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  • Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson.


    "intellHR has allowed us to treat an employee, based overseas, as if they were based in the office."

  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    In 2016 we rolled out intelliHR, and in 2017 we had our best financial year yet. That makes a massive statement to show how valuable an investment in people and technology can be."

  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    "With the implementation of intelliHR, the improvements in our culture are clearly visible. intelliHR is a tool that helps with our strategic cultural goal of being a great place to work, with improved engagement, communication and goal management now well on track."



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| 5 min
Remote onboarding your new staff for success
While some companies have always operated with a distributed workforce, many have recently and unexpectedly been thrust into the new world of remote working. Naturally this has changed countless processes, but most teams won’t...
| 5 min
3 Reasons you need to automate your organisation chart
If you’ve ever struggled with manually formatting an organisational chart, you have probably hoped there was a better way. Thankfully this is another HR task you can easily automate now. But the benefits of...
| 5 min
The three least effective onboarding techniques (and how to avoid them)
“Our onboarding process needs work”. This is one of the things I hear most often when starting work with new customers. They know onboarding is important, and that their current process isn’t quite doing...
| 5 min
10 facts that will make you rethink your onboarding strategy
Somewhat like performance reviews, a ‘new employee onboarding process’ is often viewed as just a compliance task that has to be endured when new starters join your organisation. The truth is it’s a fundamental...
| 10 min
Maximise your onboarding process with the right HR software
The onboarding period is a crucial time to set people up for success in your organisation. Most new employees form a decision on whether they want to stay or leave a company within their...

Remote onboarding your new staff for success

While some companies have always operated with a distributed workforce, many have recently and unexpectedly been thrust into the new world of remote working. Naturally this has changed countless processes, but most teams won’t be used to shifting their induction process online. At intelliHR we have become aware of the growing pains of expanding our team while working remotely. We thought that we would interview our newest team members, their hiring managers and their community buddies to provide some useful tips for those going through the same remote onboarding adventure. 


Getting started with your team member:

The Logistics: 

Before we started largely- and abruptly- working from home, it’s likely that a new employee’s computer, second screen, stationary and maybe some company swag were patiently awaiting their arrival. You may now have to consider how new employees working remotely will be able to get their technology, paperwork and anything else they physically need to succeed at working from home. Will it be delivered, or do they have to meet someone to pick it up? Do you have their email address and all their login access set up for the systems they’ll need to access on Day 1? Are there things your new employee can complete prior to Day 1 to streamline the onboarding process? And most importantly, will they still get their swag bag?! 

We spoke to our onboarding extraordinaire Dave from Customer Success about how he approached the task. Fortunately, he was able to organise a team member to deliver laptop, monitor and supplies to his new starter the day before their start date with special considerations taking for hygiene and social distancing. This allowed for a prompt start for their first day and a warm welcome with the new swag.

Not everyone happens to have an electric adjustable desk or a spare ergonomically sound chair ready to go. A home-office stipend may also need to be temporarily introduced as an employee benefit to ensure your new employee has the proper workstation set-up at home. 

You may also need to review your onboarding process more holistically to see if there are some things that your company would normally do in an in-person onboarding process that may need to be re-ordered, postponed, eliminated or added.


The Human Touch:

Have you communicated with your new employee the expectations for Day 1? Things like letting them know the expected start time to be online, any particular attire that is expected of them from the waist up and who from the company will be reaching out to them? It’s also important to let them know at what time and on what communication platform they’ll be needing to utilise and provide them with links and login information. 

New employees need to know who they can ask questions to during onboarding while they are trying to find their feet. This is especially the case since they cannot roll their chair over to the person next to them for a quick question and are likely self-conscious about not wanting to “nag” someone with emails, Zoom, Hangout or Microsoft Team invites throughout the day for the roadblocks they may encounter. 

We had a chat to Savannah, our newest Customer Support Officer about what she liked from her remote onboarding experience. A clear and concise plan for training and onboarding exercises with notes about who will be providing the training and how to access it was what she found helpful. Tasks were set off the back of training to assist with the knowledge being instilled and support buddies were available for calls afterwards if any more assistance was needed.

