Onboarding, or the process of welcoming new workers to an organization, assisting them in adapting to the community, and preparing them for the work ahead, is an important part of a successful employee retention strategy. An successful onboarding process engages employees and makes them feel linked to the business right away. But without the right strategy in place, onboarding can be a major missed opportunity for employers. HR industry studies show a staff turnover rate of up to 20% within the first 45 days of employment and yet, a Gallup poll has revealed that just 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job onboarding new workers during this crucial time period.
For the Gallup site, Ed O’Boyle and Jim Harter write, “This failure gets in the way of the creation of an emotional bond between the new recruit and the company—a relationship that can make or break retention.”
How does a company design an onboarding procedure that encourages new employees to stay? Companies must consider three components of a well-rounded onboarding process to ensure that workers feel welcome and are set up for success: organizational onboarding, technological onboarding, and social onboarding.
Author Ron Carucci stresses the value of “organizational onboarding” in a 2018 Harvard Business Review article. This entails giving workers basic details including where to park their vehicle, where to get an ID card, how to navigate the house, and how to participate in benefit plans. Employers should also make an effort to teach new employees any jargon that might exist in the workplace. Consider giving new hires a glossary of terms to avoid confusion and make new employees feel more comfortable, Carucci recommends.
Carucci also emphasizes the importance of acquainting new employees with the company’s ideals, culture, and brand. Taking steps in this field could include having formal meetings with individual employees and hiring managers every few months, or even matching new hires with a “organizational “hero,” —someone who has been with the company a long time and will set a positive behavioral example. The more emotionally connected to the company an employee feels, the more likely that individual is to stay on board for the long haul.
“Just because someone is hired for their skills and experiences doesn’t mean they know how to deploy them at your company,” Carucci says. When put in a new setting with a new set of expectations, even those with a lot of experience in the field might feel like they’re starting over. Here’s where technical onboarding comes in handy.
Make it clear to new recruits what you want of them. Make them aware of the performance expectations, and be sure to include any support they can need if they encounter difficulties.
Using onboarding tools which are suitable for your company’s situation will also minimizes the amount of time new hires spend getting their onboarding documents and materials organized, and gets them working sooner. An employee who feels well-equipped and properly trained for the job is more likely to feel and be successful, which goes a long way in ensuring employee retention.
Make it crystal clear to new hires what you want of them. Make them aware of the performance requirements, and make sure to provide any assistance they might need if they run into problems.
Employees who have friends at work are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and even do better work. Employees who claim they have a “best friend” at work are 43 percent more likely to gain praise or appreciation for their work in the last seven days, according to Gallup.
Encourage workers to socialize with one another, or using a social media platform to connect, to make relationship-building easier at work. New employees will feel more at ease and welcomed in the workplace if you assist them in developing relationships with their colleagues. It’s important to get employees into this mindset as part of the employee retention plan.
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