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Onboarding is the First Step to Retention

April 20, 2022

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

According to a new report from Eagle Hill Consulting, recent new hires indicate that their onboarding did not adequately cover many of the basics employees need to be successful including understanding relationship building (71%), organizational culture (62%), technology (54%), and their benefits (46%). Are you throwing your new employees to the wolves before they truly understand the culture and other important assets of the organization?

The research, entitled From the Great Resignation to the Great Retention: The Case for Better Hybrid Onboarding, also found that only 50% of workers expect to be at the same job three years from now. In addition, about half (49%) of employees who started a new job are not getting trained in person – it’s either virtual (31%) or hybrid (18%).

“Onboarding is so much more than paperwork and checklists,” says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “What you don’t want is for your company to become ‘The Great Regret’ for new employees because of an onboarding failure. Done wrong, onboarding can damage performance and moral, which drives employees right out the door. But done right, onboarding can set employees up for success in terms of strengthening their career development, enabling them to live your culture and values, and developing strong relationships across the organization. Ultimately, strategic onboarding helps retain employees, creates an engaged workforce, and boosts organizational and individual performance.”

“What’s key for employers is to stop thinking about onboarding as a just a short-term human resources function,” Jezior explained. “Successfully folding new hires into your organization happens over time with many people involved, which is all the more complex given the growth of remote and hybrid work.”

In terms of what employees want during their first month on the job:

  • 83% want more knowledge of how performance is measured
  • 76% want more information on mental and physical health resources
  • 75% want more opportunities to make personal connections with team members
  • 74% want more guidance on how to be successful in the corporate culture
  • 74% want more details on how workplace practices could change due to pandemic, like moving from remote to hybrid
  • 70% want more information on the organization’s core values
  • 69% want more opportunities to make personal connections with people outside their team
  • 68% want more tips on how to network in remote/hybrid setting

Notice, no one is requesting more information on how to do their job, which is where many onboarding programs end.  Employees want to feel embedded in the culture and want to be successful within the organization. Employers should ensure they have a comprehensive onboarding program that shows new employees how to communicate, make connections, and overall be successful within the organization.

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