How An Onboarding Process Can Improve Retention
Onboarding is a great opportunity for employers to help new employees feel comfortable in their team. However, many organisations overlook the onboarding process. Instead of helping employees integrate into their team, employers will often do the bare minimum. As a result, 46% of employees in the UK want to leave their job within the first six months, with two out of every five leaving within a year.
Aside from retention rates, onboarding can also impact productivity, motivation, and the overall workplace environment. The first two weeks of an employee's time at a new organisation will determine their future experiences and expectations. Therefore, little to no onboarding could contribute to bad morale, low motivation to work, and high levels of stress.
That being said, a good onboarding process can result in several benefits, which we will explore below.
The Issue With Current Onboarding Processes
A good onboarding process is crucial for building healthy, long-term professional relationships. It also helps businesses give a good first impression. After all, new employees will evaluate their new workplace just as employers will evaluate them.
However, most onboarding processes are substandard at best. In a typical situation, a new employee will find themselves alone in a room with a stack of paperwork to complete. Once complete, this is usually followed by a basic team introduction, after which a new employee is shown their desk and told to get started. As expected, they’re now confused and have no clue what to do next.
Instead of putting your new employees through this experience, here’s how you can use an onboarding process to improve retention.
The first stage of an onboarding process should focus on getting a new employee up to date with the day to day role of their job. This will involve everything from showing them their desk and how their computer works (if appropriate), to giving a tour of the office and any access passes they need. This should be followed by a short meeting to go over company regulations, cyber security, and general workplace health and safety.
To assist with the onboarding process, new employees should also be given a guide that covers all the basics, as remembering everything at once may be a little tricky. This guide can also include any jargon used for key processes or used within a particular division, as such language can cause confusion early on. Creating a glossary of terms is a great way to do this and will reduce the amount of stress a new employee is put under.
The last part of the organisational onboarding process is helping new employees understand the organisation’s culture. While most businesses will tell new hires their company's values, this isn’t enough to help an employee adjust. Employers need to help employees understand the company’s culture into their everyday work, which can be reinforced by the company itself.
For example, rewarding staff based on performance, being transparent with business updates, and providing employees with mentorship opportunities, where employees can reflect on their performance, share their experience and suggest any ways the onboarding process can be improved.
As well as adjusting to the organisation, a social onboarding process must be put into place to ensure new employees feel welcome in their new team. Research has shown that employees who feel like an important member of a team are 50% less likely to leave, take 75% fewer sick days, and have 56% higher job performance.
To achieve these benefits, managers need to implement strategies that help employees build relationships with their new team. Such strategies can include weekly catch-ups with stakeholders, team dinners, and social areas within the workplace where teams can get to know one another.
Employers can also take one step further and provide employees with a list of contacts who can help them during their first few weeks. This way, if they encounter an issue, they know exactly who to go to. By creating a list, employees will naturally feel more welcome, and starting their job will become less daunting.
Benefits Of A Strong Onboarding Process
Higher Employee Retention
Retaining highly skilled employees has become one of the biggest challenges for modern employers. Statistics show that 20% of employees plan to quit their job in the next year, showing that employees are happy to quit a job if workplace conditions aren’t suitable.
A strong onboarding process can help employees understand the company culture and bond with their new colleagues, thus improving retention. Research shows that 69% of employees stay with a business for at least three years following a good onboarding process.
Getting into the flow of a new job can take weeks, if not months for new employees. However, the easier a manager makes it for new employees to reach their full potential, the faster they will get there. This will not only lead to greater workplace satisfaction for the employee, but research shows that companies with engaged employees are also 22% more profitable.
Attract More Candidates
Candidates are more likely to apply for a job if they see positive reviews about a particular business. Now more than ever it's important for a business to build a positive reputation when it comes to recruitment, otherwise, top candidates will look elsewhere.
Data shows that 46% of workers wouldn’t recommend their job to friends or family based on their experience. While several factors influence this, a strong onboarding process can help improve employee relations and manage expectations to help them enjoy the workplace.
Onboarding Is Crucial To Long Term Success
A well-thought-out and detailed onboarding process is crucial for employee retention. In addition, it has a number of short term and long term benefits. These include better employee retention, increased productivity, more potential candidates, and higher profits.
However, onboarding isn’t something that should be forgotten after an employee's first month. The introduction of quarterly catch-ups can help employers ensure their employees are still enjoying their work and feel like a valued member of the team. They can also be used to manage expectations and help clear up any issues or disagreements in the workplace.