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Set Up for success at KEO Care!

By Jenna Noonan

Starting a new role, regardless of your level of experience, brings mixed emotions. Often excitement, but nervousness, anxiety, and uncertainty can also creep in during the lead up and in the beginning of starting a new role.

For those who want to be prepared, particularly those transitioning from studying into the workforce, they may research or complete a course on what to expect or consider when starting a new role. FairWork (2023) provide a “Starting a new job” online learning module, LinkedIn Learning has a short course on “Strategies for Your First 90 Days in a New Job”, and there are various published articles on the topic, including one from Jones (2015) who outlines that the first 90 days of new employment is the time for learning – learning the people, culture, systems, and expectations.

KEO Care’s comprehensive onboarding approach

At KEO Care, we acknowledge all that comes with starting at a new workplace – the range of emotions, time needed for learning and consolidation, as well as past experiences which may influence a clinician’s expectations. We are proud of the comprehensive, 3-month onboarding program we facilitate for each new community clinician that joins our team. It celebrates our values of connection, kindness, striving for excellence, and lifelong learning. This program was established on the concept of it taking 90 days to transition into a new role, whilst also tailoring it to the lived experience of therapists joining the community-based workforce.

Since it’s conception in February 2021, the onboarding program has been responsive to the data gathered from each intake, now resulting in average ratings of 4.8/5 to statements such as “I am glad in my decision to chose KEO as my employer” and “I have a clear understanding of my expectations as a KEO employee” (taken from the anonymous survey completed by the November 2023 intake during their Week 12 of onboarding).

Onboarding the KEO Care way

Our value of connection is shown from the beginning by having set start dates to enable new team members to build relationships with others going through the same transition. Kindness is then brought into this by this cohort continuing to meet for weekly facilitated group reflection sessions for the first 3 months where they are supported to work through the fluctuating emotions that comes with starting a new role, ask questions, and consolidate learning.

Lifelong learning and striving for excellence values are infiltrated throughout the program with the recognition of the extensive learning that occurs at the beginning of a new role by facilitating targeted learning workshops. These workshops are mapped to occur at the time of the learning need, consider various learning needs in relation to delivery method, and are tailored to the level of experience of the therapist, whilst individual team members can access all available learning modules. Beyond the learning needs, throughout the lifespan of their employment at KEO Care, team members are provided with wrap-around support via an active support chat between the clinician and their management and clinical supports, regular 1:1 clinical supervision, and weekly 1:1 team leader catch ups.

We are confident that with this program as our foundation and the organisation-wide focus on continuous improvement, we will see a more engaged workplace, and confident and competent team members. We hope to be the leaders within the industry so that we are contributing to better retention of team members within the demanding workforce of the NDIS community space.


FairWork. (2023).Starting a New Job. https://www.fairwork.gov.au/tools-and-resources/online-learning-centre/starting-a-new-job

Jones, M. (2015). Why the First 90 Days are Critical for New Hires and Their Managers. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-first-90-days-critical-new-hires-managers-mark-w-jones/

About the author

Jenna Noonan is KEO’s PBS Clinical Quality Lead. Jenna has established the Positive Behaviour Support stream, expanding KEO’s extensive allied health services.

Jenna’s core values are curiosity, connection and supportiveness – which is what enticed her to work as an occupational therapist; finding joy from working with ‘the tricky kids’ as a graduate which continued throughout her career.