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Best Practices for Onboarding New Employees

onboarding new employees

Previously, Kiley Mutschler, a regional manager with Active Wellness, shared recommendations to support an engaging and interactive hiring experience. In this article, she dives into the three C’s of onboarding new employees.

The onboarding process is perhaps the most critical part of the employee experience and without a doubt a driver in their overall success with the health club. According to Gallup, there are five topics that onboarding should cover, which includes: company culture, determining strengths, setting expectations for the role, providing a support system and vision for future opportunity.

To deliver great customer service = you have to deliver a great internal employee service.

Onboarding starts before the employee’s first day of work. Consider sending a package to their home that includes anything they might need for the first day. Ensure all technology needs – computer, email and phone – are complete prior to starting and think about any other distractions/limitations you can eliminate prior to the first day so you can build on that momentum throughout the onboarding process.

Three C’s of Onboarding:


Who are you as a company? The new hire should have experienced some of your values throughout the interview process but now it is time to show them. To be successful, employees need to understand how the company culture works, rewards and resolves. According to Gallup, when employees agree they have a good understanding of “how we do things” they are 4.7 times more likely to strongly agree their onboarding process was exceptional.

More and more we are seeing things such as, “culture is not free drinks + app subscription”, so make sure your culture can be seen and felt through actions in the day-to-day of the operations. Interactions throughout your club and organization should emphasize your culture, not just internal company culture but the culture and community you foster within the club.


Establish relationships with the new employee. Connect them with a mentor/peer/culture partner who will support them through the onboarding process. Your formal onboarding process might be 10 days or 30 days, but it should be thorough and all-inclusive (safety, company policies, benefits and department rotations including group exercise, aquatics, programs, kids club, etc.). 

Managers should work with the employee to determine their strengths and set clear expectations for the role. The process allows the new employee to begin to contribute and support the team immediately. You should also discuss what opportunities there are for growth so they can see their future with the company.

Continuous Communication

The onboarding process should just be the start of the employee experience. It should continue to reaffirm company culture, values and expectations. When an employee completes their onboarding process, they should feel confident they are set-up to be successful, contribute and make a difference to the club, members and overall organization.

Managers should be an integral part of the onboarding process, checking-in to get feedback on how the process is going from all parties. It is crucial to keep an open loop of communication with the new hire, not just within the first 10 to 30 days but also on-going throughout the entire first year and beyond. Continual communication, feedback and coaching is the best way to ensure productivity, effectiveness and hopefully long-term retention of your team.

“You must design a system for training and onboarding that gives people a real, fighting chance at success.” – Mitch Gray

In the next article – as the life cycle of the employee experience continues – we will look at engagement, performance and development as part of effective retention strategies.

Kiley Mutschler

Kiley Mutschler is a regional manager with Active Wellness, overseeing corporate and multi-tenant fitness centers in Texas, Arizona and Canada. She has over 10 years of experience managing people at all levels; responsible for hiring, training and building strong teams within the organization. Kiley has held many roles within Active Wellness and was named an IHRSA Rising Star in 2019. She can be reached at kiley.mutschler@activewellness.com.

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