Re-imagining the onboarding experience

About Reece Group

Reece Group is a leading Australian distributor of plumbing, waterworks and HVAC-R products to residential, commercial and infrastructure customers through 800 branches in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Reece Group has a growing team of 8,000 employees, committed to improving the lives of their customers by striving for greatness every day.

Key project features

Kineo logo Totara
Kineo logo Onboarding culture transformation
Kineo logo Multi-device


Reimagining the onboarding experience.

The Reece 2030 Strategy has a strong focus on building the capability of employees, supporting current and future leaders at all levels.

In November 2019, the Reece Group embarked on a mission to reimagine the onboarding experience. Through an onboarding crowd-sourcing challenge and a series of design labs with collaborative feedback from the business, Reece received resounding feedback that new starters wanted to have a sense of belonging from day one. This was more important than learning the products, processes or technology. New starters wanted to feel a part of the team and know who to go to for support when they needed it.

This was the catalyst for the ‘Get Started With’ Onboarding Project, which transformed the onboarding experience at the Reece Group by introducing: 

  • Preboarding: A personalised and digitised experience for new starters with a leadership welcome message, assigning of a buddy, and a 'What to Expect' activity to provide insight into a typical day in-branch before the new starter begins.    
  • Onboarding: A guided journey hosted by the Kineo Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and designed by the Reece Group, focused on creating moments that give new starters a sense of belonging.
  • Embedding: An ongoing learning and discovery plan driven by the new starter in the LXP, with support from their leader, buddy and wider Reece network to help them build their confidence. The embedding phase is driven by a customised Recommended Engine (designed in partnership with Kineo) to provide learning that suits each individual based on: business unit, role, tenure, function (operations or support), and country. 


‘Get Started With’ onboarding experience that sets new recruits up for success

The 'Get Started With' onboarding experience has been designed to set employees up for success right from the start. The focus was on creating a sense of belonging for new starters as a priority, with more technical information introduced further down the track to avoid feelings of being overwhelmed. This helps make the new starter feel comfortable early on, with confidence using systems and then layering on product information later during the embedding phase, further down the track. The Learning Experience team ran a series of onboarding design labs targeted across all areas of the business to gather insights. This informed key themes and principles to design their work moving forward, including a focus on belonging and ensuring learning is self-driven, spaced, and blended. 

A Customised ‘Get Started With’ onboarding experience for each business unit

The Reece Group has ten different business units working under the Reece banner. Each provides a different service, unique products and specialises in a different area of the plumbing industry. This adds complexity to what our people need to know. The ‘Get Started With’ onboarding experience focused on understanding the differences of each business unit to design a customised learning journey - noting that a Plumbing new starter’s needs are very different to someone starting in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning).
The 'Get Started With' onboarding project looked at all elements of the onboarding experience including: Preboarding (acceptance of contract – pre-Day 1), Onboarding (Day 1 - Month 1), Embedding (Month 1 - Month 6).  

A streamlined approach that ensures everyone understands the customer experience 

The Reece Support Centre (RSC) considers branch time as an essential part of the onboarding experience. This allows all RSC team members to learn about the Reece Group employees, customers and processes by spending time in the branch when they first start. Once completed, branch time the new starter can return to their role and understand pain points, processes, and design better solutions in the long-term that makes a difference to their quality of 'customer' relationships.

The team delivered 29 developmental sprints, collaborating with over 180 stakeholders to create an onboarding experience that was right for each business unit within Reece.  


A transformative onboarding experience that ensures new recruits feel a sense of belonging from the outset

The 'Get Started With' solution was co-designed with over 180 stakeholders across the Reece Group. This allowed the Learning Experience team to test and iterate throughout development. It also meant many key stakeholders across the business already had bought into the solution and were familiar with the upcoming change and excited about it.   

The 'Get Started With' solution launched in its entirety on March 1, 2021. The end solution:     

  • 11 LXP journeys customised for various Reece business units
  • 22 buddy and leader guides    
  • 80 LXP on-demand activities (approx 5 mins at time of need via the LXP customised Recommendation Engine)
  • Digitised induction checklists 
  • A modern and mobile-enabled pre boarding experience.

Delivery was supported by existing technology within the Reece Group (i.e. Kineo LXP, Donesafe, and Workday), allowing for a smooth transition. Design principles aimed to keep the experience as simple and seamless as possible for new starters. 

The overall intention was to create a gradual and sustainable onboarding experience for new starters where, via the LXP, they could learn about building relationships at Reece, find information, and be introduced to core tasks without being overloaded with information.       

"I am so stoked this is finally being rolled out. Going to make such a difference for that challenging first 6 months."

"Great! This will really help our new starters feel more comfortable quicker and provide extra help / support for leaders."

case study

See how we used the power of a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) to implement diverse learning journeys for Reece's employees.

see the work

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