The 5 crucial ways to improve your onboarding.

Drake Editorial


You're about to invest in hiring some great talent, so ensuring they are set up for success early will lead to higher retention rates, improved productivity and a stronger overall employee experience.

We can all agree that the last few years have played havoc with our hiring practices and caused headaches for our Hiring Managers! If you, like most businesses now, are struggling to find suitable candidates for positions you're recruiting for, then the last thing you want is for them to leave on short notice! Given that around 40% of new employees quit within 6 months, onboarding should be taken very seriously as a retention method.   

Onboarding is more than just the basics  

It is often assumed that onboarding simply means showing a new hire around the office facilities, introducing them to the team and providing relevant IT equipment. But there is a hugely important part of welcoming a new team member that is often overlooked, it is this aspect of onboarding that can mean the difference between staying or going for the new hire. Yes, we need to give them their passwords and discuss KPIs, but the real way to improve your chances of the new hire staying is to make them feel like a valued right from the onset and genuine member of the team.   

 Here are our best onboarding tips that you may not have heard before  

  • Don’t wait for Day #1 

Make them feel welcome before they’ve walked in the door. If you remember the last time you took a new job, chances are you were filled with nerves for days prior to your first day. It is helpful to recognise the stress new hires endure and do what you can to minimise this. You might opt to provide a virtual office tour, send out company branded merchandise or schedule virtual meetings with relevant team members so that they have some familiar faces when they commence employment. Get-to-know-you meetings should cover off what your new hire is here to do, the stakeholder’s role and the interaction they can expect from each other on a day-to-day basis. 

  • Morning tea  

Have a morning tea on the first day your new hire starts, by creating a little gathering, it gives the opportunity for everyone to meet the new hire in an informal setting and, who doesn’t love a treat!  It you are a virtual team, then a virtual tea is just as effective!  

  • Assign a mentor 

Assign your new hire a mentor or a go-to buddy who has a well-rounded and detailed understanding of the organisation. That way, they will be able to answer relevant questions, provide clarification, offer advice or just a general pick-me-up!  

Microsoft conducted a pilot study which revealed onboarding programs with a “buddy system” help to provide context, boost productivity and improve new employee satisfaction. Microsoft also found a mutual exchange of value, as buddies can develop key leadership skills. 

  • Introduce objectives and set expectations  

Define their responsibilities, objectives and expectations for their position right away. Having a clear understanding of the guidelines governing their job duties and accountabilities can ensure that everyone’s expectations are aligned. Walk through company policies and try to help them understand what to expect from the company culture and work environment. 

  • Banter and camaraderie  

A healthy work environment often has banter and camaraderie. Ensure your new hire is across all the “in-jokes” and acronyms so they can join in the fun. It’s great to have other teams helping the onboarding process to really establish more of those important informal networks!  

Ensure the employee is taken on a journey of discovery about the company that includes facts, intangibles and stories from people regarding their work experience and tenure at the company.  New employees should feel inspired for the future and ready to make an impact.  

Onboarding is such a crucial part of your recruitment process 

Every time we hire someone, it’s our chance for a better, more efficient and happier team.  It can be incredibly overwhelming for a new hire in their first week.  One of the most important facets of onboarding is building connections between new hires and their managers, teams and the wider organisation. Done correctly, onboarding will help new employees feel comfortable in their roles and build connections with the rest of your team. In the long term, this will ultimately improve your staff retention.

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