/ Employee Onboarding

Optimizing Employee Onboarding in the Workplace: Five Strategies for Teams

Why is the employee onboarding process so important?

The employee onboarding process plays a critical role in a company's overall success. By creating a positive first impression for employees, onboarding can lay the foundation for improved employee retention and productivity. As described below, successful onboarding can prevent costly turnover, which is especially significant with senior-level employees:

"Why is proper onboarding so important? Because turnover is expensive—astronomically so. The cost of replacing an entry-level employee is 30-50 percent of the person's annual salary. And, for mid and senior-level employees it can reach 150 - 400 percent respectively." - LinkedIn Pulse

Failure to take measures to strengthen your onboarding program can cause new hires to become disengaged and leave your organization. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your onboarding initiatives and avoid these consequences. Below are five strategies to strengthen your onboarding process.

#1 Make the onboarding experience a personal one for new hires.

Nationally recognized companies often succeed because they treat new employees as human beings from the outset and strive to keep them engaged during and after the onboarding process. Team building and mentoring activities also help to create a personalized onboarding experience. Another great way to personalize the employee onboarding experience is to ask new hires about their learning preferences to find out what techniques would help new hires hit the ground running quickly.

#2 Establish and emphasize your positive company culture.

Building a positive company culture is one of the best ways to bolster employee retention and improve employee productivity. Employees are more likely to exhibit an upbeat attitude and high morale when a company builds a positive company culture and values workers for their contributions. Ideally, employees should be able to enjoy a company's positive culture the moment they officially begin their employment.

#3 Place a priority on retention from Day 1 by telling new hires they are valued.

Let new employees know that they are a valued part of your organization the moment they walk through your door. Stress your desire to build a long-term employment relationship and tell them that keeping them onboard is a top priority.

Here are some tips to help you let employees know that they are valued:

  • Begin recognizing new hires for accomplishments as they successfully master training subjects.
  • Encourage new hires to share ideas and feedback during the employee onboarding process and afterward.
  • Create an open atmosphere that helps new hires feel comfortable asking questions.
  • Ask supervisors and managers to establish an open door policy whenever possible.

#4 Make the training process fun and engaging for new hires.

A great way to ensure that new hires remain engaged in the training process is to incorporate gamification into your training platforms. Gamification enables new hires to actively participate in the learning process instead of simply listening to a lecturer review products and procedures. Another way to engage trainees is to make the learning interactive and purposeful; this is what Merlin Guides provides.

#5 Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your onboarding program.

No employee onboarding program is perfect. You should strive to continually improve the onboarding process for every new employee you hire. A great way to assess the effectiveness of your onboarding program is to survey new hires upon completion of the onboarding process. In particular, ask them the following three questions:

  • What elements of the onboarding process did you enjoy the most?
  • Which areas of the onboarding process could benefit from improvements?
  • Is there anything that you could add to your program to make it more enjoyable for new hires?

The Bottom Line

We invite you to connect with us to learn how you can develop a stellar employee onboarding program and create a positive impression for employees during their first few weeks with your organization by utilizing Merlin Guides.