On average, one-third of employees quit within the first six months.

A positive on-boarding experience, however, leads to most employees staying with a company for at least three years.

The Great Resignation isn't an alarmist fad to be shrugged off, nor does it fall within the "people nowadays just don't want to work" narrative. These Great Resignators quitting their jobs don't stay unemployed -- they find something that they think is better.

What, then, as an employer can you do to increase retention and keep new hires happy? It (literally) starts with the onboarding process. We all know the basics of onboarding. Setting up accounts, scheduling get-to-know-you meetings, providing acclimation assignments, so on and so forth. At the heart of seemingly standard procedures during onboarding is communication. For employees that are more willing to quit than ever, you need to be prepared for heavy scrutiny and less tolerance for poor organizational management and communication.

When it comes to communication, you reap what you sow. Leadership sets the standard. If a poor standard is provided, don't be surprised when your employees leave. When communication during onboarding comes off as unclear, inattentive, and unorganized, then the new hire's first impression of the company is tainted and trust is lost. That's why effective communication during your dev's onboarding transition is crucial for their success...and the company's success, too.

Take a few moments to revisit your onboarding style, your team's communication strategy during onboarding, and consider the impression they may make on a new hire.

Evaluate your team's communication process

What's working and what's not?

On the first day of your new developer’s career with your company, start things off right by including them in all communications. This includes everything from email chains, internal messaging, call center WFM platform communications, and weekly team update meetings.  

During the onboarding process, the new developer should also receive daily support from their assigned mentor, with co-workers on hand to explain specific company tasks. 

Effective communication means regularly scheduled updates to answer your new hire’s  questions and address their concerns. Businesses often hold weekly updates as stand-up or scrum style meetings - where the whole team feeds back on the previous week’s accomplishments, communicates any roadblocks to current development tasks on the SAP cloud platform integration suite, and discusses what next week looks like. Establish regular pair coding exercises early on so that your new hire meets the rest of the team quickly.  

As well as whole team meetings, it’s a good idea to use regular one-on-one meetings to check in on your new hires. The start of a successful new software engineer career requires letting your new developer know how they are doing from the beginning, as their skills and career progresses, and to give valuable feedback. 

When looking at your team's communication process, keep in mind that effective communication breeds effective team work. What does this look like within your team? What do you do well? What could be improved?

How can effective communication improve effective teamwork?

Effective communication in the workplace makes every employee feel included, supported, and respected, regardless of their individual workplace communication styles. Communication in work teams enables everyone to be educated on issues that affect their own work, and builds camaraderie, boost morale and trust, and improves employee retention rates. 

Especially in a remote setting, it’s essential that all your employees, but particularly new hires, have their psychological needs met. This means accepting, validating, and understanding their points of view and work efforts. Healthy work relationships create a more stable work environment, and will probably reduce your hiring costs. 

Create an 'Open' Company Ethos

For software development teams, a workplace with diverse team members from different backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives enable them to respond in an agile way to problems and change. Companies can only benefit from this if a strong culture of workplace communication is in place. Creating a company ethos of openness and encouraging team members to share their ideas helps businesses to make better decisions and drive innovative solutions. Innovation is unlikely to happen in a business lacking open communication. 

Successful self-organizing software development teams thrive on good communication. A good solution for many businesses is to have an open channel from the dev team room, so the whole team can continually communicate with each other. 

Incorporating Openness into Onboarding


Strive to make your new developer feel welcomed and include opportunities for meaningful interactions with their new teammates. Take the time to learn more about your new employee by asking questions about their working style:

  • What type of work excites you?

  • How do you like to receive feedback?

  • What’s your preferred method of recognition?

  • How can I support you to do your best work?

  • Do you have a preference on how you schedule your days?

Initial tasks

Depending on which type of software engineer you’ve recruited for, the tasks for the initial onboarding week will vary. 

But typically, from day one, or even before day one, the new dev should be introduced to the person they can reach out to when they have technical questions, introduce them to the wider team, and explain initial projects. 

