Episode 6: The Employee On-boarding Special Edition

by Jul 24, 2020Catie Paterson, Company Culture, COVID-19, Damien Battersby, Human Resources, Kerry Anne Nelson, Technology

4% of new hires leave a job after a disastrous first day

22% of turnover occurs within the first 45 days

23% of new starts who receive poor on boarding experience live in the first year

And the real cost of that turnover can be as high as 3 times the employees salary!

A really insightful conversation, highly valuable information.  Thank you, Catie Paterson, Kerry-Anne Nelson and Damien Battersby. You can listen to Episode 6 here – www.bb4g.tv or for a summary read on. 

Catie Paterson, Catie Paterson HR

What is On-Boarding?

On-boarding is entering into the work place –

Whats important is understanding what the workplace looks like – what the culture looks like and what the individual needs from that. 

Admin person vs someone on a worksite – it must be tailored to the role.

Introducing them to the business and getting them up to speed and effective as fast as possible.

Is there a difference between remotely on boarding someone to in person?

It’s much easier to engage the person if you’re side by side, and a little more difficult if it’s remote.

Thats where the manager needs to have frequent video conference meetings with them.

What are the cultural aspects of On-boarding?

The owner or the manager making an effort to make the new employee to feel welcome – as well as the team being involved also.

The team will have a big impact on the success of the hire.

It’s the quirks and values of the business need to be shared as soon as possible for a successful hire

We also need to talk about how you create the culture in the first place?

I think culture is about expectations and the behaviours will and will not tolerate – language, working long hours, having flexibility, particularly now, working from home.  More about outcomes than bums on seats these days.

Do you think it’s wise for the business owner to be really clear on the Culture they want before the start looking at on boarding new staff?

Starts way before the recruitment process – who are we recruiting – what role are we recruiting for – do we know what responsibilities and values and behaviour sets we expect from this role?

Ask yourself “Do we know the Culture, Vision and Values and how does it flow to that role?”

Instead of, “Oh we have someone new starting today, whoops we forgot!”

24% will leave in the first 30 days because they don’t have a good on boarding process!

How do they need to collaborate?  How do the need to work within the team?

Must define the culture, and live and breath the culture first – from the top down!

Have you got some tips to ensure that the culture is covered within the on boarding process?

Documented Vision, Values and Goals.

Take them through it

Follow the COAT principle:

  • Culture
  • Outcomes
  • Admin
  • Team dynamics

It’s about setting up the individual for success.

24% will leave thier job in the first 30 days because they don’t have a good on-boarding experience

Catie Paterson,

HR Specialist, Catie Paterson HR

Kerry Nelson, Operation Verve,

Pre Boarding Phase:

First notifying the new hire:

Need the welcome email.

  • Confirm first day information
  • Where do they have to go? 
  • Do they need to have looked at some resources, look at your website. 
  • Introducing the core values.  Possibly a video from the owner – can be generic – welcome to the team, what are the core values. It can be put on a landing page or in a brochure to convey the company culture.
  • Great idea to send them a welcome gift.

First day Phase:

  • Introduce the new start to the other members of the team
  • Site orientation, even if remote – walking them through the various online locations,  websites, communication tools. 
  • Be very clear on workplace safety requirements and policies – if they need to sign the agreement. 
  • Introduce them to their buddy.
  • Ensure you debrief for feedback

First Month Phase:

  • Sett probation goals
  • Creating weekly debrief meetings for review – should be with direct line manager. 
  • Review the position description on a monthly basis, How have you gone? 
  • Opportunity for the team to get together and have a feedback session and review how they’ve gone.

Probation Phase:

  • Revising probation goals, making it very clear.
  • What do they need to achieve within the first 6 months?
  • Gather feedback from colleagues, buddy/mentor, from the manager – ensure that’s an ongoing process.
  • Plan formal 3 and 6 months review meeting, which is essential to formalise the gathering of that feedback and feedback to the new starter.


When finished probation period successfully – have a celebration / acknowledgement of the achievement

End Of First Year Phase: 

Formally welcome them; now fully qualified, have gone through the training successfully.

If you can do this in a program then your new start is more likely to be incredibly successful.

Started to talk about the difference between face to face  and remote staff, what are the differences?

The biggest difference is the disconnect.

Team meetings, review meetings, celebrations  – to do this remotely can be challenging. 

Be creative about how you can do the same process online –  the key is to be prepared! 

Build process to facilitate personal connection and fun

Needs to be deliberate and strategic

Biggest gaps are in the disconnected, the cultural message is not getting through

  • Meetings are scheduled
  • Communication is clear
  • Human connection is really celebrated


We should be treating our customers that way as well…

A lot of the time a business will focus in an outward way, on the customer experience.

That’s important but the companies that are doing really well and are expanding are the companies that are also focused on a customised ‘employee experience’

The on boarding process is important and that will determine how your employees treat your customers in the long run.

The companies that are doing really well and expanding are the companies that are also focused on a customised ‘employee experience’

Kerry-Anne Nelson

Workplace Processes Architect, Operation Verve

Damien Battersby, Proactive IT Solution

What are the kinds of typical mistakes business owners make when on boarding?

People not giving technology enough time to get ready for the new hire

We’ve had clients call the day someone starts – not very welcoming

Must be organised – plan for the first day

Is there a check list or a to do list that should be thought about when it comes to technology when starting a new person?

Think about all systems that that new person will need access to.

We have new starter checklists – they include;

  • What’s their email address going to be? 
  • What user groups? 
  • Do they need logons for the cloud applications?

A checklist for a new start technology can help a lot – then you don’t have to remember all the detail every time – makes everyones life easier

Is there difference between the set up check list for an in-house staff member  vs a remote staff member?

May have more systems when someone is working remote

Software – intranet – access how to do things

Set up some guides

So you can jump on remotely to guide them through

Are there particular tools that make this whole process easier?

We use a system called ‘confluence’ – easy to create how tos and guided so people can jump in and see how to do things.

There are also many HR systems that you can use

They are well worth the money – means you can do all the things that are legally required

Moving forward what’s important?

How to measure KPI’s – see how they are performing.

My team they have time entry.

Need the technology in place to measure their work out put – so you can see if they need help.

You have to make sure the new employee knows what the expectations are.

What sort of technology helps with measuring KPI’s?

That’s were you need to have a project management tool, there are so many different tools, we use one called auto task.   They take inputs that people put in and allow you to measure almost anything that comes out. I have a dashboard every month. A part of that is employee productivity.  But you can also use spreadsheets to measure when problems happen and why they happen and there is a numerical measure that goes against someones KPI’s.

Collaboration and communication is really important – weekly team meeting – on video

During the day we’re constantly talking – useful to keep morale up – lots of silly banter but it make everyone feel more welcome and a part of the team. 

 A checklist for a new start technology can help a lot, then you don’t have to remember all the detail every time. It makes everyones life easier.

Damien Battersby

Business Technology Expert, Proactive IT Solution

Please, give us your feedback!  We’d love to know what you’d like to hear about in future shows

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