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Aaron Leggett

May 20, 2016

The Importance of Providing Onboarding Content to New Staff

Engaging with new employees needs to be at the forefront of your hiring process. It is hard enough to retain top-tier talent in a competitive job market as it is, so making new hires feel at home is of paramount importance. The most effective way to do this is to put together a comprehensive onboarding plan for them to get acquainted with. This is the quickest way to get new hires up to speed on all of the important things, such as procedural and operational practices, as well as the smaller things that have a big impact on morale and productivity such as office culture.

Research indicates that nearly 33 percent of new hires decide to stay with or leave a company within the first thirty days of working there. This makes onboarding essential to retaining employees. Recent data shows that about 25 percent of the population of this country faces some sort of career transition every year. Whether it is a new job with a new company or a new job with the same company, there are going to be transitional bumps and effective onboarding programs are designed to smooth these bumps out. Unfortunately, the available data on the subject shows that a lot of organizations do not do a great job of onboarding new hires. The numbers illustrate that 50 percent of hourly workers will leave new jobs in the first four months of employment. This is not a comforting statistic. You could make the argument that hourly jobs are of a more transitional nature, students, part-time workers, etc, and that is why those turnover numbers are so high. However, the same data also shows that 50 percent of senior outside hires fail within the first 18 months of employment. Comprehensive onboarding programs can combat these numbers and lead to higher employee retention.

In a lot offices and work spaces getting new hires acquainted with the flow of things is seen as a chore. New hires are often treated as hinderances until they get acquainted enough to be productive. This is the wrong way to go about bringing new people onto your team. In smaller organizations onboarding sometimes falls to the receptionist or whoever draws the short straw in lieu of a human resources department.

Effective onboarding clearly defines job expectations, office culture and history, performance requirements, communication expectations, and the customer base. The best programs are planned in advance and they focus on getting all of the proper paperwork filled out in a timely manner, introducing a new hire to the team they will be working with, and getting them acclimated to the environment of the work space.

An example of a company that takes onboarding very seriously is Zappos.com. They put all of their new hires through a three-week orientation program before they start working their new job. At the end of the orientation process if a new hire doesn't think they want to work for Zappos anymore they will pay them three-thousand dollars. This company realizes the value of company culture and how much this can effect an employees productivity or decision to stay on with them for a long time.

Consistent turnover is not a productive way to spend your time so retaining hires needs to be a top priority. Employee retention starts with onboarding. If you can bring new hires up to speed in a timely manner and make them feel like a productive and contributing member of the team, you will have a lot of success. It is time to treat onboarding new hires as an important aspect of business and not just a chore. Contact us to learn more about how you can develop a more effective onboarding program.

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