After making a great hire, the next big goal of your team should be retention. Unfortunately, within the first 6 months of working, 31% of employees quit their jobs1. This is an alarming statistic that points to a bigger issue— poor onboarding.
Onboarding is vital to improving your company’s retention rates and, in fact, if employees receive stronger onboarding, 69% of them are more likely to stay with your company for up to 3 years2 .
But what modern onboarding best practices should your company be using to improve the culture and performance of your new hires?
Read on to see our favorite best practices for effective onboarding that leads to greater performance, engagement and retention in new hires.
Onboarding Best Practices to Drive Culture and Increase New Hire Performance
If your onboarding process consists of showing the new hire their desk and calling it a day, you’re basically writing the employee’s resignation letter for them.
If, on the other hand, your onboarding process is thorough, effective and even exciting, then you’ve given new hires a great first impression of your company that can secure their long term retention.
Use these best practices to make your onboarding more engaging and effective, so hires can have the tools they need to excel in their new roles.
Gamification of Onboarding
Onboarding activities like scavenger hunts, team competitions or even video games can help set the stage for your employee learning about the culture of your company. Companies like Bazaarvoice sends new hires on weeklong scavenger hunts designed to bring them up-to-speed on company culture and jargon, while companies like Arrow Electronics actually created video games to teach new employees about corporate history and culture.
Provide Fresh Swag to Get Them Hyped
The companies that are famous for being loved by employees, are the ones that make employees feel special on Day 1. Get them excited by offering them a unique swag pack filled company goodies. Skip the basic pens and pencils and opt for some more “hip” items like custom moleskine notebooks, backpacks, laptop cases, a grab bag of their favorite snacks, etc.
Set Goals, Priorities, and Success Measures
Let your new hires know that you run a goal-oriented team from the get-go. The worst thing you can do is surprise them 6 months in with an unattainable goal. Work with them to create measures for success within the first two weeks and introduce them to the goals they will be striving for in their first 6 months and first year on the job. This will show them that your company is fun, but high-performing as well.
Reinforce the Impact of their Role
Remind your new hires, early and often, that what they do matters and tell them why their work matters so much. Disengagement often stems from an employee believing that their contributions or position don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but this belief will be hard to hold when you’ve told them why their work is so important. After selling them on this new job, you’ll want to keep reminding them how important they are to your company in performance reviews and retention interviews, which can be seen as further extensions of the onboarding process.
Use Retention or Check-in Surveys
Using a talent platform like Checkster, you can implement an automated retention survey every 30 days (or as often as you like) during their first quarter or year to see how they’re doing, what they need to succeed, and how they recommend improving the recruiting and onboarding process in the future. Taking their feedback and responding to it immediately will show your new hires that you care about their opinion early on and that they can be agents of change within your organization.
Introduce your new hires to every member of the team that they’ll need to communicate with on a weekly basis. Make sure to set up informational meetings and introductions with anyone the new hire will need to know and work with to be successful.
Create a Question Box
New employees will have questions. Open a slack channel or communication thread where they’re able to ask questions to their team or other members of the company without feeling judged for not knowing things. Remember, you can’t know if you don’t ask, so make asking easy and new hires will get up-to-speed more quickly.
Invest in Employee Training
Whether you have a mentoring program or a video learning library, you’ll want to offer some form of training for your new hires. Depending on the role, you can make this training as in-depth as needed. For example, for new sales reps, you can create entire libraries of sales pitches, value props and case studies to get them up-to-speed and productive quickly.
Have Structure in Place Ahead of Time
Don’t make your employees feel like their on boarding is cobbled together at the last second. Have organized checklists and agendas created , meetings set, and everything prepared before-hand. This will show your new hires that your team was actively thinking about them prior to their first day, and that you are all excited to welcome them to your company.
Onboarding Best Practices: Final Thoughts
Wondering if you have a strong on boarding process? Checkster’s New Hire Insights tool can be used to open the lines of communication with new employees, giving them a chance to provide honest feedback about new job expectations vs reality, onboarding processes, training programs, team fit and more.
This invaluable feedback will help you leverage the collective intelligence of your employees (new hires, coworkers and managers alike) to make better talent decisions and ensure that new hires are being adequately set up for long-term success in their new roles.
To see how Checkster can improve your company’s onboarding process and lead to greater new hire outcomes, schedule a demo here and we’ll show you how.