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Supervisor Resources

Hiring Information for Supervisors

Effective February 1, 2022, American University has transitioned to a new Position Authorization process.

Requests must be submitted for the following positions:

  • Full-time staff positions (internally funded)
  • Stipends for faculty and staff (internally funded)

These positions are excluded from Position Authorization and will continue through the typical HR process:

  • Full-time faculty positions (tenure, tenure-track, and term)
  • Externally-funded positions and stipends (e.g. grants)
  • Adjunct faculty positions
  • Part-time hourly staff positions
  • Student positions

To submit a request, please go to the Position Authorization system. If you need access to system or have any questions about the process, please reach out to your assigned Budget Officer.

Supervisor Resources for a New Hire's Arrival

Congratulations on a new hire joining your team!

It’s important to get them off to a good start. At AU, onboarding is not limited to orientation. We’ve built in more activities, training, and events for staff to connect with others and continue to learn about the university. When onboarding is done well, staff feel welcomed, are more dedicated, and feel good about working on behalf of the institution.

After you’ve taken care of the logistics, you want to concentrate on helping new staff feel welcome. Structure your onboarding in a way that reinforces their decision to join AU, focusing on support and building rapport with the team. Typically, the first few days are less about the work and more about making important connections - getting to know their supervisor, their work environment, and their colleagues.

To help you stay on track, you will receive emails from the Office of Human Resources about AU’s onboarding program throughout the staff member’s first year. The series provides you with resources that help you set the stage for success through the probationary period, support the new hire to network and build connections, and encourage their development. Watch the video for managers of new hires for best practices and great ideas.

Supervisors are key to employee experience as they affect job satisfaction, commitment, turnover, and performance. The information below provides actions for supervisors to set a new hire up for success during milestones in their onboarding experience.

If you haven’t already done so:

  • Watch Onboarding Staff: A Supervisor’s Role, an overview of the onboarding process for supervisors.
  • Submit the e-action right away if you have not already.
  • Request technology, building access, and workspace needs, or plan on how to get them the equipment and supplies they’ll need if they are working remotely.
  • Send a personal welcome email prior to their start.
  • Prepare a training schedule for their role – i.e., determine what systems they will need to learn, what documents or resources need to be reviewed, what are critical times of the year for them.
  • If they are attending New Hire Orientation and New Staff Technology Orientation on their first day, let them know when and how to check-in after their sessions.
  • Send the department an announcement that the new hire has started.
  • Introduce the team in-person or virtually so the new hire can put faces with names.
  • Tour the campus and work area(s) where this person will work. If you’re on campus, you can assign a colleague to give them a tour that includes important locations such as bathrooms, kitchen, copiers and printers, supplies, and where to find teammates. It’s a great way to make an early connection.
  • Express how you prefer to connect – i.e., email, Teams, text.
  • Provide an overview of your departmental culture, as well as AU’s culture.
  • Review their job description and discuss responsibilities and expectations.
  • Discuss office protocols
    • Dress expectations – i.e., departmental expectations, uniform protocols.
    • Work schedule – i.e., what time to arrive or log on, breaks, shifts, coverage needs, hybrid work details.
  • Absences – who to notify, how and when.
    • Timesheets and leave reporting – i.e., how to submit your timesheet (bi-weekly staff), leave reports (monthly staff), the system, deadlines, overtime rules, proper completion. 
  • Assign meaningful work with quick, achievable milestones.
  • Confirm that they have completed Part 2 of the I-9 form within 3 days of their start date. This is a federal requirement and a condition of their employment. They will need to show their original, unexpired acceptable documents to the certifier. They will need to schedule an appointment with your department’s I-9 representative, or HR staff.
  • Confirm that they have signed up for an appointment to acquire their AU One Card.
  • Confirm they have completed the Hybrid Work Agreement, if applicable for their role. 
  • Show them AU’s strategic plan, Changemakers in a Changing World.
  • Review organization chart and pertinent departments on campus – i.e., other departments’ roles, how your department integrates with the rest of AU.
  • Provide an overview of general operating procedures.
  • Appoint an experienced staff member to help them understand what it takes to be successful in their role and arrange one-on-one meetings with other team members.
  • Plan a team lunch or remote event for the new hire’s first week where the team can converse casually and begin connections.
  • Discuss the performance management process, including performance goals and expectations.
  • Ensure new hire can access the AsuccessfulU system for their online training modules.
  • Review training and schedule:
    • Required and recommended training for department and position.
    • Safety training, policies, and codes of safe practice.
    • Required training for all new AU staff. Staff can find these trainings on the Learning section of their AsuccessfulU profile.

At the end of their first week, check-in about their first week and answer any questions they may have.

The Office of Human Resources will send emails throughout the new hire's first year, providing supervisors with resources and deadline reminders for a successful onboarding experience. 

  • Congratulations on your new hire and initial actions to set them up for success.
  • Professional development and required training for new hires
  • Managing the probation period
  • Giving effective feedback
  • Providing recognition and appreciation
  • Connecting new hires with the AU Community
  • Building trust as a supervisor
  • Coaching staff for career development
  • Celebrating a new hire’s one-year anniversary


When staff understand their roles and how their contributions affect the success of American University,

  • they begin to contribute → which helps them feel valued, and
  • they make connections → which helps them get their work done and feel a part of the community

New hires who get up to speed quickly start being productive without floundering or frequent mistakes. They feel confident that their colleagues will help with questions they have, which can take some of the weight off supervisors. A positive experience also helps them feel an affinity for AU, helping you retain good employees.

Employee Relations

American University follows a progressive disciplinary policy. Understanding and accepting this policy is implied in accepting employment.

Supervisors are required to take disciplinary action when established procedures are not followed, or when rules of conduct are ignored to the disadvantage of a working unit or the University. These guidelines have been set up to prevent misunderstandings when such occasions arise. It is the University's intention to be fair and uniform in the handling of these matters. However, these procedures should not be interpreted as constituting an employment contract.

Disciplinary action can take one of four forms: oral warning, written warning, suspension, or dismissal. The degree of disciplinary action is based on the nature of the offense. For more information on the disciplinary policy as well as examples of infractions that may result in discipline up to and including termination, please visit the Staff Personnel Policies Manual.

American University is committed to providing all staff with the opportunity to improve their performance in order to continue successful employment at the University. In the event a staff member fails to consistently demonstrate the core competencies established for all staff, or fails to meet performance expectations, or demonstrate the skills and functions required by their position, a manager may elect to place that individual on a performance improvement plan (PIP).

The PIP is a short term plan that determines clear milestones for improvement of work performance within a specified period of time –usually four to eight weeks. PIPs may be implemented independently or, if necessary, in conjunction with disciplinary action. Communication of a PIP may replace any warning step under the disciplinary policy. Failure to meet the milestones established by the PIP and maintain acceptable performance will result in termination of employment.

Managers with questions regarding PIPs or seeking guidance in the design and implementation of such a plan should contact Employee Relations at extension 2607.

Clear and open channels for the expression of employee complaints are basic principles of sound employee relations. Because employees do on occasion differ with supervisors on important questions, American University has provided subordinates with a mechanism for appealing the action or decision of a superior to a higher level within the organization without fear of retaliation.

Each staff member is responsible for using this procedure in a timely manner whenever there are unanswered questions or problems which adversely affect any aspect of the employment relationship (except for complaints involving discrimination or harassment which are covered by the Discrimination and Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy and Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy). For more information on the complaint procedure, please visit the Staff Personnel Policies Manual. Employee Relations is also available for consultation and advice about how to resolve problems or file a complaint.