030 – Empathetic Onboarding | Sue Joyce

Sue Joyce is the VP of Employee Success at Terminus, where one of her main responsibilities is designing an onboarding process focused on the employee’s experience. Her dedication to boosting employee engagement seems to be working, as 72 percent of Terminus’ new hires come through employee referrals.

Sue experienced her first taste of Terminus’ “full force” onboarding experience while applying for her current position. As she waited nervously in the lobby for her interview, she remembers employees stopping by to introduce themselves. They took the time to ask what she was doing, if she needed anything, and more. Among those employees was the founder of the company. It was then she realized great onboarding starts long before a new hire’s first day.

In addition to Terminus’ unique and effective onboarding process, Sue believes a key ingredient to the strength of their culture is transparency. By openly sharing your company’s struggles and the attempts to overcome them, you are showing vulnerability and honestly. This creates a trust and cohesiveness among employees, which leads to higher engagement.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Remember What It’s Like to be a New Face: Put yourself in the shoes of your new hires. Imagine what their first days are like. Who is everybody? Who can they go to with questions? Where is everything located? Your job is to provide a clear roadmap to make the transition as painless as possible. Don’t make them figure everything out by themselves.
  2. Start the Onboarding Process With the First Interaction: If you want to hire engaged employees, don’t wait for their first day to start onboarding. Engaged employees have values that match with those of your culture. So, during your initial phone interview, ask what “culture” means to them. This will weed out anyone with a “culture disconnect” and make the rest of the onboarding process easier and more effective.
  3. Make Onboarding a Full Force Effort: Onboarding shouldn’t just involve your Operations or H.R. Department. It needs to be a culture-wide process. Create a culture that is welcoming to new hires and allow them to introduce themselves to everyone. Have them share not only who they are professionally, but a personal interest as well.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:


  • Titus – In our conversations with CEOs and hiring managers, we hear they are frustrated with traditional recruiting… From outrageous fees to focusing on candidates before clients, the process was broken and needed to be fixed. Enter Titus Talent. Titus Talent Strategies serves its clients using passionate people, a proven process, and unparalleled performance. Oh, did we mention they guarantee the PERFORMANCE of their candidates for 12 months?
  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.

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