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eight sustainability taskforce members, four men, four women laughing on a microsoft teams meeting
Our new staff member April Rathgen being welcomed by the Sustainability Taskforce

If 2020 (and the first half of 2021) has taught us anything, it’s that so much can change so quickly. While there is a sense of wanting “security” – there is also a desire to look for opportunities – both personally and professionally – that align with people’s values.

At Development Victoria, we have seen a rise in new starters during 2020 and into 2021, with 24 people joining this year alone.

Our values, culture, projects and our people are some of the reasons we attract such a high calibre of applicants for new positions.

While there is always excitement about landing a new role, there is also trepidation and stress about actually starting, particularly in the current environment, where you may find yourself beginning a new job from your own home.

Making our new starters feel welcome and convinced they have made the right choice is something we value at Development Victoria. 

Our values of collaborate, innovate and deliver are at the forefront when we welcome new team members – we want them to embrace those values but also see them in action across the business

As an organisation we are lucky enough to have some of the most passionate and enthusiastic people who love their jobs. We're committed to ensuring the onboarding process reflects this.

Employees that have an exceptional onboarding experience are 2.3 times more likely to say their job is as good or better than they expected it to be. (1)

For those who have taken that leap of faith into a new role in uncertain times, feeling as though you belong from the start is so important.

It takes time, effort, money and resources to attract the best talent, so it makes sense to ensure the same amount of time and energy is put into the onboarding experience.

Everyone wants to make new starters feel welcome, from our People and Culture Team even before day one; to employees across the business taking time to talk about all facets of life at Development Victoria. The onboarding experience is aimed at arming new employees with information, the right technology and most importantly, making them feel as though they belong.

“A positive onboarding experience can make our team members not only feel welcome but also motivated and enthusiastic to perform and deliver,” Development Victoria’s CEO Angela Skandarajah said.

“Our values of collaborate, innovate and deliver are at the forefront when we welcome new team members – we want them to embrace those values but also see them in action across the business.”

Since March 2020, our new starters had a totally different onboarding experience and as a business, we adapted to the remote environment to ensure they still felt part of the organisation.

With the external environment continuing to change, we have also had to adjust. While we still have a mix of remote and in person induction experiences, we are standardising practices, such as a buddy system, to allow new team members to have access to someone in the business they can reach out to whenever they need – whether in the office or working from home

Online coffee meetings, technology ‘switched on’ upon arrival and regular check-ins were vitally important.

In 2021, we have again adapted to suit the ever-changing environment, with some new team members able to experience face-to-face meetings and enjoy the opportunity to get to know the business “in real life”. Others have begun their journey at Development Victoria in their own home.

The onboarding process at Development Victoria regularly receives great feedback, with new starters often commenting how impressed they have been.

For Fiona Simpson and April Rathgen, two new faces in the Corporate Affairs’ team, the process was seamless.

Both commented that the induction was “fantastic”, with Fiona also amazed all her IT equipment was set up on day one.

“I still can’t believe I was set up and fully operational by 9.30am,” she said. “The process was fantastic from application, coffee catch-ups and inductions across all the different teams.”

While the process receives positive feedback, it is always important for us to learn from past experiences and introduce improvements along the way.

Caroline Monzon, Executive Director of People and Culture says the past year has taught us that adapting to suit any environment is vital.

“Some of our new team members have experienced the challenge of starting a new job in a totally remote environment, making it difficult to form strong relationships, access information and learn on the job,” she said.

“With the external environment continuing to change, we have also had to adjust. While we still have a mix of remote and in person induction experiences, we are standardising practices, such as a buddy system, to allow new team members to have access to someone in the business they can reach out to whenever they need – whether in the office or working from home.”

Regardless of the changes, we will always ensure our values are at the core of everything what we do.

To find out about current roles and meet some of our people, visit our work with us page.

(1) Source: Gallup’s Perspective on Creating Exceptional Onboarding Journeys

Updated on 21 June 2021