Planning Community of Practice, How to Create Your Own Community of Practice

Social Security Administration (SSA)

What’s My Role? A Step-by-Step Hiring Guide for Federal Managers

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