Professional & Organizational Development

Welcome Day employee orientation

Most new employees are required to participate in Welcome Day and are encouraged to do so promptly in order to receive timely benefits information. Please note that attendance/participation requirements vary depending on your home department and union representation; please see the table below. If you’re not sure in which category you belong, reach out to us at

Welcome Day explores the UW Employee Benefits package and the importance of creating and maintaining an inclusive and safe learning and work environment. On this page, you can register for an upcoming session and explore other orientation activities and resources.

Participation guidelines:
Location of Home Dept. Position Type Requirement
Seattle campus Represented by:

  • The WA Federation of State Employees (WFSE),
  • United Auto Workers Postdoctoral Scholars (UAW – Postdoc and UAW – Research Scientist), or
  • Service Employees International Union Local 925 (SEIU Local 925), including IHME and Librarians and Professional Libraries and Press Employees
You must attend in-person Welcome Day at the UW Tower. Please contact your supervisor if you are not able to meet this requirement or an accommodation is needed.
Seattle campus Professional staff or staff not represented by above unions You may attend Welcome Day in-person or online. Please note that your supervisor or department may require or prefer for you to attend in-person.
Seattle campus Academic personnel Academic Personnel have their own orientation. You’re still encouraged to attend in-person Welcome Day in its entirety or simply attend the benefits portion (registration is still required).
Worksite or official duty station within a 50-mile radius (for example, Tacoma and Bothell campuses) Librarians and Professional Libraries and Press Employees represented by SEIU Local 925.

Positions represented by SEIU 925 IHME.

You are encouraged to attend Welcome Day in-person.
UW Bothell or UW Tacoma All UW Bothell and UW Tacoma hold orientations that complement Welcome Day; you are expected to attend both. Attending Welcome Day in-person is encouraged. Please check with your supervisor or department about whether to participate in Welcome Day in-person or online.
Out-of-state All You may attend Welcome Day in-person or online.
UW Medicine (including Harborview and neighborhood clinics) All UW Medicine hosts its own orientation, which covers much of the same content as Welcome Day plus information specific to UW Medicine and positions in the healthcare field.
Welcome Day includes:
  • Perks and opportunities
  • Health and safety
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Addressing discrimination and harassment
  • Benefits
  • Union information

Welcome Day introduces the UW Employee Benefits package, including retirement plan options, and provides you with resources and contacts to receive guidance and ask questions about your benefits selections. Since most enrollment deadlines fall within 31 days of an employee’s eligibility date, you are urged to complete this Welcome Day course during your first few weeks of employment.

For questions please contact

Please register:


Other orientation activities

The orientation process for new employees at the University of Washington has many facets and includes both required and recommended activities. In addition to University-sponsored training and orientations, your manager and department likely have their own onboarding procedures and activities. This New Employee Checklist (PDF) may help you ensure a complete and successful orientation experience. Also, please view the university’s other required trainings for all employees.

New supervisors should also attend SLP Supervisor Orientation, at no cost to you or your department, to gain a deeper understanding of their role in human resources administration at the UW.

Additional opportunities

Succeeding at your job may require you to learn new concepts and develop additional skills. POD’s quarterly courses include a number of foundational courses in key areas, including communications, fiscal procedures, human resources administration, supervision, leadership, and personal growth.

If you are a new supervisor, you may have the opportunity to participate in the Strategic Leadership Program at no cost to you or your department.