How Great Onboarding Improves Employee Retention

By Clayton Spangle

Last updated: Feb 15, 2023

    Table of contents

One of the most impactful ways to improve employee retention is during the onboarding process. Heres why.

The Benefits of Employee Retention

Employee retention is an essential metric for business success. Hiring talented employees can make all the difference for a company, but to get the full benefit of quality staff, you have to keep them around.

Retaining your employees will help you:

  • Reduce turnover costs
  • Build stronger, more effective teams
  • Improve company culture
  • Increase productivity
  • Boost revenue
  • Promote efficiency in the workplace

Best of all, you can start raising your employee retention rates just by optimizing your approach to onboarding.

How Great Onboarding Improves Employee Retention

According to Glassdoor, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Here’s why better onboarding will help you retain more employees.

First Impressions Matter

Most employees aren’t particularly invested in a company when they first join. And if you want to win their loyalty, you may not have long. Studies suggest that most new hires decide whether they’re going to stay with a company during the first six months of employment.

If you haven’t convinced them by then, they may be gone before you know it. And of course, that will involve the onboarding phase.

In fact, a survey from BambooHR found that of those who left their job shortly after joining:

23% said they might have stayed if they’d received “clear guidelines to what responsibilities were” 21% wanted “more effective training” 17% said “a friendly smile or helpful coworker would have made all the difference”

About a third of the participants said that they’d had barely—if any—onboarding at all. Many of these blamed that lack of onboarding for their decision to quit.

So in order to make the right impressions and give new hires a reason to stay, it’s worth taking onboarding seriously.

Read more: How to Design a Unified Employee Onboarding Process for Your Scaleup

Fresh Recruits Need a Smooth Transition

Some employers rush their new hires into difficult tasks. They’re in such a hurry to ramp the employee up to full productivity that they throw too much at them all at once. The irony is that all this pressure will only serve to overwhelm the employee, hindering their potential for productivity.

Plus, discouraged employees aren’t nearly as likely to stay put. If you ask too much from new staff members, they may walk out the door, and you’ll have to find a new candidate and start from scratch.

By starting the employee off slow and giving them time to learn the ropes, you can increase their chances of remaining with your company and taking on more responsibilities in the months and years to come.

It Takes Time to Get Comfortable

Joining a new team is intimidating. It’s never easy to be the new kid in school—or the new employee at the office. If the fresh hire feels alienated or unwelcome, it’s bound to dampen their morale and reduce productivity.

And once again, that’s a shortcut to losing them.

To avoid this, make sure to introduce the employee to their coworkers and help them feel comfortable in this strange environment. One of the best ways to do this is by creating an org chart for your company.

An org chart is a diagram showing the structure of roles and responsibilities within an organization. You can think of it as a family tree for a business. And because most org charts include pictures and personal information for each staff member, it can serve as a visual directory to help employees get to know their colleagues better.

Saving Money Can Help You Improve Morale

Inefficient onboarding reduces productivity and drains resources. When employees don’t understand their job descriptions, aren’t trained well, and don’t connect with their teams, you can’t expect them to excel.

But by giving every employee the help they need from the start, you can reduce the waste involved in bringing in new staff members. Then, you can use the money you save to fund programs that improve morale and give your employees a reason to stay.

A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way

Everyone wants to be appreciated for their accomplishments. This is especially true for employees. When someone invests their time and energy into your company, they need to know that their efforts will be recognized. If they start to suspect that nobody cares, their motivation will plummet.

So while you’re onboarding, make sure to incorporate plenty of feedback and appreciation as you ramp them up. Let them know right from the start that your company will value their contributions. This will give them an incentive to do their best and make it more likely that they stay.

Employees Need to Feel Useful

For an employee to feel satisfaction in their job, they need to know that they’re contributing to the success of the company. They need a mission, and they need to be able to do it.

Of course, that takes proper training. Throwing a poorly prepared worker into a new position is asking for trouble. The more confused, undervalued, and useless they feel, the less reason they’ll have to commit.

So during the onboarding phase, make sure that they’re getting the education they need to perform their duties. Don’t wait for them to ask, either. Be proactive. Reach out and make sure they’re feeling good about their place in the organization.

If you aren’t paying attention, you may not realize there’s any trouble until they’re already gone.

Have you created a public org chart yet?

Creating a public org chart is beneficial for many reasons but it can be especially helpful to streamline your hiring and onboarding strategy. To learn more about how The Org can help you, see this post:

How to Successfully Onboard an Employee

Or, if you’re ready to start taking advantage of the benefits of a public org chart right now, click below to sign up for The Org.

Want to start creating your own free org chart?

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