How to Retain your New Hires with an Extended Onboarding Program

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A well-developed onboarding process builds in processes to handhold, review and equip the new hire not just in the first week, but usually up to 90 days to a year. Best in class companies believe that onboarding is a continual process, not restricted to the first year.

According to a notable survey, extended onboarding program can increase employee retention by over 20%. More than 80% HR managers feel onboarding process can be improved upon. Only 20% of employees find existing onboarding programs satisfactory. Extended onboarding program will help new hires incorporate into company culture ensuring smooth transition.

Onboarding shouldn’t just consist of employees filling out required forms, getting introduced to their team members and being shown their work station. Much of the value in onboarding comes from activities that take time and having a long term vision, including an progressive acclimatization to the company culture, ongoing personalized training and/or mentoring, and defining goals and expectations for the employee.

The onboarding program should be strategic with an aim to help the new hire be competent in the new role thus increasing productivity and helping him contribute to meeting the organizational goals and objectives. A structured approach to onboarding is key to building a competent, confident, settled and performance oriented personnel.

A purposeful onboarding program should be adapted keeping in mind the requirements of each position and should start with an analysis on what is most important from the new hire’s perspective. If you gallop through the program without a long term vision and a  good understanding of the role, you are likely to experience decreased productivity and performance on the part of the new hire.

A quality onboarding program will help chart out a smooth transition for the new hire so that they feel at ease in their new roles and surroundings.  The way the transition pans out has a direct bearing and impact on the continued employee engagement, retention, performance, satisfaction and morale.

According to a notabe survey, hiring and resource managers whose organizations provide a structured long term onboarding program say the rewards include:

  • Employees are more engaged (49 percent)
  • More employee confidence (46 percent)
  • Employees have greater trust in the organization (45 percent)
  • Greater efficiencies (44 percent)
  • Higher productivity and performance (42 percent)
  • Higher morale (38 percent)
  • Lower employee turnover (31 percent)
  • Contributes to meeting revenue targets (21 percent)

After the first month of joining the company, the employee is expected to have fully understood the performance expectations with regard to his role, and the organization continues to handhold and equip the employee, building connections, and facilitating relationship building. Few actions that should be initiated after the first month are:

  • Get feedback from the employee with regard to his “settling in” – in the organization.
  • Review the new hire performance and provide feedback on specific tasks.
  • Provide relevant feedback – regularly and consistently. This could include constructive criticism on how to improve new hire performance.
  • Review performance and development goals.
  • Facilitate one on one meetings with managers, skip level managers and HR.
  • Facilitate relationship building across business and functions.
  • Review the employee with their buddy with regard to any queries.
  • Facilitate socialization with the new hire taking an active part in office events, work related and otherwise.
  • Ensure the employee has attended the new hire orientation program fully.
  • Facilitate necessary training and mentoring to further equip the new hire for the role and assignments ahead.
  • Review the employee with the assigned buddy for feedback.

By extending your employee onboarding program past 1 month to a year, your new hires will benefit in the below 3 ways:

  • Complete and balanced learning
    Progressive learning in stages and small quantities will avoid information overload and ensure better understanding, retention, and practical application of important concepts.
  • Improved performance
    Assigning a mentor and promoting positional job training over an extended time frame has tangible benefits in terms of helping the employee understand his role, learn how it aligns with the organizational goals, and be up to speed faster.
  • Increase new hire retention
    Investing time and resources in your employees will help them feel valued, setting goals and expectations will enable them to understand career growth opportunities. Giving new hires scope for enhanced authority and responsibility will keep them motivated. Opportunity to learn and improve their skill sets is a key factor for improving employee retention.
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