Does your company or team have a structured training process for new employees to follow, or someone that ensures they are getting the training they need? If not, this is the perfect time to standardise what they will need to know, and have someone designated to helping them succeed. The last thing you want is to not properly develop your new talent, or lose visibility of someone who could potentially be struggling. More guidance may be required during a remote on-boarding experience to show your new employee the ropes. 

It’s possible that KPI’s, performance metrics and expectations of what is to be accomplished during probation periods may have to be reconsidered as it may take a bit more time for your new employee to get up to speed, especially if both of you were not anticipating a remote onboarding process. However it is important for you as the manager to outline some achievable tasks to be completed on a daily or weekly basis so that your new team member can see that they’re starting to provide value.


Welcoming your new starter to the business

Not everyone handles starting a new job just as calmly as a cucumber, and adding the current situation as fuel to the fire, their anxiety levels could increase, especially since going through a remote onboarding process may be new for them too. This might be the right time to consider adding a wellness and mental health component to your onboarding process.

Consider how your company may need to increase the frequency of touch points with your new employee given they are working from home and likely haven’t been able to experience the company culture yet first hand. In what ways can you help remotely indoctrinate a new employee into your company culture and etiquette now that they cannot observe and experience it in person, especially if they are coming from a very different one at their previous job?

To ease the transition, consider starting a buddy system where your new employee is paired with a peer in their team and/or the business, and encourage them to be in contact with each other prior to Day 1. Are you already hosting virtual social gatherings with your team? Invite your new employee along so they can e-meet the team, especially if there is time between accepting their offer and their start date. This will also help your team to get comfortable with and excited about their new addition. One of the ways that we have helped facilitate this is through adding new employees into morning tea meetings with members from different teams and other social video calls. 

Your new employee may also be robbed of the glorious and ceremonious opportunity on Day 1 to be paraded around the office for introductions to people whose names they won’t remember and embarrassment later upon running into them at the chilled water Zip tap. Why should they get to miss out on all this “fun”? Consider hosting a virtual meet and greet for them to meet the rest of their fellow employees, to make it more manageable, we arrange these on a department basis so each new starter gets to meet individuals and also understand about the different teams. Share the company org chart with them so they can get an idea of who’s who in the zoo. Maybe even create a digital seating chart with everyone’s names an faces, which shows your new employee where they will sit once we’re able to return to the office to help them get oriented. 

Have you checked in with your new employee to see if a flexible work schedule needs to be considered, particularly if they need to manage work with caring for dependents?  


Wrap up

If your company’s remote onboarding process is not yet utilising a digital platform for automation or collection and maintenance of your new employee’s information, consider our free Essentials platform which we developed in response to COVID-19 to help businesses like yours approach the wellbeing of your team members, whether they are long tenured or brand new. If you’re wanting even more functionality, consider our premium product that enables you to customise the designs of forms, scheduling of pulses, tracking of tasks, and automation of workflows and task reminders. 


COVID-19 Essentials Platform ad

3 Reasons you need to automate your organisation chart

If you’ve ever struggled with manually formatting an organisational chart, you have probably hoped there was a better way. Thankfully this is another HR task you can easily automate now.

But the benefits of automating your org chart far exceed saving time.Today we’ll explore a few strategic benefits you can expect after adopting org chart software, including:

  • Why organisational chart updating should be part of your automated onboarding process
  • Improving the employee experience and subsequently, retention
  • Keeping clarity around the chain of command


We’ll be honest, the thought of simply not having to create your own org charts anymore is probably reason enough to switch to an automated tool right now (you can learn more about that here).

Still need convincing, or need to convince someone else? Okay, okay, we’ll tell you what you can expect from making the change.


Org chart updating should be part of your automated onboarding process

Automated onboarding processes allow you to efficiently and reliably ensure your new team members are onboarded into your business as quickly and professionally as possible. A system like intelliHR also allows you to customise this process, ensuring you deliver the best possible employee experience. The quicker you successfully onboard your team, the fast they are able to generate a return for your business.

