Onboarding New Staff

Hi everyone, I’m Peta Cussell from Project Ops and this is my first article for 2017. Today we are covering - onboarding new staff, what to do and the importance of getting it right.

Most people are back to work now and the start of the year can mean the start of a new job for some staff. With December and January traditionally being the highest period for staff turnover, attracting and then retaining staff is of paramount importance.

The highest-risk time for employee turnover is during the first few months after the new employee has started. And so getting the new staff onboarding and induction process right, has a significant impact on employee retention and subsequent productivity. 

Let's take a look at what to do before they start and on Day 1.


Before they Start

  1. Contact - Keep in contact with the new employee prior to commencement and keep them informed of the process. Provide as much information as possible to make them feel comfortable and informed for their first day:
    1. Work appearance (footwear, style of clothes, grooming).
    2. What time to arrive.
    3. Shift times for the week.
    4. How to get there – parking info, public transport etc.
    5. What to do when they arrive.
    6. Plan for Day 1 / Week 1.
  2. Existing Staff - Inform all current staff that a new member is starting and some general details about who they are; what role they are filling; what team they are joining; what experience they are bringing to the organisation; and when they are starting. It is important so all staff can make them feel welcome on Day 1.
  3. Paperwork - Have all new employment paperwork ready (i.e. Employment Contract; Position Description; tax and payroll forms; new employee detail form; Fair Work information statement; and Employment Guidelines / HR Policies etc.) and preferably send it to them in advance. Most online HR platforms complete this process for you and can be completely ‘paperless’. (Contact Project Ops to see which platform, we think is the best.)
  4. Equipment - Prepare their workstation and any necessary equipment (e.g. uniform, laptop, computer, phone, stationery, name badges and other job-specific equipment).
  5. Grant Access - Set-up all access that is required (e.g. security passes, email account, computer log-in, database access etc.).
  6. Induction Plan - Plan the Orientation and Induction program. What is happening on Day 1 / Week 1? What other staff need to be involved? Are their schedules blocked out?


Day 1

Ok so the new staff member has turned up. Now what? The first impression is vital and so is getting right the activities on the first day. Here's what you should cover:

  1. Ensure the initial contact person is ready for the employee’s arrival.
  2. Make sure all paperwork is completed (if not already done so).
  3. Take the new member on a workplace tour and cover:
    1. Introduction to all staff.
    2. The general layout e.g. where they will be sitting, location of toilets, kitchen, lockers, printers/photocopiers, stationary supplies etc.
    3. First aid supplies and emergency equipment.
    4. Exits, evacuation procedures and meeting points.
    5. Location of nearest shops and other amenities.
  4. Assign a ‘buddy’ as the “go to” person for any questions.
  5. Sit with the new staff member and provide further information about:
    1. The role.
    2. Discuss the Position Description.
    3. Hours of work.
    4. Training plan.
    5. Discuss the probation period and the performance review process.
    6. Clarify expectations.
    7. Give a brief description of the organisation's history, clients/customers, services offered and organisational structure.
    8. Discuss the process for Leave arrangements and notification.
    9. Issue any equipment to the employee.
    10. Issue any access codes and passwords.
    11. Conduct any equipment training (e.g. computer, phone, email, internet, machinery etc.).
    12. Discuss the complaints procedure.
  6. Answer any other questions the employee may have.
  7. Assign an initial work project that the employee can start on straight away, so that they can feel they are making a valuable contribution from the start.


Day 2 Onwards

An effective induction program should take at least several months and involve many different aspects. I will cover this topic in a couple of week time. Stay tuned!


How Project Ops can help?

Project Ops was established 3 years ago, with the aim to assist and educate small business owners on what their requirements are and how to ultimately streamline their staffing operations.

Australia’s employment landscape has become confusing and daunting for business. It's full of complex policies and changing legalities, is hard to understand and even harder to keep up-to-date with. With most business owners being extremely time-poor, finding the time to focus on HR is usually less of a priority. That’s where Project Ops comes in. With Project Ops, we make HR simple!

We can assist with HR Advice and can guide you through any tricky HR situation; we can provide compliant HR Policies and HR documentation (such as Employment Contracts; HR Letters e.g. warning letters, termination letters; Forms; and Checklists); we can recommend, set-up and roll-out online HR management systems; we can set up your Performance Management system and guide you through the process; we can assist with team planning and role definition; we can assist with leadership coaching; and we can also help you with the Recruitment of staff in the first place! If you would like to discuss how Project Ops can assist your business, please get in touch!

Project Ops are one of Australia’s leading outsourcing specialists, providing some of Australia’s best talent to businesses of all sizes for one-off projects, short or long-term contracts. Specialising in Human Resources (HR), Recruitment, Business Operations, Change Management, Project Management and Event Management.