Optimize your Onboarding: 8 Tips to Increase Employee Retention

Keeping talent engaged and invested in your company is an ongoing responsibility for HR teams. While company culture and attractive benefits are certainly key components to retaining employees, retention efforts begin as early as onboarding. In fact, an effective employee onboarding process has been shown to increase retention rates by 80% and improve overall productivity by 70%. Here, we explore 8 tips to increase employee retention by optimizing your onboarding practices.

1. Create an Employer Brand

The recruitment process starts way before you hire someone. Most candidates will look at the employer brand before deciding whether they want to work with your organization. Employer brand refers to the “first impression” the candidate gets about your organization. 

It helps them get a better perspective on the overall company culture and work environment. This way, they can set a foundation for their emotional connection with the organization and set their expectations. 

Therefore, showing a clear image of your organization is vital for a strong employer brand. It will help you in the short and long run since your company can attract employees likely to fit in with the culture.

2. Be Prepared

Once you bring a new employee on board, you must ensure they blend into the environment. During the initial phase, the employees discover whether they’ll fit into your culture. They’ll probably quit if they feel like they’re not welcomed or don’t belong in the organization. 

So, ensure that you have every resource and material ready for training when the new employee(s) show up on their first day. You should have an employee handbook that gives them an overview of the company. 

Also, all the items, including the technology, equipment, and anything else, should be in the proper position. Moreover, you should also have someone accompany the new joiner so they can turn to them if they have any answers. It will also allow the team members to gel in with the new employees.

3. Set Clear Goals from Day One

The primary reason why most people quit their jobs within a few months is because of their expectations, which don’t align with reality. They might feel that the requirements that they saw in the job post don’t match their pay grade. So, the best way to deal with this situation is to give them a clear idea in the job description, including the following:  

  • Summary
  • Skills
  • Requirements
  • Relationships
  • Performance metrics
  • Job Title
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Competencies 

This will give the employees a clear idea about what to expect from the job. Consequently, it will reduce their chances of quitting within a month or two.

4. Involve Teams and People at Different Levels

While the HR team is mainly responsible for recruiting and finding a candidate, it should be each department’s responsibility to make them feel welcome. In most cases, the onboarding programs usually have members of HR or the other department that the new joiner works in. 

Therefore, they don’t get to mingle and communicate with other departments or the company’s top leadership. So, you should devise a plan that involves the top executives in the onboarding program. 

Doing so will make new employees feel more comfortable and encourage them to make more connections. Moreover, it will help remove any intimidation new employees feel from top executives.

5. Keep it Original for Better Retention

Companies tend to follow the same traditional onboarding approach they have had for decades. It entails handing over many documents and paperwork that overburden the new joiner on the first day. There should be an innovative and positive approach to your onboarding processes. Here are a few ideas to help you out: 

  • Conduct some team-building activities
  • Partner the new joiners with a mentor so they can fit into the culture 
  • Have a welcome lunch with the team members
  • Assign an easy project for the company 
  • Announce the employee’s joining on the social media accounts

Either way, you should try a unique and out-of-the-box idea for your onboarding process. That way, you can ensure that your employees can have a different experience and compel them to stay.

6. Consider Onboarding as a Process, Not an Occasion

Onboarding is not a one-time thing, but it is a continuous process. Consider it this way the new joiner cannot process all the things in a single go; they would need time to understand some key points. So, if you try to overwhelm them with a load of information on the first day, they’ll probably find it difficult. 

While the onboarding process might vary depending on the role or company’s requirements, it usually lasts up to three months. In the meantime, you can strategize how to facilitate strong relationships and establish a sense of support.

7. Assign Onboarding Responsibilities to Different People

Limited resources are one of the most critical aspects that prevent organizations from implementing an onboarding process. Employee onboarding costs money but replacing an employee costs more than that. Nevertheless, the most cost-effective way to ensure employee retention is through a “buddy system.”

We already mentioned that having someone with the new employee can help them better understand the company’s values and culture. It will divide the onboarding responsibilities and give the new employees someone to engage with. 

Most companies use a popular method to foster relationships between new and old team members. While their work buddy won’t be available in every training session, they can help with a smooth transition of the employee to their new role.

Additionally, it saves the new joiner from the hassle of going from person to person for information. They can get all the details about the company or a relevant task from a single person. Also, it takes a load off the HR team as they can focus on other core aspects while ensuring a smooth onboarding process.

8. Gauge the Effectiveness of Your Processes

Lastly, there can be some areas in your onboarding process where you might need to make some changes. Therefore, it is essential to make changes from time to time in your onboarding strategies and approaches. 

And the best way to do so is by measuring the effectiveness of the current process. You can survey or ask for recommendations from the new hires about the overall process. You can incorporate their suggestions and adjust the overall strategy accordingly.

Wrapping Up

Businesses incur a high cost for incurring new employees. Therefore, they would want to retain them for the long run so they don’t have to go through the hectic process of filling a vacancy again and again. 

So, using the effective methods mentioned in this article for a streamlined onboarding process is better. This way, they can ensure that they can focus on long-term business growth and stability without worrying about the retention rate.

These tips might sound like a lot of work, that’s where Omni HR can step in and help you.

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