Your process for onboarding and training new hires should be the same whether or not an employee has a disability. While your approach to welcoming your new workers and getting them up to speed will be unique to your company’s culture and the specific job requirements, we’ve put together a list of 21 helpful tips that can work for any organization:

Onboarding New Hires

  • Introduce yourself and make the person feel welcome
  • Introduce new employees to other coworkers
  • Help the person learn about the culture of the workplace
  • Stress the importance of performance, safety and quality
  • Provide pointers about informal rules such as breaks, dress code and any rules about keeping food and drink out of the work area
  • Introduce specific work terminology
  • Check to make sure the person understands; ask them to repeat instructions
  • Show the person where things are located and review policies and procedures
  • Invite the person to join you and others for breaks and lunch


Training New Employees

  • Make sure job tasks are clear and specific
  • Provide gradual introduction into the work, with support
  • Create written or pictorial instructions. Use diagrams.
  • Employ a structured work pattern that enables the team member to complete one task before starting another
  • Make sure they’re clear on who their manager is, and that an informed supervisor or mentor is available to give advice
  • Create checklists and timetables for work tasks/assignments
  • Provide close supervision initially
  • Provide explicit rules of behavior and advice about any unwritten rules in the workplace
  • Strive for consistency
  • Help employees discriminate between good-natured teasing and when someone is angry or upset
  • Set clear expectations for jobs or routines
  • Ask the person what you can do to help them—give constructive criticism and feedback privately and concretely

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