The added advantage of completing your onboarding (and offboarding for that matter) workflow using intelliHR, the system will already know when people are coming, going or changing jobs, which means the in-built org chart updates automatically for you in real-time. That’s right, there’s no need to manually update your org chart ever again and you can even export it as an image or PDF to share externally if needed. IntelliHR also offers the flexibility of being able to forward and back-date your view of the organisational chart, which assists with workforce planning, as well as providing absolute transparency to your team.

You didn’t get into HR to spend your days on admin tasks, so leave the manual, tedious jobs to intelliHR and free up your time to focus on your people. What’s more, not only does an automated org chart save time, but also offers strategic benefits.


It improves employee experience and retention

There is enormous value in every team member being able to instantly understand where and how they fit within an organisation. By having an organisational chart that updates automatically, this visibility is achieved without any effort, and is available to every team member in real time, adding a lot to the Employee Experience.

No longer should your new starters be left out of the organisational chart for weeks or months; not being reflected on the organisational chart has a negative impact both upon the new starter, and the rest of the organisation who won’t know who they are or what they do.

Knowing that most new employees form a decision on whether to stay or leave a company within their first 90 days [1], this time is critical to help employees feel welcome and comfortable in your workplace. With a real-time updated org chart, new starters can feel part of the team straight away.

These benefits also contribute to goal alignment, as every employee can clearly see the role they play within the wider business, and who is working above, below and alongside them. That is, whose goals should they be helping to fulfill, whose goals can they contribute to and whose goals should be contributing to theirs. Employees can transparently see who they are working towards common goals with and communicate about them even if they do not physically work in the same location. What’s more, having the flexibility to view your organisational chart not only from a Reporting Lines, but also a Business Unit perspective is particularly useful from a common work perspective.


It keeps clarity around the chain of command

Beyond the benefits of helping employees get settled in fast, having a constantly up-to-date organisational chart also helps avoid double handling or leapfrogging when there are changes in reporting lines.

This is a particularly significant risk in larger organisations or those with deep hierarchical structures. Any time a new management role is introduced, a management role changes hands or an employees moves up into a higher position, it is very difficult for other staff to be sure who to refer to if the org chart is not immediately updated to reflect these changes.

Using intelliHR, staff can also see internal email addresses of anyone on the organisational chart (if enabled by the system administrator), so not only is everyone constantly aware of who is who and where they fit – but also who to contact about relevant needs or requests.

Even outside of management changes, new starters can get a grip on who’s who in their new workplace from before they even start and not be left unsure exactly who they report to, who is in their team and who they may need to speak to in other departments.


Don’t put yourself through the pain of formatting an org chart in your word processor ever again. Start here to see how you could be using intelliHR to keep your org chart in check for you.

[1] People Management (2017). One in five employees have left a job during their probation period. https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/employees-leaving-job-during-probation

The three least effective onboarding techniques (and how to avoid them)

“Our onboarding process needs work”. This is one of the things I hear most often when starting work with new customers. They know onboarding is important, and that their current process isn’t quite doing what they need it to do, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why. Here are some common patterns when it comes to welcoming new staff, as well as how they might come to be and where to start working.

1. Nonboarding: a lack of a formal plan for getting new employees settled and up to speed

Typical example: A new employee arrives on their first day (which might or might not be a surprise to their direct manager). Apart from filling out the mandatory paperwork to ensure they get paid, there isn’t much for them to do, so they end up following a co-worker around and watching what they do.

Maybe a key piece of equipment they need isn’t ready for them yet, or their access codes haven’t been created. If new employees are finding things out by accident or by making mistakes, that’s time and effort that isn’t going into business performance. It doesn’t feel great for the new person either.

Nonboarding can be prevalent in organisations that consider themselves too small, too busy or that the role is simple/temporary enough that a formal process is not required, however having formal plans really make a difference.

A standardised onboarding process can result in:

  • 54% higher productivity
  • Double the level of engagement
  • Half the turnover of new hires (Aberdeen, 2011)

How to start: Creating an onboarding process from scratch can be overwhelming, so why not start with just one thing? That one conversation, piece of paper or task that would have prevented the most panic later on. By ensuring that thing happens consistently, you’ve already made a difference, for yourself, the leader and the next new person to come on board.

