Valencia Forward: The New Employee Onboarding Program

In January, the employment and onboarding office deployed a comprehensive onboarding process for new employees called Valencia Forward. This process is built upon our student principles of Start Right – recognizing that the greatest challenge and opportunity is at the very beginning of the experience and Connection and Direction – knowing that personal connections with college staff and faculty are important to an employee’s success.

Unlike traditional employee orientation programs, which provide one or two sessions that introduce new employees to an organization’s structure, mission, and policies, the concept of onboarding involves a comprehensive approach to help new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to become effective organizational members.

“Studies show that effective onboarding programs reduce employee turnover as well as improve job performance, employee satisfaction and engagement,” said Nichole McPherson, coordinator of onboarding.

Valencia Forward is comprised of pre-boarding, day one activities, and a series of four college-wide sessions, all of which replace the required first day in HR session and the Journey’s Orientation program.  Details about the new onboarding process are described below.

In the first phase of the onboarding process – before the first day – new employees receive their Valencia Identification number (VID), along with a new hire packet that includes the college’s mission, vision and values. They also receive an overview of benefit options specific to the employee’s position at the college.

Day One

On day one, new employees will report directly to their departments (instead of attending a four-hour human resources presentation) to meet with their manager and co-workers as well as participate in a campus tour led by student development. This allows the new employee to spend time developing relationships with colleagues, learn about their role at the college, departmental policies and procedures, and get acquainted with their work space. Day One activities are coordinated by the employee’s supervisor with the assistance of the employment and onboarding office (Please refer to the Valencia Forward brochure for a full Supervisor’s Checklist).

College-Wide Sessions

Valencia Who – Provides an overview of the college’s culture, strategic goals and core competencies as well as reviews and expands on the college’s mission, vision and values.

Valencia In Review – Focuses on the policies, procedures and governance structures that guide the college’s plans and initiatives.

Valencia & Me – Provides new employees with a road map for their professional and personal development with the college. New employees hired for supervisory roles will also receive a specialized supervisory training component.

Valencia Sharing – Celebrates the one year mark (for full-time employees) or four months (for part-time employees) of service to the college and provides information on additional opportunities to get involved and stay connected with the college’s work.

For more information regarding the Valencia Forward onboarding program, contact Nichole McPherson, coordinator of onboarding, at or at extension 8012.


  • Donna Marino said:

    Good work. Having the VID and college benefit information in advance gives time to reflect. I am impressed by the the one year sharing point for discussion and celebration! It's an important milestone.

    AMWed, 06 Feb 2013 08:56:00 +0000Wed, 06 Feb 2013 08:56:00 +0000am13,8:56 am

    • Nichole McPherson said:

      Thank you! We could not have provided VID's in advance without the assistance of our colleagues in the Records department and OIT!

      AMWed, 06 Feb 2013 09:51:48 +0000Wed, 06 Feb 2013 09:51:48 +0000am13,9:51 am

  • David Freeman said:

    As a former training and development designer, I am very pleased to see these changes to the onboarding/orientation program. This new system makes a lot of sense, especially the focus on customizing the experience to the new employee's role, department, and campus.

    AMWed, 06 Feb 2013 09:02:18 +0000Wed, 06 Feb 2013 09:02:18 +0000am13,9:02 am

  • Nichole McPherson said:

    Thank you, David.

    AMWed, 06 Feb 2013 10:04:35 +0000Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:04:35 +0000am13,10:04 am

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