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Supervisors and Sponsors


As a supervisor, your role in the onboarding of the USDA’s new employees is a critical one. Onboarding is the process of integrating employees into their new work environment. It starts before their first day, goes beyond the orientation process and follows the employee through their first year of employment.

Effective employee onboarding serves three interrelated purposes. First, it ensures that the employee feels welcome, comfortable, prepared and supported. Second, these feelings increase the new employee’s ability to be productive and successful, both immediately and over time. Finally, this employee success leads to satisfaction and retention, which allows the USDA to continue to fulfill its mission.

Employees arrive at their new jobs excited and engaged. Your job, as their supervisor, is to channel that energy toward success by helping them become embedded in the organization. As a supervisor, your role is to welcome your new employees, introduce them to the culture and values of the USDA, explain what is expected of them, and supervise their employment and experience. We are counting on you to help make their transition and employment as smooth and successful as possible.

The onboarding process begins with your first phone call the week before the employee starts work and continues with you meeting with them on the first day. Each new employee should receive a welcome letter, preferably before their day at work, using this template.

While onboarding is a year-long process, the first 90 days are critical. To facilitate your role, here is a link to the checklist you will need to focus on during your employee’s first 90 days.

It is your responsibility to ensure that each of these items is covered with your new employee. By attending to the items on the checklist, you will create a stronger bond with your employee and ensure a faster path to productivity and inclusion. We also have developed a guide to assist you.

Being an effective supervisor is critically important for the success of new employees. We appreciate your attention and dedication to this crucial process. Please contact your HR specialist with any questions regarding this process.



Thank you for agreeing to be a sponsor. Your role is vitally important for the success of new employees. As a sponsor, you will help new employees through their transition, help them feel welcome, answer their questions and be there when they need help. You are a critical peer link and an essential part of their early employment. We appreciate your service and dedication to this very important process.

This Sponsor Guide will assist you in performing this important responsibility. Please read it carefully. If you have any questions, please contact your Supervisor or HR Specialist.


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