Joining a new organisation conjures up a whole raft of emotions; anticipation, excitement with maybe a few nerves thrown in. Which is why the employer’s onboarding experience plays such a significant part in ensuring a good start to a new role.

Reed & Mackay Head of HR Lucy Burton shares how and why Reed & Mackay believes the onboarding process is a crucial step in enhancing the employee experience.

Why does employee onboarding matter?

First impressions count, as do second, third and through your entire time with a company! When joining a new organisation, you want to feel you’ve made the right choice, feel confident, welcomed and as engaged as you were at the interview.

At Reed & Mackay, each new starter embarks on an onboarding process so everybody feels part of the team from day one.

No matter their background – whether they’ve accepted a job offer from us after working elsewhere for a long time and this is next step of their career, or if it’s someone who’s new to the world of work – it should be a positive experience.  I am very proud of our process and the lovely feedback we receive.

What does day one look like?

Day one is all about getting the feel for the office. On an employee’s first day you’ll get a tour of all the facilities, have your access pass created, be set up on our systems, advise when the fire alarm testing is done, all the first-day essentials. And then time with your team or, if you’re in an operational role, you’ll meet our technical trainers. We’ve been working with them for a long time so they know and understand the company culture.

If there are a few people starting on the same day, they are greeted by the HR team, or if it’s an individual starting, they’ll be met by their line manager.

You’ll have a Welcome to Reed & Mackay session, covering who we are and what we do, plus how to use our internal systems and starting introductions.

Every line manager has access to an onboarding pack too, so they are clear on what their responsibilities are for the new person in their team. The pack provides advice and resources to help the manager plan the onboarding experience, including learning and networking events. This is just as an important part of the onboarding process for the manager as it is for the new starter; it’s high engagement at every level.

Colleagues by your side

New starters are also assigned a buddy from their team. The buddy is there for support for the first few months, to help the new team member settle into the working environment. It’s someone to help answer all the questions you might ask when starting at a new organisation and someone to have coffee or lunch with in the first week.

Our buddies are supported by our Talent Development team and all go through our ‘Being A Buddy’ online module.

Onboarding homeworkers

At Reed & Mackay, some roles are homeworking positions. When you start one of these new roles, you would usually spend a couple of weeks in the office (with hotel stays provided if you have training on site). We ensure everyone is comfortable and fully understands all our tools and systems before they begin homeworking. And we always welcome people back to the office whenever they like, especially for all of our social activities.

Development from the start

From your first day you’ll have access to our learning platforms. There are lots of brilliant resources at your fingertips, as well as onboarding courses and statutory courses for policies and procedures, both online and face to face.

Global onboarding

We’re a global company with 140 office locations in more than 52 countries. Our Talent Development team runs the global onboarding session for all Reed & Mackay employees. This includes a virtual welcome session for new starters with the team, HR and one of the company’s founders to take them through Reed & Mackay’s history, our purpose, vision and values. It’s interactive, a lot of fun and it’s a great way for our new employees to get to know each other.

Ongoing employee engagement

We’re always looking to improve an employee’s onboarding experience so we survey new starters to see how they’ve settled in, how their managers are doing, so we can monitor that everything we’ve put in place is working. All our new starters also have a check-in with us after three months and after six. Ensuring they feel engaged with the company is essential.

what the new starters say

Before even starting at Reed & Mackay, which I joined in February this year, I had a good impression; my interviews were open and friendly, I was given a good overview of the company and the role. I also had a great call the week before I started and was emailed with what I needed on my first day. This level of care and communications has continued since I’ve been here. When I was introduced to the team everyone was so welcoming. The entire onboarding process was really well done, everyone is so helpful and friendly and I’m really enjoying my role here.

Reed & Mackay Global Product Manager Sandra Brinkley

I’ve been with Reed & Mackay for just over three months. At my first interview, straight away it felt right, feeling more like a conversation than an interview interrogation! On my first day there was an office tour, followed by online onboarding videos but I’d also been very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet the team, a few days before starting, at a team event. Hearing how positively everyone was talking about the team and how they felt supported was amazing! Everyone was so welcoming.

Reed & Mackay Events Manager Ahnya Livingstone