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Onboarding: off and running, Dean Carpenter

Onboarding: off and running, Dean Carpenter

So, you have worked hard to find a candidate who is a perfect fit for your team, and they have accepted your offer - this means the hard part is over, right? Wrong!

The next challenge is figuring out how to keep your new employee happy, engaged and around for the longhaul. With statistics showing one in four people recruited will leave a new employer within their first six months, there is an ever-increasing need to have a robust onboarding program in place.

By delivering a robust onboarding process, the business will benefit from:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Reduced turnover costs
  • A more stable and productive business.

When creating your onboarding program, consider these tips to improve the retention of quality employees.


Prior to your new employee commencing, develop a tailored plan for their first days and weeks in the new role. A structured schedule of activities will allow your new starter to hit the ground running.

  • Highlight the values of the business with a session on the history and culture
  • Provide an overview of the business structure, strategy and goals
  • Set up meetings with the people they’ll need to know to do their job properly
  • Arrange any necessary training around processes, procedures and systems.


Make sure you get the basics right and avoid leaving preparations for the new arrival to the last minute. The last thing a new starter needs to hear on their first day is, ‘We’re still creating space for you’ or ‘Your computer will be here in a few days’. If the essentials are not in place your new starter may be left to feel unwelcome and unproductive.


The first day at a new job can be a daunting experience. Avoid making the first day about paperwork and prioritise relationship-building with key people they’ll need to know to do their job properly. Consider assigning the new starter a ‘buddy’ - a colleague with a strong knowledge of the business who can act as the ‘go to’ person for the new starter.


Get the entire team involved with onboarding a new employee. For example, the owner of the business might provide an overview of the business’ history, the direct manager can work with the employee to set some objectives for the six months, while their buddy provides an orientation around the office.


As a guide, the employee’s direct manager should be meeting with the new employee at the end of their first day, end of their first week and end of their first, second, third and six months. These two-way feedback sessions should be scheduled on the employee’s first day; be sure to stick to the program.

In summary, it’s been proven that happy and engaged employees are more productive employees. So, if you’re looking to drive bottom line results with a best practice approach to people management, it’s time to get ‘onboard’.

Dean Carpenter joined Rockend as HR Manager in 2011. Dean leverages his previous experience in a range of HR and people management roles to drive employee engagement initiatives at Rockend.


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