Your First Month
As you start your new position, there may be a number of tasks you'll need to do, some relate to completing your hire paperwork (including Benefits), some tasks related to your work environment and culture, others regarding the automation and information systems, training and anything else you may need to get started in your new role.
Complete New Hire Paperwork
Within your first month of employment you will need to complete all new hire paperwork. This includes reviewing and signing policies, submitting necessary verifications, and electing benefits.
In your first few days you will receive a Welcome and Benefits Instruction Letter. Every new employee should review the Welcome and Benefits information letter.
Eligible employees must select their benefit package within 14 days of hire.
If you need additional information to make your decision; the Benefits site contains comprehensive information and tools for your review.
Other County Benefit Programs
The County wants to recruit and retain top talent and be an employer of choice. In order to achieve this status the County offers comprehensive benefits, services and programs to eligible employees, retirees, and their dependents. To find out about all the Benefit Programs the County offers, visit the Benefits page or click on the respective benefit hyperlink below.
During your first month you will learn a great deal about the systems and technology used to do your work. In your first month you will likely obtain an overview of software and other technology used, and/or be directed to the appropriate e-resources, websites, and User Guide/Reference Material (phone/voicemail, computer, email, intranet and internet, computer network (shared files and/or drives), etc.),
You should also become familiar with how to use common equipment such as the copier, scanner, and any other equipment and tools relevant to your work.
Clarify roles, resources, responsibilities, and relationships
You are encouraged to ask questions to clarify aspects of your new job that will help you understand the logistics regarding roles, responsibilities, and relationships in your position. Getting key information early will also help you feel more comfortable and equipped to make meaningful contributions right away. You may ask your supervisor or manager, a co-worker, your team lead, a department administrator, your assigned “Buddy”, or anyone else in the department some of the following questions:
- Where can I find a current job description for my position?
- What does a typical day look like for an employee in my position?
- How does the work I do relate to the work of others in my unit, division, and/or department?
- Where are the organizational policies I should review to make myself more informed?
- What training is required for my new position? Is there preferred timing as to when I need to complete the training? Once I complete required training, what other training would be helpful to me?
- Where can I find information on the emergency procedures?
- What is my extension? How do I set my phone commands?
- Where can I access information on how to effectively use the County’s email system?
- How will I learn what unit, division, department and county goals are?
- Where can I learn about the other units and division within our department, as well as the other departments within the County? Where can I find a current Organizational Chart?
- What are the important names and numbers I may need to know/contact during my first day(s) weeks if I have questions or need assistance?
If you are hired into a supervisory or managerial position:
- Who are my staff?
- What are their schedules?
- What are their major areas of responsibility?
- Where are they located?
- What information/data can I expect on a regular basis from my staff and/or from other members of leadership to help me effectively do my job?
- What operational responsibilities do I need to address for myself and/or my staff in my first day(s)/ week(s)? (E.g. timecards, schedule/coverage, etc.)
Understand your work and its relationship to those around you
As you gain familiarity with your new department or work group as well as your new position, the logistical questions will fade away and most likely will be replaced with more strategic questions. The questions below could be useful to ask your supervisor or manager, or a buddy or other co-worker in your group:
Organization culture and procedures
- What are the work group or departmental procedures and practices I need to know? For example:
- If I am the first to arrive in the office, are there operational or procedural things I should do?
- How do I request time off?
- How do I order supplies?
- Where is the department email list or directory?
- When are unit, division, and/or department celebrations, staff and departmental meetings?
- How is most information disseminated?
- Are there expectations and/or goals that are associated with my positions?
- What are the primary goals and priorities for my position, our unit, division and department?
- How and when will my performance be reviewed? What is the performance review process?
Automation and Information Systems and their Resources
- What systems do I need access to?
- What training do I need to access these systems?
- What are my log-ons?
- Who do I contact if I need assistance with any of the systems and/or my access?
- How does your supervisor or manager operate and communicate? For example:
- How should I follow up with you or keep you informed of my progress?
- When I need to ask for direction, do you prefer an email or talking in person?
- Do you have an open-door policy?
- When is supervisor's or manager's decision or approval needed and when can individual/ independent decisions be made.
Explore Ways to Connect with Colleagues
An important part of a new employee’s success is being connected to colleagues
Employees can get connected with Yammer! Yammer is an enterprise social network for San Mateo County employees designed to increase communication, collaboration and transparency across the organization. Yammer is an excellent place for staff to connect and share knowledge, best practices and innovative ideas! Join the SMCGOV.ORG Yammer Network by logging in to https://www.yammer.com/smcgov.org with your County email address.
The New Employee Buddy Program
The San Mateo County Onboarding Program includes a Buddy for new employees. The Buddy Program is intended to enrich the work experience for new employees by introducing the employee to the County culture and work environment. The Buddy program will enable new employees to acquainted faster, as well as increase efficiency and effectiveness, create a sense of belonging, and provide a colleague and confident for new staff.
New Employee Welcome
Within your first three months you will be invited to attend the County's New Employee Welcome (NEW) program. NEW is an opportunity for new employees to meet various County leaders to learn about the County's mission, goals, and services.