During onboarding week, companies often ask the current dev team to integrate new recruits into their new development workflow by delegating a simple task to complete. This strategy quickly helps the new hire gain a sense of achievement and contribute to production while learning the workflow.

Tasks can include coding a new algorithm for a feature, rebuilding a dashboard, or updating an existing feature. These initial tasks should have a clear scope and be well-defined to help the new hire avoid frustration in their first week on the job. If you work with a solution like a Process Bliss process improvement strategy to document onboarding processes, you can easily tick off tasks and learnings your new hire has completed as you go. 

Company culture

As well as getting involved with dev work, the initial onboarding week is a great opportunity to connect your new hire with others in the company. Consider how your business could do this - perhaps virtual coffee breaks where employees are paired randomly for a quick chat? In a large company, these kinds of communications are invaluable as they help employees in different teams to connect - where they otherwise probably wouldn’t have talked at all.  

Why not introduce regular team get-togethers? These sessions can revolve around demos of coming soon features, hack day, or anything you can think of. Hack days are great for allowing software engineers to take a break from regular sprint-based work cycles, and work on something creative as a team. 

Plan get-togethers that everyone can join, including any remote team members, especially if they are new developers. These events create an opportunity for everyone to share their talents and learnings. A mix of culture-building activities and all team get-togethers will help to promote team spirit and personal relationships at your business, which is a crucial element of helping new developers fit into your team culture. 

Onboarding logistics

Do your best to onboard remote developers as if they were on-site. All onboarding processes can be done digitally, using standard telecommunication tools like a call recording service,

video chat, and online file sharing for sending onboarding documents.  

Becoming part of the team means learning about your business - so during the initial onboarding week, provide your new hire with an introductory course or recommended reading to introduce the company’s history, mission, values, and long-term goals. When remote developers have a clear understanding of the company and its goals, they will feel like they are part of the team. It’s important to help remote developers feel a sense of purpose within the company. If you achieve this, they are more likely to be motivated, loyal, and have overall stronger performance.

Onboarding is an ongoing process that helps you retain your new developers long-term. Remember that the process will be a lot of information for your new hire to take in, so make sure to check in every week for the first month at least. 

Tips for onboarding remote developers

With more and more businesses adopting remote working practices, we’ve shared some tips on optimizing the process of onboarding remote developers:

  • Clarify communication expectations from the beginning.

  • If budget allows, provide your new employee with an allowance to purchase the equipment they need to do their best work. 

  • Help set boundaries - for example, if your team has flexible working hours, your new hire might receive emails outside of working hours. Address this by reminding them to only respond to emails during work hours. Use tools like

    phone call forwarding

    to set out of office responses. 

Keep the communication channels open

Communication is essential in agile software development. Through scrum meetings, information management software, instant messaging, and pair programming, a remote working setup can work exceptionally well - as long as the onboarding process started in the right way. Remember - culture fit will likely be one of the most important deciding factors as to whether your new hire ultimately becomes a successful long-term member of your team.


The saying is cliche, but evergreen: Communication is key.

Because it's becoming more and more difficult to retain employees, companies need to ask themselves, 'What can we do to meet the needs of our employees?' The onboarding process is essentially an employee's first impression of their new company, new colleagues, and new culture. It's up to you to make a good (and lasting) impression. You can do this by:

  1. Evaluate your team's communication process

    1. When looking at your team's communication process, keep in mind that effective communication breeds effective team work. What does this look like within your team? What do you do well? What could be improved?

    2. Hold regular meetings and schedule one-on-ones to ensure your team (and new hires) are on the same page.

  2. Create an 'Open' Company Ethos

    1. Be sure to not just preach "openness". Practice it from start to finish. This means incorporating that ethos into a new hire's learning phase and initial task. For remote companies, this means creating an onboarding process that feels connective, as if everything were happening on site.

    2. Check in with your new hires often. The onboarding process can be overwhelming. In order to seem like they 'have it together', new hires may not be eager to admit when they're struggling.