Recruiting and Retaining: Building a Successful Onboarding Program

In today’s business climate, organizations are experiencing recruiting and retention challenges not seen in decades. And while unemployment remains relatively high in North America compared to pre-COVID levels, leaders are faced with new obstacles to not only get new recruits in the door, but also keep them. According to an Allied Workforce Mobility survey, organizations lose 25% of all new employees within a year of hiring, and another study found that up to 20% of turnover occurs within the first 45 days.

The beginning of a new employee’s tenure with a company is critical not just for training, but also retaining good workers. This is why having a strong onboarding program is essential for success. In fact, companies that have a strong onboarding program increase retention among new hires by 82%; however, according to a Gallup study, only 12% of employees believe their company does a great job onboarding. Building a successful onboarding program is key to attracting top talent and closing the turnover back door.

Creating a Focus on Onboarding

According to SHRM, “new employee onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee with a company and its culture, as well as getting a new hire the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team.” Onboarding is a process that organizations need to create and prepare before a new employee starts their first day, otherwise, your company is already behind and could risk losing them. According to Digitate, employees who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to seek other employment.

The Four Cs of Onboarding

The building blocks of a successful onboarding strategy are often called the Four Cs: Compliance, Connection, Culture, and Clarification. When creating an onboarding program, be sure to focus on these four areas to help ensure a new hire’s success.

  • Compliance refers to helping the employee understand the company’s mission, goals, policies, customers, organizational structure, and how their job fits into the bigger picture.
  • Connection is helping the employee build relationships and information networks with colleagues.
  • Culture ensures that the new hire understands the company’s values, beliefs, environment, and how they can thrive.
  • Clarification maps out the employee’s personal objectives and how they are measured and realized, as well as sets expectations for success and advancement.

Consider Peer Coaching

In a new organization, employees can feel siloed and lost during the first few weeks on the job. One way to help a new hire feel included and submersed in the corporate culture is to team employees up with peer coaches during the first 90 days on the job. A peer coach can be a same-level employee or tenured leader within the organization that can guide employees through the new hire process. By offering a friendly, trusting source for all inquiries, the new hire will be able to navigate the new waters more effectively and efficiently. According to UWA, benefits to using a peer coach  include added accountability, accelerated learning, productivity, and overall camaraderie. When choosing a peer coach for an employee, it’s suggested to not have the employee’s direct supervisor in that role, which could be daunting for the new hire and may discourage open questioning.

Engage to Retain

Creating a successful onboarding program can be a daunting task, so Express Employment Professionals created a tool to help leaders do just that. Called “Engage to Retain,” this complementary training program is intended for managers and supervisors and addresses two key components of an effective employee retention strategy: onboarding new employees and the importance of ongoing development.

In the video program, leaders learn techniques to ensure a new employee feels engaged from day one and how building a culture of growth and development is important to both your employees and the future success of your business. Check out the program to see how Engage to Retain can help your business close the revolving door and keep your best employees.

How has a focus on successful onboarding helped engage and retain your employees? What areas of focus does your company’s onboarding program highlight? Let us know in the comments section below!

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