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Large_Outdoor_ConcertAs a new employee starts, we’ve always got a couple of big priorities on our employee onboarding checklist. Do they understand their responsibilities? Are they excited about their new role? Are the engaged? Should we be worried about them resigning?

More and more, we’re seeing the answers to all these questions come down to two things: process and communication.

Process is easy – start using employee onboarding software, implement some automation and you’ll be covered in no time. Communication, though, is a little more tricky to define.

So, what’s the best way to communicate with new hires during their onboarding process? 

Based on Ceridian’s TeamRelate software, here are the 4 key communication styles (and how you can best use them to effectively onboard your new staff).

Director_Rob_BowmanThe Director

Directors like authority and control when communicating. Whilst they can be very blunt (or ‘direct’), this style of communication is great for getting clear, factual information across to the new employee.

You’ll want to be a director when you’re communicating key technical, legal or procedural information to ensure there are no miscommunications. Keep everything to the point when going through these areas – save the fun personality for the rest of the onboarding process.

Who needs to be a director?

  • OH&S officer
  • Payroll
  • Office manager
  • Direct supervisor


coach-551563_960_720The Encourager

Encourages, as the name suggests, favour excitement and fun to communicate. With great use of hyperbole and exaggeration, encouragers are great at getting new employees excited about their new role during the onboarding process.

Encouragers are vital to the onboarding process, as they help keep emotions positive and maintain employee engagement. When talking about the employees future, the company and their role, good encouragement can make a big difference to employee retention and performance.

Who needs to be an encourager?

  • CEO
  • Manager
  • Direct Supervisor
  • Mentor


Phra_Ajan_Jerapunyo-Abbot_of_Watkungtaphao.The Facilitator

Facilitators project security and encourage harmony. Whilst they’re friendly, they’re often considered gentle or reserved. To be a good facilitator, you need to be patient and available to listen.

Facilitators are perfect for managing any bumps in the onboarding process. If you’re considered a facilitator by the new hire, they will come to you and feel they can trust you with any issues or concerns they have, with the expectation that you will be able to help resolve these challenges (or at the very least, point them in the right direction).

Who needs to be a facilitator?

  • HR
  • Buddy
  • Manager
  • Colleague

Kokoda_track_Papua_New_GuineaThe Tracker

Trackers are the detailed communicators – the ones who value understanding and accuracy above all else. Clarity is key to a tracker, but unlike a director, a good tracker will keep asking questions until they are sure everyone knows all of the relevant information.

You’ll need to be an effective tracker when explaining new concepts, ideas or strategies to new employees. A good tracker won’t leave a new employee with any knowledge gaps. They’ll always confirm the new hire understands new information thoroughly, giving them peace of mind and preventing miscommunication blunders.

Who needs to be a tracker?

  • IT
  • HR
  • Direct Supervisor
  • Recruiter (when checking in with the new hire)


In practice, you may have certain people who adopt certain styles of communication based on their role and personality. But it’s entirely feasible to combine styles, or even switch styles depending on the situation.

The key is to find the approach that matches your natural communication style and leverage it for the greatest impact, rather than try to re-wire your brain and become a new person overnight. Use every person in the onboarding process, from team leaders through to IT, to create an effective, engaging onboarding process and you’ll see your employee retention rates improve and your employee engagement levels soar.

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