2. Overboarding: an avalanche of paperwork that must be done before the ‘real’ work starts

Typical example: Excited to start their new job, an employee arrives at work, only to be handed a wad of tax forms, super choices, and code of conducts to sign. They spend the rest of their day watching corporate videos and completing online learning modules about safety in the workplace, without actually talking to their new colleagues.

Paperwork is important. It’s a simple fact of business life that forms have to get filled out to ensure people are getting paid correctly, that they’re safe in their new workplace and that they are learning what they need to know to perform their role. Unfortunately, signing forms and watching videos is rarely engaging. It doesn’t feel productive and the first day is the most important.

Effective onboarding delivers role clarity, social integration, knowledge of the company culture and confidence that they can do their new job. These outcomes are linked to increased commitment, satisfaction and retention in new employees (SHRM) There’s a finite amount of social integration and self-efficacy that can be done by filling out forms.

How to start: As much as possible, an employee’s first day should be about people, not paperwork. When planning the first day, what social interactions can you schedule? Is there anything that can be sent to the person beforehand? (This has the added benefit of filling some of that ‘radio silence’ time between offer acceptance and starting, and helps your new person to start seeing themselves as a part of the organisation).

3. Frankenboarding: an unwieldy mix of old and new processes, full of redundancies and double handling.

Typical example: A new starter has three emails to respond to, as well as one hard copy form to sign and fax to head office in another state. To get a computer, they have to fill out on online request, which can only be completed on the company intranet page, however they don’t have access without a login, and that needs a call to Technology.

Onboarding process grow organically over time as processes and requirements change. A new requirement like scanning a drivers’ licence, or an extra system that needs a login gets put into place and slots into the onboarding process. Bits of old and new processes, handled in multiple places by multiple people, grow up over time. Like Frankenstein’s monster, it gets the job done (mostly), but does tend to terrify the villagers.

It’s normal for it to happen in the busyness of day to day, but those small additions pile up when there’s no time to step back and review the process as a whole. Without a central plan of attack, it’s difficult to achieve your goal of getting this new person happy and productive as quickly as possible.

How to start: Humans are very good at getting used to things, so why not get a fresh set of eyes on the case? Talk to a new person and find out what in the process they found confusing or difficult.

We all set out to welcome new employees with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, other factors get in the way and can make the process less effective. A critical review every now and then helps to keep onboarding as good as it can be, laying a solid foundation for retention, engagement and employee development.


10 facts that will make you rethink your onboarding strategy

Somewhat like performance reviews, a ‘new employee onboarding process’ is often viewed as just a compliance task that has to be endured when new starters join your organisation. The truth is it’s a fundamental engagement point. Any new team member’s first few days, weeks, or months will shape how they get started, their long-term performance, and critically this time massively determines whether they choose to stay or leave your team.

Onboarding is therefore so much more than just an admin task, and if designed strategically, your onboarding process has the power to make a serious impact upon organisational success.


Effective onboarding processes directly improve retention


22% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days of employment.


40% of turnover happens in the first year of employment.


4% of new employees will leave a job if they have a disastrous first day.


One in five employees leave an organisation before completing their onboarding period.


Research from multiple sources has shown again and again that an employee’s first impression and initial experience in an organisation can make or break their chances of both short and long-term success. If large proportions of your workforce are leaving in the first year, this will become an expensive problem. Not only does staff turnover incur significant costs, but when employees leave this early it is likely that they never actually reached a point where they were generating returns for the business.


onboarding strategy


15% of employees have left a role due to a poor onboarding experience.


69% of employees would be more likely to stay in an organisation for three years after having a good onboarding experience.


People may choose to leave within the first year or less for a range of reasons but the onboarding experience itself can also cause people to leave if it is poor enough. Establishing a consistent onboarding processes, asking for regular feedback and using system automation to minimise manual steps and achieve consistent delivery will help generate a positive employee onboarding experience, which can be easily optimised. This type of continually improving approach will  ensure your people have everything they need to succeed in their new role.


