Elevate Your On-boarding to Retain Talent

By Sarah Freiburger

On-boarding a new hire is not a new concept, however, as we hear more and more about company culture and changing workplace structures, it is important to also keep your on-boarding process up to speed. Turnover is expensive, and many C-Suite executives state that a key factor in employee retention efforts lies in the on-boarding strategy. As a company, your goal should be to build your new hires trust in the organization along with teaching them the relevant job skills. Here are a few ways to freshen up your existing process.

“Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent.”Source: “The True Cost of a Bad Hire,” Brandon Hall Group

As mentioned, the goal with onboarding should be to build a new hire’s trust in the organization. If you present a welcome package and environment already set up for success with a clear outline of their first two weeks of employment, it sets a clear tone that you were expecting them and have your priorities organized well.

A great example of this lies with Twitter. This social media giant has an elaborate 75-step process for the first day. On the first day, new hires not only have breakfast with the CEO followed by a tour of the company office, but when employees arrive, the company has their email ID, a t-shirt and a bottle of wine waiting at their desk. A tour is followed by group training on the tools and systems relevant to their role. Twitter also does a monthly new hire happy hour where they introduce the senior leadership team.

Another idea to make a memorable first day is to eliminate the load of paperwork. Many companies have an overwhelming amount of forms to sign and complete as soon as a new hire enters the building and this does not create an immediate grand environment. Consider using a software such as Zenefits to spread the paperwork out and give new hires some independence in completing it on their own time before and during their first week. You will still be able to assign due dates and track progress, but it allows a much more relaxed feel to signing all the dotted lines.

Linked-In chooses to settle some of the HR topics in a lunch and follow up session titled “Investing (IN) You” which covers company benefits in an appealing manner that shows how invested they are in their employees. They close the first day by providing a new hire on-boarding road map that gives a week by week guide outlining how to be productive and successful in their new role.

Also, switch up the feedback loop. “In a recent poll, 38 percent of employees felt that when leaders dismiss their ideas without entertaining them, they tend to lack initiative. An active and committed employee base is one of the benefits of listening to your employees.”Source: “5 Reasons Why You Should Listen to Your Employees,” SHRM

While a new hire is not likely to tell you anything is awful straight away, avenues for open feedback allow new hires to present problems or solutions that you may not even be aware of, and can work through to change what could be a foreseeable trouble spot.

A closing great practice is to circle back with the recruiter who initially sold the candidate on the position. Especially when using agency recruiters, they have likely developed a strong relationship with the candidate and are keenly aware of what made your position or company a good fit for that individual. Working together to create a brief on what to highlight during the new hires initial 60 days will result in a more personalized on-boarding process that the new hire can feel the value in. A tailored approach is the new best approach.

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