onboarding induction guide for new hires

How to onboard new hires so that they stay

by | Jan 17, 2017

The first 90 days in a new job is crucial for any new employee. Not just because that’s probably the length of their probation, but it’s also when they will form lasting opinions about their new workplace, judge whether they are in it for the long haul, if they think they can progress, if they actually like their colleagues and management, and critically, all of this will determine how they perform moving forward.

As the employer you may have given your new employee the perfect candidate experience up until now and kept in touch with them every step of the way until their start date. They’re excited to start at their fantastic new job where they’ll be given in-depth training, enjoy the company perks and have great opportunity to progress. They’ve probably bought a new work outfit and spent the night before their first day getting organised, packing their stationary and planning their route to their new office.

Have you done the same? I don’t mean buy a new work outfit, but have you really planned for the new starter so that their onboarding experience is as smooth as possible?

From the basics over the first few days leading into those first few months, there’s a lot you can do to ensure they stay engaged, and ensure that their lasting impressions of your company are ones that make them want to stay.

The bonus that comes with effective onboarding is that not only will the new hires impression of you as a business be a great one, but they will be settled quickly, meaning their productivity & ultimately their performance will be stronger from the offset.

First Impressions Count

Sure, you’ll send out a formal job offer and contract to the new hire, but what about a welcome letter explaining to them what to expect on the first day? It’s great to let them know a start time and who they should ask for when they arrive but what about a heads up on the dress code, or that most staff bring in their lunch and there’s a microwave for staff to use. Little touches like that show that you’re trying to give them as much useful information as possible to make their first day seem less daunting and there’s not a worse feeling than turning up looking like the “new guy” in a full suit when everyone wears jeans.

Is someone assigned to do their orientation on the first morning? Is someone available to show them where the toilets are, kitchen facilities and just give them little tips like that there are set break times to make coffee etc? And is their work space ready to go with everything they need including login details and some system instructions? I’ve seen many employees turn up on their first day to work to find a broken desk chair or the IT guy is out of the office so they can’t use the computer. As a new hire they may be reluctant to ask for help or tell you what they don’t know, so being mindful and showing that you value them from day one will create a lasting impression.


In an ideal world your new starter would have someone dedicated to their training for the first few days/weeks, but more often it’s a case of on-the-job learn as you go. I know from experience it’s common to get thrown in at the deep end with a notepad, sitting at people’s desks and furiously scribbling notes to try to get up to speed as quickly as possible. The problem with this type of experience is that it can lead to frustrations and burnout and leaving a new employee to figure things out on their own is unnecessary added pressure.

If you can write up a training schedule and set aside time for formal training it will pay dividends in the long term. Your new employee will feel more confident knowing that you’re tracking their training progress and you will get better results.

On my first day in a new job the new hires all had our first product training session from the vice president of the company. It was only a short session but to know he’d taken the time out to conduct that first session left such a good first impression.

Career Progression

Very few companies sit their new hires down in the first week to find out what their long term aspirations are. This is a good time to get to know your new hire now that they are out of “interview mode” and see if they have any long term plans that fit with yours. Of course they may have no idea what they want their career progression to look like, but you can paint a picture of what progression looks like in the new company. If you can map out certain milestones and a rough timeline then it gives them something to aim for & creates an instant feeling of loyalty to the company.

Social Inclusion

Making friends can be difficult for some people and starting a new job can be stressful just worrying about “fitting in”. Actively encouraging people to take new starters under their wing and include them in social activities can really help settle them quicker. Even having someone show them where the team like to eat lunch or where their favourite local coffee shops are can have a big impact.

Set aside time for reviews and feedback

Use the new employees experience to gain feedback for future hires. They’ll know more than anyone what onboarding processes can be improved, and while it helps if you have an open office culture, this can be anonymous if necessary.

Setting aside time for regular reviews with the new hire will help with their development and give them confidence in their new role. Try to stick to designated times as they may have issues they wish to raise & by placing importance on these meetings it shows that you value their ongoing development.

Ensure values are aligned

Employees who embody the company values are more loyal, engaged and have an emotional commitment to the organisation and it’s goals. They are more likely to go the extra mile, not just for themselves but for the company. Sounds dramatic? But having engaged staff will make the biggest difference to your customer service, profits, productivity and more. They’re also more likely to stay for the long haul (more people leave a job because of their values, not because of money), so it’s really important that they understand and are aligned with the company values and mission.

How it all pays off

The average cost of recruiting the wrong person is £8,200 in the UK and this figure is even higher for management positions. But what if you hire the perfect person for the job and they leave within a few months? Many organisations don’t actually calculate the true cost of staff turnover and there’s no point in putting all of your efforts into finding the right candidate and selling them the dream if the reality is completely different. You need a robust plan for new hires so that once you’ve found the right person they stay in the company and perform to the level you want them to.

Don’t “stack ’em high” and expect some to fall. Having high attrition as an acceptable scenario in your business affects so much more than just the staff walking out the door. It affects the morale of the remaining staff, productivity and your ROI.

If you’d like to hire more of the right people, have the means to know what their development points are from the offset, and understand when and why they may have frustrations that could cause them to leave then it’s worth looking at a tool that can help. If you use an assessment tool currently that’s not meeting your needs then find something that does. Not all assessment tools are created equal and they’re not all based on the same work and research. With the right tool you can make a dramatic difference to your business.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how the Judgement Index could support your organisation with hiring the right people, developing your teams, spotting future leaders and retaining talent then why not get in touch today?

Every company is unique and every client of ours is different, and after finding out more about you and your business we will bring the Judgement Index to life for you with a free sample or trial. Contact us by phone or email for more information.

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About the Author

Gabbi Dibben

Gabbi supports with the admin at Judgement Index and summarises many of the events we attend.

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