Effective onboarding increases productivity and engagement


Effective onboarding can increase discretionary effort by 20%.


Companies with consistent onboarding see a 50% increase in productivity for new starters.


54% of organisations with robust onboarding processes report higher employee engagement.


Not only does a good onboarding experience make new starters want to stay, it also increases discretionary effort and productivity. This can be attributed to a robust onboarding process contributing the right resources and training that new starters need, as well as delivering the right tasks at the right time so new starters can slowly build up their skills and competency over time. Naturally, employee engagement also sees an uplift as new staff are feeling recognised and rewarded for their achievements.

To aid this, goal setting should be a priority for every new starter to ensure they are aligned with organisational objectives and have clear expectations to meet. The key here is delivering tasks that are stimulating enough to engage them, but also realistic enough that a new hire has the chance to enjoy early successes building momentum.


Effective onboarding makes businesses more profitable


Losing an employee in the first year will typically cost at least 3 times the employee’s salary.


Not only does an effective onboarding process increase productivity and subsequent returns, but by reducing attrition, also minimises costs to an organisation. The costs of early turnover are so high as employee’s at this early stage typically haven’t had enough time to reach peak performance yet. On top of this, the business must invest the time of more senior staff as well as financial costs into training their replacement.

So we know a good onboarding process is important to building a successful organisation, but how can this be achieved? We’ve put together a guide for you here.


Maximise your onboarding process with the right HR software

The onboarding period is a crucial time to set people up for success in your organisation. Most new employees form a decision on whether they want to stay or leave a company within their first 90 days, so first impressions count. In fact, a 2017 study revealed one in five employees leave before even completing their probation period [1].

A successful onboarding period will not only aid in retention and engagement, but should also aim to maximise ROI and fulfill compliance requirements.

In this guide we will explore how HR software can be utilised to maximise your onboarding process within these three key areas: compliance, retention and ROI.


Maximise Compliance

The right HR software should not only streamline the onboarding process and cut out administration time but also add value to the process by minimising errors and strengthening record keeping.

Setting up an automated onboarding workflow will help ensure nothing slips through the cracks and all employees have a consistent onboarding process. You can even create different workflows for different roles or business units if they require slightly different steps to be completed.

Here are just some of the steps you can include when setting up your onboarding workflow to help maximise compliance:


1. Track Qualifications

Allow new starters to input their mandatory qualifications like working with children checks, machinery licenses or other certifications. The individual and the HR team will be notified when these are due to expire.


2. Handle Policy Acceptance

Deliver all relevant policies to new hires, allowing them to read and accept as part of their onboarding. Managers and employees will receive notifications about any policies that have not been signed off yet so nothing gets forgotten.


3. Fulfill Statutory Requirements

Your automated onboarding workflow should also enable you to easily fulfill all employment law and statutory requirements. This could include gathering necessary information from employees that might impact on their entitlements to ensure these are delivered or providing information to employees that makes them aware of their rights at work.


Are you making any of these 5 common compliance mistakes? Learn how to avoid them here.

Maximise Retention

Getting started in a new company can be a significant learning curve. Not only will your new starter be undergoing training of relevant systems and procedures but doing so whilst entrenched in a whole new set of company values, goals and culture norms. Even seemingly small things like learning their way around the building, getting to know coworkers or discovering the best places to get coffee nearby are all important steps that every employee must take to really feel comfortable in their new position.

Helping your new employees feel at home in their new role is the first step toward keeping them engaged in your workplace. Let’s explore a few ways HR software can be used to support this:


1. Maintain continuous feedback with your team

Pulses are an automation tool that can be used to send out periodic emails to staff, inviting them to complete a form in intelliHR. This allows your organisation to easily engage in continuous feedback, which should be conducted with all staff old and new, but the forms you send out can be tailored toward different stages of the employee lifecycle.

For example, you may choose to set up a pulse that goes to new starters at the end of their second week to check in on how they are settling in. Here are a few sample questions you might want to include:

  • Do you know where to find spare stationery items?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how you are feeling about your new role.
  • Do you feel you have everything you need to do your job?
  • Let us know if there is anything else you’d like to talk about.


