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Onboarding Employee Engagement Performance Management Employee Experience

How Does Onboarding Improve Employee Performance and Workforce Retention?

March 17, 2022
7 min read
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The Essential Guide To Buying an Onboarding System


You’re well aware of the ongoing Great Resignation — 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in January alone and there were 11.3 million jobs available. The challenge this presents to HR teams is clear: there aren’t enough workers to fill every open position. The situation isn’t expected to change anytime soon, either. Companies are increasing pay and offering other benefits to bring in new hires, making it worth their while to switch companies.

Recruiting new employees is, of course, still an essential function of HR. But in today’s labor market, empowering new employees to do their best and retaining workers long-term has become a greater priority than ever. That’s why employee retention strategies are at the forefront of HR teams’ priorities across industries in 2022. It’s time to rethink every part of the employee experience at your organization and ensure that your processes are not contributing to employee turnover.

To begin laying the foundation for high workforce retention and strong performance, you need an effective onboarding plan for your employees. But, only 12% of employees would say their company does a great job with onboarding. There’s no need to imagine the negative impact that has on retention — 33% of employees say they would leave their jobs after a bad onboarding experience.

That’s why in today’s post, we’re digging into the effects of onboarding programs on length of employment and success in a position. Keep reading to learn about the importance of laying a solid foundation for new hires from day one.

Onboarding is critical for high #EmployeeRetention: 33% would leave their jobs after a bad #Onboarding experience. Don’t lose your new employees —improve their performance and retention rates with great onboarding. Find out more from @ClearCompany:

Onboarding Sets the Stage for Employee Experience

Employee experience refers to every interaction with and, well, every experience employees have with your company throughout their employment. High employee retention is all about creating the best possible employee experience. If you can confidently answer these questions “yes,” workers are much more likely to have a positive employee experience and stay at your company longer:

  • Is the employee experience aligned with company values?
  • Do employees feel connected to those values?
  • Are employees working in roles that fit their strengths?
  • Do people leaders coach their direct reports and help them grow their skills?

The basis for a great employee experience is the onboarding experience. An excellent employee experience that starts at onboarding creates workers that are connected to their work, productive, and want to stay at your company long-term. Effective onboarding strategies help new hires gain a deeper understanding of company culture, settle into a new work environment, and begin making connections with others. A structured onboarding plan ensures that new hires get the support they need to begin working with confidence and flourish in their new role.

Great Onboarding Boosts Employee Performance

One of the biggest benefits of onboarding is its effect on employee performance. A standard onboarding process reduces time to productivity and boosts new-hire productivity by up to 50 percent. But according to SHRM, only 29% of employees feel prepared and supported to excel in their roles. That shows there’s lots of room for improvement when it comes to enabling new employees to do their best work.

You can prepare and support your new hires by including goal-setting and performance reviews in your onboarding process. Doing this lets new hires know what to expect going forward. It also demonstrates that your company intends to support them with clear direction and feedback. You can even conduct new hire employee engagement surveys to get feedback on your onboarding process.

  • Setting SMART goals gives new hires clear objectives to work toward. Goals eliminate confusion around what new employees need to accomplish during onboarding. Whether or not the employee can set and meet goals are core indicators of an employee’s success, giving you a sense of how they’ll perform going forward.
  • 30-, 60-, and 90-day performance reviews help new hires understand what to expect from performance review cycles at your organization. They give managers a chance to answer questions, provide support and feedback, and correct missteps before new hires are fully ramped. These reviews also provide managers with a benchmark for measuring employee performance going forward.
  • Send out a survey when new hires have completed their onboarding program. Ask what went well and where your organization could improve. This feedback serves two important purposes: first, it gives you a new perspective and meaningful insight into the efficacy of your onboarding program. Second, it acts as an engagement tool and shows your new employees that their voices are heard and their opinions matter.

Engage and Retain Employees with Support from Day One

If your company wants to prioritize employee retention, employee engagement is a critical component. Engagement starts during onboarding: 20% of turnover happens in the first 45 days of employment. Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their jobs, and with a strong onboarding program, up to 69% of employees will stay on for at least three years. Done well, onboarding can boost retention rates by as much as 82% and engagement by up to 54 percent.

Great onboarding plans are about more than just paperwork, setting up equipment, and showing new employees the specifics of their jobs. They’re about teaching new hires what your company is all about:

  • How company values are demonstrated in day-to-day processes and interactions
  • Extending a warm welcome and making them feel included both in their department and by the company as a whole
  • Ensuring that every new employee has the tools they need to be successful in their roles long-term
  • Engaging employees right away by providing outstanding support and asking for their feedback

For these reasons, Gallup recommends extending employee onboarding beyond 90 days to as much as one year. It can take employees several months to reach full productivity. Supporting new hires with an extended onboarding period shows you’re invested in their long-term success. With an efficient, effective onboarding process, you set employees up to thrive and can retain top talent for years to come.

#EmployeeEngagement is closely tied to retention, and it starts during #Onboarding. Great onboarding boosts retention by up to 82% and engagement by up to 54%. Find out more from @ClearCompany:

The Value of an Onboarding System

To execute successful onboarding programs that boost engagement, productivity, and retention, many organizations use an onboarding system. You might be wondering, what is an onboarding system? An onboarding system refers to the tool or tools your company uses to execute its onboarding program, typically software tools.

Onboarding tools help new hires and HR teams complete administrative tasks quickly and accurately. They streamline tedious processes so you can focus on engaging your new employees. Here are some of the tasks that can be simplified with the right onboarding system:

  • Submitting required paperwork, including tax documents, I-9s, and benefits forms
  • Assigning and distributing the appropriate equipment, like laptops and computer monitors
  • Making introductions to coworkers
  • Learning more about the company mission, vision, and values
  • Gathering resources for each role, including software tools, documentation, and team contact information, and making them accessible from a user-friendly new hire portal

You can engage your new hires, empower them to do their best work, and retain top employee talent with an organized, efficient onboarding process. Employee onboarding software like ClearCompany makes it easy to put your onboarding strategies into practice, monitor their effectiveness, and help new hires become productive, engaged employees.

Experience the impact of a structured, streamlined onboarding process on your new hires’ success and overall workforce retention. Sign up for a demo of ClearCompany’s Onboarding Platform today.

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