Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Onboarding Training Schedule Example

Actions to take: Follow the advice from Onboarding New Employees Part 1 and Part 2. Use the sample schedule below to get a sense for how yours might look.

To supplement our posts about onboarding new employees, I am providing a sample onboarding schedule for a new employee. The sample below is a real schedule that I planned at one of my positions as a branch manager for a library (with minor tweaks). My hope is that seeing a real schedule will give you a concrete sense for how you might do this with your new employees.

A few notes:

  • Remember, the manager does not make these alone. We work with our existing team to 1) come up with the most important things to cover in the first week, and 2) decide who should do which trainings.
  • The schedule is addressed to the new employee. Also sending it to their coworkers provides a variety of benefits (confirms times for those who are training, lets them know when the new employee is potentially free for a chat, makes your managerial work more visible, etc.)
  • The schedule is sent to the new employee before their first day. If that is impossible for some reason, make sure it is in their hands first thing on their first day.
  • In my sample, you see “Manager” or “Coworker X” in parentheses. In a real schedule, it would be the name of whomever is running that part of the schedule (i.e. instead of “manager” the actual schedule said “Ben”). Among other benefits, this helps the new employee remember who their coworkers are.
  • Note how much time is allotted to be “their” time. Day one has two hours. By day five, it is five hours. This is a highly autonomous position, so the expectation is that this employee will quickly take charge of organizing their day. 

Without further ado, here is the sample schedule:


  • 8-11: At administrative offices downtown.
  • 11-12: (Manager) Arrive onsite. Meeting w/ manager. Introductions to team.
  • 12-1: (Coworker 1) Introduction to our library’s shelving system. Tour of collections.
  • 1-3: Lunch/your time to use as you see fit. Ensure computer & email login work.
  • 3-4: (Coworker 2) Backroom storage & event programming space: Layout of storage area, what goes where, etc.
  • 4-5: Your time.


  • 8-9: Your time.
  • 9-10: (Manager) Keys, swipe badges, and combinations.
  • 10-12: (Coworker 3) Shadow curbside delivery service. Suggestion for any downtime: wander around space to get more acquainted with it.
    [blog note: this schedule was developed during the COVID-19 shutdown. Curbside service was a major part of the library’s service model at the time.]
  • 12-2: Lunch/your time.
  • 2-3: (Coworker 4) Reference Services: Using the library catalog to help customers, commonly used databases and resources, digital media. 
  • 3-4: Employee’s time.
  • 4-5: (Coworker 5) Integrated Library System software: overview of interface; basic checkout procedure; customer accounts; item records; creating new accounts.


  • 8-9: Your time.
  • 9-10: (Coworker 6) Integrated Library System training #2: placing holds & searching records; Account Renewals; Phones; Notes on customer accounts & item records.
  • 10-12: (Coworker 2 & 4) Event programming: programming checklist, virtual programming guidelines, outsider performer process, ordering supplies, room reservation, etc.
    [blog note: a major part of the new employee’s job was event programming. Coworkers 2 & 4 were also event programmers and decided it would be effective to tackle this training together.]
  • 12-2: Lunch/your time.
  • 2-3: (Manager) review shared office drive and intranet: IT tickets, timeclock portal, library policies documentation, etc.
  • 3-5: Your time.


  • 8-9: Your time
  • 9-10: Staff meeting
  • 10-12: (Coworker 3) Shadow on customer service desk. Suggestion: while on desk, ask questions about what services we offer & don’t, ask about responding to mask/other noncompliance issues, etc.
  • 11-2: Lunch/your time.
  • 2-3: (Manager) Person In Charge (PIC) duties & training manual.
  • 3-5: Your time.


  • 8-9: Your time.
  • 9-10: (Coworker 7): Shelving workflow in detail: Book drop; using self-check machine (inc. common errors); item sorting; reviewing material condition (grubby vs damaged, checking location, missing items, damaged cases); Exceptions, bins, & routing to other libraries; etc.
  • 10-11: Your time
  • 11-1: Scheduled on desk. Not shadowing—be sure to have your questions/concerns addressed before this shift.
  • 1-4:30: Lunch / your time
  • 4:30-5: (Manager) Debrief about first week. Clear up any questions about following week.

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