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Are your new hires on the bus?

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

“You’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus”. This was the mantra of a previous boss of mine… She’d say it during weekly catch-ups, regular team meetings and was frequently heard finishing phone calls, uttering the same refrain. It wasn’t said with malice. There was no narrowing of the eyes, sneering of the upper lip or clawing of the fingers in the style of a cartoon villain. Yet, until I stopped her to ask what the phrase actually meant, I would subconsciously get into my Power Pose, feeling the need to defend an oncoming attack…

…and that’s why Onboarding is so important!



Until recently, the average Induction process involved a new starter completing an onslaught of elearning, before being buddied with the busiest member of the team. One unforgettable induction scared the bejesus out of me; having been shooed in to a small room just off reception to read the 182-page Security Manual, before being allowed access to the secured areas. Okay, I learnt how to respond in the event of a Tiger Kidnapping, but was I on the bus? Goodness no! I felt like that woman desperate to escape the speeding bus in that film from the 90s! Fortunately, we’ve come along way since then – as has Keanu Reeves…

These days we pay closer attention to how new employees are introduced to the organisation. Having dedicated time selecting a great candidate, it’s frustrating that labour turnover rates continue to rise, especially within the probationary period. The CIPD refers to research that demonstrates the mutual benefits of an effective Induction programme for both the employer and employee. Not only does it reduce absenteeism and turnover, it’s proven to increase engagement. “Assessing the training needs of new employees consumes time and money, but it sends the message that the organisation is committed to the development of its employees, to giving them the right tools to perform, and to putting them in a position where they can succeed” (Hacker, 2004).

According to the

CIPD’s Resourcing & Talent Planning survey

,two-fifths of participating HR professionals had implemented specific retention initiatives, with 56% improving their induction process. Yet this wasn’t considered an effective solution to address their LTO issues (CIPD, 2017).