Creating value in the employee journey from beginning to end

Sometimes the most straightforward HR procedures can have the biggest impact on staff retention. In this case, we are talking about staff onboarding and its oft-forgotten mate, offboarding.

In an alarming statistic, a survey by US organisation Gallup found that only 12 per cent of employees reported thinking their employers were getting onboarding right.

Although it’s a US statistic, we hear similar stories in Australia all the time. How often have you turned up to a new job, and your laptop isn’t working? You have to ask where the bathroom is awkwardly, or worse, you can’t even get into the building.

While they might seem trivial, these annoyances make starting a new job all the more nerve-wracking for new employees. Simple details immediately overshadow the excitement of signing a new contract that a clearly communicated onboarding process could avoid.

Proper onboarding isn’t simply about avoiding awkwardness in the workplace; according to the same survey, a great onboarding experience can increase staff retention by 82 per cent, and a bad one makes a new staff member two times more likely to look for other opportunities.

Onboarding the people practice

What does onboarding mean?

Onboarding means having a clear process that welcomes new employees into the workplace; it aims to ease the transition into an employee’s new role and help them hit the ground running.

In most workplaces, onboarding is limited to explaining business policies and procedures but there is a huge opportunity to add value and weave empathy and company values into the process.

What does good onboarding look like in an organisation?

Successful onboarding plans should be included in an employee health and wellbeing program and go over and above simply providing company policies and procedures. Well-rounded onboarding ensures new starters feel valued for their talent and expertise and are prepared to hit the ground running.

At a basic level, an onboarding process should include the following

For new starters:

  • All equipment, reading materials, and software programs are ready before the employee starts
  • Technical equipment and laptops working, and logins ready
  • A list of key people they need to meet with plus contact details and meetings set up
  • A key contact within the team that checks in to see how they are going


  • An onboarding checklist clearly communicated to all staff
  • Staff are clear on lead times for ordering hardware, phones, and stationery
  • Staff are available and amicable for new starter meetings

Personal, thoughtful touches go a long way toward new employees feel welcomed and valued from the get-go. For example, a welcome pack could consist of company merchandise, stationery, a list of the best coffee in the area, and a specific gesture to your new employee, such as tickets to a local game if they’re a footy fan.

Good onboarding also means having staff across the business understand and respect the process and having clear expectations set around participating in onboarding when required.

What is offboarding, and is it important?

Offboarding creates a mutually respectful process for the end of employment, whether the exit stems from resignation or termination, with empathic communication between both parties.

Leaving a company doesn’t have to be a negative experience; with good offboarding, employees can ultimately move on with the same respect for the business they had when starting.

Why should our business put time and resources into offboarding?

A respectful onboarding process keeps a business’s brand reputation intact even when leaving circumstances are less than ideal. If people have a good experience with a business, they won’t talk about it. If it’s a negative experience, on average, that person will tell another 5-6 people, and our brain is more likely to remember negative experiences over positive ones.

A robust offboarding procedure protects vital word of mouth, lessens reputational risk, and strengthens brand value.

How can The People Practice help create better onboarding and offboarding experiences within my business?

The People Practice offers a variety of HR workshops, corporate health and wellbeing programs, and leadership coaching and can help you navigate the onboarding and offboarding process in the following ways:

  • Leadership coaching: We coach executives to lead with empathy and compassion. Understanding the importance of authentic, values-led onboarding and offboarding is critical to retaining talent.
  • Human resources consultation: We offer HR consultancy to help teams map out a robust onboarding process that effectively retains employees, and makes them feel valued and part of the team from the initial contact.
  • Onboarding outsourcing: If your resources are stretched, we can manage the entire onboarding process for you. Think of us as your remote HR team; we can manage the process end-to-end to ensure new employees are confident in their role from the first point of contact.
  • Corporate health and wellbeing: We can work with your team to create an overarching employee health and wellbeing program that seamlessly integrates onboarding into a broader program.

Renée x

Need help?

Get in touch about how we can help integrate emphatic, people-led onboarding and offboarding plans into your workplace wellbeing program.

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