Improve Your Retention Rate: Onboarding Done Right

What Is Onboarding, media photos, iStock October 2014
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Hiring fresh talent isn’t just about scouting for candidates, convincing them to join, and sealing the deal with a handshake. These new employees are the future of your company and they need to understand how it works.

What Is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process by which new hires learn the necessary skills and behaviours that make them a productive part of the organization. Simply put, it involves the training required to efficiently perform the job, and an understanding of the company’s environment and goals so they can blend in easily.

Employees form impressions of your company during a very limited timeframe, and it’s especially important that you play your cards right during this period. You need to let the new employees know your company’s purpose and how it functions. Having a clear understanding of the company’s work and mission will motivate employees and ensure that you retain them.

While it’s impossible for you to predict when an employee leaves, there are a few ways in which you can minimize this occurrence.

1. Draw Up A Plan

Nearly every organization assumes that employees will magically absorb and understand the structure of the workplace. This assumption is detrimental to your retention rate and, by extension, the growth of your company.

This unplanned method of introduction leaves a new employee uncertain about factors like their role, the organizational goals, the flow of management, and the skills they need to learn.

Drawing up a plan to introduce an employee to your business will help them understand how everything works. It also motivates them to carry out their role.

2. Use Your Seasoned Employees

No one knows your business like the people who’ve worked there for a long time. Instead of giving new hires a hard-to-digest document with the company specifics, pair them up with an existing employee. For example, if you’ve got a new recruit in the sales team, set up a meeting with the most experienced employee on the team.

This way they’ll understand how the business has changed over time, which will create a sense of belonging and motivate them to work hard as part of the team.

3. Have Fun With It

Don’t just stick to paperwork and meetings; show new hires the fun parts of your company! Take them on a tour, narrate your company’s history, organize games, and make sure that they have a good time. If your company organizes outings, take them along on the next one. Employees work better when they feel important and included. They need to be shown that the company is investing in them.

4. Ask For Feedback

It’s essential that, after a week, you sit down with the new hires and ask for feedback. You need to know their opinions on the initiation process and on your company, so that you can make the necessary changes before their thoughts become permanent perceptions.

This also gives them control over their own onboarding, and makes them feel like their input is valued.

5. Seize The Opportunity

When an employee enters a new environment, they are highly attentive and receptive. Make use of this fact. If you value work ethic more than anything else, drill it into their heads. If taking too many breaks is a problem, let them know. The initial few weeks are the best time for employees to learn and maybe even master skills needed for the job. You can also teach them how they are expected to function in the organization.

Unlike training, onboarding is a human approach that involves training and other initiation processes. Rather than just a mechanism to recruit new members, onboarding is an essential procedure to motivate, train, and retain your workforce.

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