2. Monitor sentiment for real-time insights

Check-ins will provide good insights into how people are feeling in their new role, but we can take this one step further by looking at the underlying emotional tone behind their responses. And this does not just apply to check-ins either, intelliHR’s Sentiment Analysis feature also looks at diary notes, goal comments and more to reveal the emotional tone behind responses. This data will be available for every employee, but in the case of onboarding, the management team can filter down to look at employees in their first year an see how they are feeling and why. These insights are invaluable for identifying potential problems early and acting on them before new hires become disengaged.


Get more tips on retaining the right staff here.

Maximise ROI

With retention comes ROI. Why? Because it takes time for new employees to reach their full potential. The biggest opportunity for ROI in your business is getting people performing at their peak early, and keeping them there for as long as possible.

This process can take time as people find their feet in a new role. Even the most experienced hire will still take some time to fully align themselves to a new organisation. During this period, the new employee is generally a direct cost to the business as they are not necessarily producing outputs yet. In knowledge-based roles, this journey can take many months.

The graph below demonstrates how employees typically progress from an initial investment phase to a point where they are generating returns for the organisation.

employee lifecycle performance curve
The Employee Lifecycle Performance Curve


Learn more about the Employee Lifecycle Performance Curve here.


As a leader, understanding the learning curve will help you identify how staff progress from an initial investment or onboarding phase to a point where they are performing (and being profitable) for the company. This will help you interpret how to get the best out of your people. The key here is to shorten the time in that initial investment period by equipping your new hires with an onboarding process that gears them with all the tools they need to succeed, helping them reach peak performance sooner.

These are just some of the tools successful managers are leveraging to achieve this:


1. Automate Onboarding

An automated, online onboarding process not only reduces the admin burden on managers and maximises compliance, but also allows new starters to get setup in your organisation quickly and without the inconvenience of paperwork.

With intelliHR you can leverage automated email reminders inviting staff to undertake all necessary tasks to get started from recording their qualifications, to entering their emergency contact details and even setting the first goal they want to achieve in their new position.

What’s more, an automated process allows you to streamline and control the onboarding experience, meaning every new starter gets a consistent and enjoyable first interaction with your organisation.

On top of helping new starters get set up in their new role, onboarding can help accelerate performance by exposing new starters to culture norms within the organisation and helping them feel they fit in faster.

This could be achieved by:

  • Informing new starters about current organisation-wide goals as well as the company vision, mission and values so they understand how they can help embody these and also contribute to the bigger picture.
  • Including information about regular office activities and routines so to maximise participation and sense of inclusion.
  • Delivering activities for new staff that encourage them to have a conversation with one person from another team (or multiple) to help understand the roles of others and how they can work together, while starting to form relationships.


2. Invest in Training

New starters in your organisation will typically be required to undertake some training, particularly in entry-level roles where people are honing new skill sets. Training requires a significant investment of money and time, so it’s essential to be able to measure the ROI generated from this training. Training and its value can all be recorded and tracked within intelliHR.

Most importantly, you’ll be able to measure the ROI of different programs or courses over time and use this data to select the most worthwhile training opportunities for different teams to undertake.


3. Get people engaged early with goals

As we mentioned earlier, employees decide if they will stay or leave an organisation in the first 90 days, so it’s important to give new starters a taste of their role’s full potential as early as possible. Never underestimate what your people are capable of, give them the opportunity to extend themselves and show what they’re capable of in a low-risk scenario. Limiting new hires to menial tasks could leave them bored and take away the opportunity for them to demonstrate their true value.

How can your HR software help with this? Use your system to set three core goals for all new hires within their first two weeks to ensure they have something to work towards and a sense of purpose. To conceive these goals, managers should meet with their new direct reports one-on-one and collaboratively derive these initial goals from high-level objectives to ensure alignment across the business.


See how other organisations are improving their onboarding processes and learn how you can too in this report


[1] People Management (2017). One in five employees have left a job during their probation period. https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/employees-leaving-job-during-probation