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A New Employee’s First Day: Starting On The Right Foot

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Heidi Casciano, Senior Director of Advancement Administration, knows you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why she meets with every new employee in Advancement on his or her first day at Lehigh.

“I put them at ease right away. It seems to set a nice tone for them. It’s a good way to start your career as a part of the Lehigh family,” she said.

In the past year, setting that tone has been no small feat. Around 30 staff members have joined the department, including open and new positions.

“If you come up with a system, it makes it easier every time,” Heidi said. “Now, it’s more like a conversation.”

Top Tips For That First Day

When someone accepts a position at Lehigh, the hiring department gets a confirming email from Lori Claudio in Human Resources with a reminder of the various steps needed to take to make sure a new employee has what he or she needs.

“That’s when I contact LTS to get computer and phone set up scheduled,” Heidi explained.

Whenever possible, she ensures that the new employee’s supervisor is on hand that first day to show him or her to his or her workspace. Then it’s Heidi’s turn.

“I have new employees come to my office and we do all the paperwork together– that includes the federal I-9 and W-4 forms and the residency certificate,” she said. “I send all of that along with the assignment appointment form to Payroll through campus mail.”

Heidi shares office procedures and expectations during this first meeting, including the following items.

  • The Advancement organizational chart
  • An overview of the functional areas of Advancement
  • An Advancement staff directory that is organized alphabetically and by area
  • Advancement’s Operating Principles – a document that outlines how the division goes about its work. Each employee receives a copy of the document to display in his or her workspace.
  • Review the Wells Fargo OneCard program
  • Parking and Payroll procedures

Next it’s time for an employee’s first tour around campus. A staff member is assigned to take new employees to:

  • Pick up their LIN/PIN letter at Fairchild/Martindale from Margaret Petrovich
  • Get their photo taken and ID made
  • Get keys, if applicable
  • Get their parking pass (car registration is required).

Finally, Heidi arranges for LTS to meet the new employee at his or her workspace in the afternoon to make sure all of the technology is working.

Beyond the first day, she says that every few months they present an Advancement Office Orientation.  It’s a full day, deep dive with Advancement leadership into what the division does that helps put pieces together and connect each employee’s work to the greater effort. All new employees are also invited to Human Resources' New Employee Orientation during the first several months of employment.

Heidi feels there’s a larger purpose to meeting with new staff beyond getting forms completed and ID badges printed on the first day.

“The most important thing about meeting with the person on the first day is that he or she feels connected to Lehigh,” she said. “You are getting so much information that first day, you’ll probably forget half of it. But the staff member knows he or she can contact me, my door is always open, and I’m happy to answer any questions.”

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to, or call extension 85165.

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