Onboarding new starters: failure to capitalise on can-do attitude of Australian employees to self-service


A survey of managers and employees across Australia found that typical onboarding undermines the excitement and anticipation of starting a new role and does not fulfil new starters’ expectations and willingness to fix problems themselves.

Melbourne – 7 December 2021 – The way Australian businesses onboard new starters is falling short of employee expectations, leading to lost productivity, and in some cases, feelings of stress, isolation, disorganisation and frustration when starting a new role.

A survey of managers and employees across Australia found that although most respondents felt excited (75 per cent) and focused (69 per cent) about starting a new job, the reality was far from ideal with the onboarding experience negatively influencing employee emotions and wellbeing.

A staggering 65 per cent felt stressed or overwhelmed, 50 per cent felt lost or isolated, 38 per cent felt disorganised, and a third (32 per cent) were left feeling frustrated.

According to the survey commissioned by TOPdesk, a leading provider of service management software, a potential cause of frustration is the lack of resources and guidance for new starters to solve common onboarding problems for themselves.

Two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents encountered problems with their onboarding that they could have fixed themselves with the right guidance and resources.

Three quarters (76 per cent) would prefer to fix more issues by themselves if the necessary support was available.

Some 85 per cent of participants believe that fixing their problems through a self-service portal makes their lives easier.

“Australian employees clearly have high expectations of their new employer’s onboarding process. They know that their working lives are made easier if they can fix issues or problems. They want and expect tools and systems that can make them more productive.

“This preference for self-sufficiency is clear when you reference millennials. Millennials are now the largest generation in the work force. They are tech-savvy and have expectations they consider to be the norm, especially when it comes to tech. They expect employers to adopt progressive, tech-driven approaches to workplace culture, communication and support services.

“This employee can-do attitude needs to be reflected in the support services an organisation provides – a one-stop-shop for all your IT and other services and the self-service resources to allow people to fix problems for themselves,” says Marian den Ouden, general manager for Australia and New Zealand at TOPdesk.

The survey also highlighted that more than 90 per cent of respondents believed it ideal to have access, tools and equipment set up for them when they start. However, over a third (35 per cent) had to wait a week or more for access to computer applications, folders, and email.

A further 35 per cent of respondents who required a uniform had to wait a week or more to receive it. And one in five (21 per cent) had to wait a week or more to receive a building access pass.

“Australian businesses spend time, money and effort to attract and retain new talent. But the way organisations onboard new starters undermines this investment.

“People want to get off to a good start and make a good first impression. You have to wonder about the reputation damage organisations are incurring by treating new starters in this way,” says Marian.

Go to https://page.topdesk.com/en-au/onboarding-wellness-report to

/Public Release.