How Onboarding Improves Employee Retention Rate & Performance

Blog / How Onboarding Improves Employee Retention Rate & Performance

We know that hiring and retaining employees might be something that keeps you up at night. Hiring new employees and getting them onboarded isn’t a sprint but a marathon. But despite it being a rather lengthy process, those first few months are the most critical for a new hire. 

In fact, nearly a quarter of company turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment. If that doesn’t keep you up at night, we don’t know what will. It gives us goosebumps just thinking about it! 

This means that onboarding is crucial to improving employee performance and workforce retention. So how can you improve your onboarding process to benefit new hires and your company? Let’s check it out.

The Pre-Game Show

Any sports fan–or really anyone who has watched the Superbowl, knows that the pre-show can actually be pretty amazing in helping you understand what to expect in the game to come. The same is for pre-boarding. What the heck is that, you ask? It’s a process that happens from when the new hire accepts the job offer to their actual first day of work. 

But I thought this blog article was about onboarding, not some pre-game show. We hear you! But pre-boarding and on-boarding go hand-in-hand. Pre-boarding allows your new hire to feel more connected and involved with the company right away, rather than two or more weeks down the road. 

It also makes that first day more enjoyable for the employee as they aren’t slammed with tons of paperwork on their first day. Instead of signing on the dotted line over and over again, they get a chance to meet their peers and get their hands dirty. 

If you want to learn more about pre-boarding, check out our article on it. We delve more into the perks and give you some pointers to get you started on developing your own pre-boarding process. 

First Day Jitters

Day one has started for a new hire and you are still in that critical time period! So if the paperwork is done and filed away thanks to pre-boarding, what’s left to do now? A lot (which is why pre-boarding is key to success)! 

Your company should have two main goals for an employee’s first day on the job. These goals are setting expectations and introducing objectives. New hires, and employees in general, need to have a clear idea about what their job duties and responsibilities are. We know you wouldn’t like to be left in the dark, so why would your employees like it? So the first day should be focused on getting to know the job and co-workers. You want to show your new hire that you care enough to build a rapport with them in order to get them back on day two. 

Make sure that part of getting to know the job and the company includes acclimating new employees to the workplace culture. Otherwise, you can put your new hire at a significant disadvantage. It’s been found that employees who know what to expect from their company’s culture make better decisions that are more aligned with the company’s accepted practices. 

And tamp down on any tensions between existing employees and new hires by making sure that roles and responsibilities are outlined for the entire team. You don’t want existing employees feeling threatened that a new hire could take over their responsibilities. By clarifying these roles and responsibilities, you set your team up to succeed because they know how to interact with one another. 

Hitting Landmarks

Onboarding really doesn’t end after the first day. You can’t just bring a new hire in, wish them good luck and then let them figure it out from there. That’s like dropping them off in a jungle with no escape route. At the one month mark, have HR check in with the new employee to make sure they are happy, comfortable and engaged. Also, review your new hire’s early contributions and give thoughtful feedback. New hires naturally want to please their employer so make sure to help guide them, rather than setting them up for eventual failure. 

Do another check in with new employees at the three month and six month marker too. Remember, nearly 90% of employees decide whether to stay or go within the first six months of employment. So by showing you sincerely care about your new employees can have a huge impact. 

At the first year mark, you can show an employee what their career looks like at the company and plan for future development. This is when you need to shift from on-the-job training to continuous development. It’s also a good time to have a conversation about compensation. 

A Path to Success

With proper onboarding, you can have a huge impact on the success of your new employees at your company. When you help guide them, set expectations and check in with them, you show them that you care about their success. And new hires who get this sort of onboarding attention are much more productive and tend to stick around for longer because they are happier with their new job! Your new hires will thank you for setting them on the path to success to become a seasoned employee. Not to mention that their success impacts the success of your company and your bottom line!