Reduce turnover through onboarding

Posted December 29, 2014

The hiring process doesn't end when you've extended an offer letter. In order to turn that great candidate into an awesome employee - instead of a former employee - what's the one thing that can make or break a new hire's potential for success?

Your workplace environment. The unfortunate truth about new hires is that twenty-two percent of them leave during their first year. You can beat the odds by implementing an effective onboarding program that will help new hires feel welcome, included and confident.

Which scenario sounds better to you?

  1. You arrive for your first day on the new job and discover that your phone line, computer or other equipment have already been set up, complete with username and login. Your email account is ready, your employee badge just needs your picture, and you have full access to the appropriate databases or intranets. And multiple departments across the organization have already been notified of your arrival and are ready to welcome you. The first few days on the job include an orientation session and an open-door policy for any questions left unanswered.
  2. You arrive for your first day and spend a few hours filling out paperwork alone while harried managers perform other tasks. When taken to your new workspace, you discover that the computer can't be accessed and there are no directions for setting up or using the phone system. After a quick tour of the facility, you get an employee handbook, which you read it while waiting for tech support to take care of your computer and phone issues. You don't know who to ask if you have any questions, because you're really not sure who anyone is.

The employee in the first situation is going to feel much better about working at your company from day one. You can build on that by scheduling a series of one-on-one meetings to touch base with your new employee regularly, and by having each of your team members meet with the new hire to explain their roles.

Finally, according to a recent survey, 52 percent of new employees appreciate a structured and organized onboarding process that includes on-the-job training. They want to reduce the learning curve and become a contributing team member more quickly.

"Onboarding is more than just the first day or the first week, so having a set process that extends beyond that is critical," says Ryan Sanders, COO of BambooHR, which commissioned the survey. "For new hires, there's a learning curve and a ramp-up time when they don't feel productive. If the company has everything organized, strategized and streamlined, they feel like the company wants them to succeed and 'has their back.' When that's the case, their performance is greater and their satisfaction and loyalty increase, too."

Focus your onboarding and orientation for new hires on socialization and acculturation, not paperwork. When new hires feel welcome in their new positions and have the resources they need to succeed, they'll have the confidence to make an impact within the organization.