Making the most out of your onboarding period

With 22 per cent of new employees leaving within the first 45 days of employment, an onboarding process could make or break your new job.

The onboarding period is the first opportunity a company gets to engage you, make you feel part of the organisation and ensure you know what you’re doing in your new role.

Jay Munro is head of career insights at Indeed.
Jay Munro is head of career insights at Indeed.

While some companies have well-structured practices for onboarding new employees, other organisations may not have much planned after introductions and a walk through of the systems you’ll need to use. Regardless of whether you have fancy software that escorts you through an extended onboarding process or not, what you should be on the lookout for is a strong culture of awareness and proactivity in the organisation around how to get the best out of new employees.

There are many hallmarks of a robust onboarding program such as providing prompt access to devices, tools and resources, and helping you establish new working relationships and social connections. But while a lot of the responsibility for making sure you have a positive onboarding experience sits with your employer, there’s plenty you can do to facilitate a smooth transition into your new role.


If you feel your employer is falling short in an area of your onboarding experience, you shouldn’t immediately jump to a negative conclusion. For example, if you don’t have access to a tool or you’d like more one-on-one time with your manager, raising this straight away could result in a quick resolution that helps to shape your onboarding experience into a positive one.

Similarly, while it’s your employer’s job to try to cover all bases and facilitate a great onboarding process, there isn’t always a one-size-fits-all approach. So, if you think you need to learn more about other areas of the business, be vocal about it because it could help your employer customise your onboarding path for your needs or interests.

As well as the working environment, tools and people around you, getting the most out of your onboarding experience also has a lot to do with your mindset. You should always go into your new workplace with a positive attitude, which means being prepared to embrace any initial feelings of discomfort and vulnerability. Acknowledging that you’re going to have to work hard to understand your new role and company is key to finding your place and feeling settled.

While it’s important to adopt enthusiasm and proactivity during your onboarding period, you should be careful to maintain a balanced approach that demonstrates respect for your employer and the people you work with. For example, don’t set up meetings with new people without checking whether your boss has already planned an introduction.

The way you’re perceived by your new colleagues can also have an impact on the success of your onboarding period. So, while doing some research into the company before joining can help you show knowledge and enthusiasm, be mindful that colleagues probably won’t warm to you if you’ve got too many opinions about their work.

Unfortunately, many new hires leave soon after starting a new role. And while it’s up to employers to do everything they can to set you up for long-term success at the company, it’s also important to take the initiative to ensure you are getting what you need out of your onboarding period. After all, by being proactive at the start, you can help shape not only your onboarding experience into a positive one, but also your time at the company.

This content was produced in commercial partnership with Indeed.

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