Increased Retention Starts With A Good Employee Onboarding Process
When a company is eager to grow and ready to hire, first impressions are everything. We are not, however, referring to the first impression made on you by your prospective employees.
We are looking at the onboarding process from the opposite perspective: how the onboarding process affects those whom you are hoping to hire and retain. The impact of the employee onboarding process lasts long after the initial days or weeks, and will result in workers who truly enjoy working at your company and who want to stay.
As we will show you in this blog post, solid employee onboarding sets the tone for future work and improves overall staff retention. The people you bring on board will:
- Understand your company’s mission and core values
- Know exactly what is expected of them, and how you will support them
- Be totally engaged as they help you to grow and increase revenue
The Emotional Connection
Successful onboarding and the creation of an emotional connection with your hire make a difference:
- Companies with an engaging onboarding program retained 91 percent of their first-year workers.
- New hires who went through a well-structured onboarding program were 69 percent more likely to remain at a company up to three years.
- 81 percent of workers say they are motivated to work harder after they have been recognized in a positive way.
Onboarding New Employees Begins Before a Hire
Before you ever see those smiling faces waiting in your lobby, onboarding begins. Hiring someone is not cheap, and it can be extremely time-consuming. It costs even more money if the person is not the right fit, and vacates their position quickly. Consider these statistics:
- According to Glassdoor, the average company in the United States spends about $4,000 to hire a new employee, taking up to 52 days to fill a position.
- It costs employers 33 percent of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves.
A solid employee onboarding process helps ensure that every employee you bring in will be more likely to stay and continue to carry out important work on your behalf for years to come. Onboarding prep is critical for each new person, especially if your company is growing at a rapid pace.
Start at the Beginning
Start with the creation of a written job description: the more specific the description, the better it will be for both employer and employee.
For example, stating that you are looking for a “an experienced manager for a retail environment” could attract hundreds of irrelevant applications. Instead, be specific: “We are looking for a day shift manager with big box store experience and a college degree for the management of at least 50 employees.” Follow with a detailed list of responsibilities and expectations. The result will be fewer, but definitely more relevant applications.
This saves time on more than one level. Not only will the application evaluation process be much more manageable, but you are less likely to waste time looking at unqualified applicants. You will also reduce the number of applicants applying for jobs they are not suited for.
Brush up on the current legal requirements for hiring. You already understand federal protections for applicants, and that you cannot discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, pregnancy, age, disability, or religion. But what about state and local laws? Review them as well.
Finally, create an automated workflow to lead you to that new hire. This will protect you legally by providing proof of proper procedures, if a claim of discrimination is ever made. It will also provide a visual dashboard for the hiring process so that you do not get bogged down by the details or become overwhelmed by piles of paperwork.
Interviews with Potential Employees: Set the Tone
It seems like it should go without saying, but the first way to execute a successful interview is to be kind. This attitude reflects your strong, welcoming work culture. It demonstrates that questions and concerns will be respected and responded to in a timely manner.
Once the conversation has ended, set expectations. Interviews should have a defined process, which means that you can indicate clearly to your potential hire when they will hear back from you.
Will there be a second interview? Are there other managers they need to meet or speak with? There should be follow-up in place for communicating with every single person who does not get hired, along with an explanation of your decision. Hiring managers know that the relationships they create with interviewees often lead to new opportunities on both sides in the future.
Congratulations, You’re Hired!
It’s always a joyous occasion when the new employee comes on board. It should even be treated as a holiday by you and your staff. Do something special, whether that means a team exercise to cover introductions, taking your new employee out to lunch, or decorating their cubicle.
A couple of important meetings should be booked immediately. Schedule time to review your company’s mission, core values, and workplace conduct guidelines. Apply what is being reviewed to your hire’s specific role. Reiterate what was discussed during the interview with your new employee: that they were brought on based upon both their skill set and how well they fit into your business’s culture and environment.
They should also have some face time scheduled with relevant executives. Whether you are hiring a manager or a janitor, this communicates their value to your organization effectively.
Have all of the forms you need on-hand, or better yet, have them ready to go online via a self-service system. Also, make sure you’ve got an updated employee handbook for reference. It should include information on the following, at minimum:
- Behavior and conduct
- Attendance, vacation, and sick time
- Performance expectations
- Dress code
Set the tone for your employee’s emotional wellbeing, and they will stay happy and loyal. This may seem surprising, but emotional support often carries more weight than financial incentives.
Recognize Your Employees
One final onboarding best practice is to schedule your hire’s first review. Whether you conduct reviews quarterly, biannually, or annually, it should be on the calendar when people join the team. Connect an incentive to the review so that someone gets a raise or another reward for successful completion.
Recognition surveys are another way to initiate company-wide awards for diligence, attendance, and hitting department-based milestones. Workers who get recognition or a “thank you” from their bosses are nearly twice as likely to trust them.
Onboarding and Automation
New jobs are intimidating. They induce anxiety and stress. Often, an employee will be afraid to ask both the basic and the complicated questions surrounding their role. Successful onboarding provides a platform for support and encouragement. It can often mean the difference between flourishing or failing.
As we’ve demonstrated, when done correctly, onboarding can also motivate a worker to stick around as opposed to bouncing to the next opportunity. Placing some processes such as selection of benefits and weekly timesheets online can assist with helping onboarding to go smoothly. Employee self service and automation streamlines small and time-consuming tasks so you can focus on overall staff wellbeing and job satisfaction. To learn more about effective hiring and recruitment practices with long-term benefits, click here.