6 Ways to Accelerate New Employee Onboarding and Increase Retention

Jan 18, 2021

Hiring top candidates requires a lot of planning, strategy, and investment. Despite putting a lot of effort in sourcing, scrutinizing, and onboarding the best talent, companies find it challenging to retain their employees for a considerable amount of time. The greatest challenge that CEOs are facing today is keeping the best candidates after hiring them! But why is it so? Because present-day job-seekers prioritize better working experience over stability. The traditional recruitment rules no-longer apply to them.

Recruiters fail miserably in setting the right expectations for the employees to integrate them into the company culture seamlessly. They believe that their job ends once the applicant signs the offer letter. There is a significant mismatch in what the employees expect and what they are offered. Employers choose not to be technically equipped with software like the employee onboarding software that helps the onboarding team do their job more efficiently. Hence, it becomes difficult for the employees to cope with the shortcomings of their recruiter, and they end up quitting their job.

So, what can the companies do to increase their employee retention?

One of the biggest reasons why employers lose their new employees early is ineffective employee onboarding. Accelerating employee onboarding programs is the first step toward employee retention. Glassdoor mentions that an excellent onboarding process can increase employee retention by 82%. Nonetheless, efficient onboarding programs reduce overall turnover costs and time to productivity ratio.

An illustration of three business people on an incline labeled "Onboarding"

Although onboarding programs are fruitful, 88% of employees mentioned that their companies don’t onboard well.

How can companies accelerate their employee onboarding process?

Accelerating employee onboarding is essentially equipping your program with facilities and treatment that new hires desire. Things that matter the most to present-day new hires are better and transparent communication, elaborate plans to onboard seamlessly, socialization, and transparent future and personal goals.

A bar graph shows which elements of onboarding new hires consider most valuable

Here are six ways to accelerate your employee onboarding program effectively:

1. Commit to an elaborate employee onboarding program: Most managers confuse orientation programs with onboarding. Orientation is a simple, short program that includes all the formalities and paperwork required to be done by the new hire. The orientation program helps the employee to know more about the company background, rules, ethics, and company culture. Most hiring managers mention that it takes up to three months to effectively onboard a new hire; however, only 11% of them spend the said time.

A pie chart depicts the lengths of corporate onboarding programs

In contrast, an effective employee onboarding is an ongoing program that helps the employee in settling within the company. It ensures training, setting proper expectations, goals, and other support to the employee. It extends until the new hire completely adapts to the company culture, which roughly takes around one year. Urban Bound mentions that companies who commit to growth-oriented and extended onboarding programs accelerate their new hire proficiency by 34%.

2. Organize One-on-One Sessions: The onboarding is more than just helping the employee to settle within the company. It is about getting to know their colleagues, reporting managers, and other people working in the company. 96% of new employees suggest that one-on-one sessions with the managers are a significant part of their ongoing process, according to a survey conducted by LinkedIn. These sessions help the joinees build a formal relationship with the manager to pursue further goals more conveniently.

58% of men and 74% of women prioritize getting along with co-workers

Several companies also set up buddy programs by simply assigning one seasoned employee to each new hire. The assigned buddy is supposed to timely check-in on the new hire as a buddy and ensures that the new hire is feeling comfortable adapting to the new environment. 87% of employees suggest that buddy sessions accelerate new hire proficiency.

3. Engage with New Hires Before Day One: Managers often lose contact with the new hire after the offer letter and company agreement are signed. This time before the employee’s first day at work is risky since candidates are still open for opportunities and might end up with other alternatives. Timely communication with the new hire keeps them excited and distracted from such offers. Regular check-ins and resolving their queries, if any, are the best way to engage with your new hire before their first day. You might also want to finish off the mundane paperwork and other formalities before Day one.

4. Automate The Onboarding Processes: On average, an employee onboarding program consists of 54 activities. Automating these activities can significantly reduce the time spent chasing the employee for performing them. An employee onboarding software allows you to send an onboarding paperwork kit, handbooks, and security policies easily. It sends timely reminders, updates, and notifications to ensure the process is smooth and running on time. It also can assign and track tasks related to HR, IT, or admin. These features spare more time for the employee to engage in other activities and achieve goals more efficiently.

5. Map Out Their Future: Employees often become cynical about their jobs due to unclear goal and expectation settings. Mapping out their future helps them in knowing their goals and how to achieve them. Employees feel validated and essential when the managers chart out their future in the company keeping their personal goals and aspirations in mind. Setting long-term KPIs keeps them motivated and determined to accomplish the set goals.

6. Regular Feedback Sessions with New Hires: Feedback sessions with your new hires are crucial to consider what the employees expect. These sessions strengthen the relationship between the new hires and their team. Acting upon the feedback is another way to show concern and make the employee feel necessary for the company since 69% of employees mention that they would work harder if their efforts were better recognized.

All of the above points look into what the new hire expects and safeguard their interest effectively. Ineffective onboarding directly impacts the brand, quality of employees, employee retention, employee turnover rates, as well as the brand’s overall profit. Hence it is vital to timely update your onboarding programs for efficient and fruitful onboarding.

By Anand Srinivasan