Historically, employee onboarding has consisted mostly of paperwork and box ticking. However, recent studies show that when onboarding takes a more strategic and intentional approach, retention, engagement and integration skyrocket.
The goal of onboarding goes well beyond standard paperwork and organizational protocols. If done properly, it should also include socialization, cultural integration, aquatinting new employees with systems and processes and ensuring the candidate understands the full scope of their duties and responsibilities. Onboarding excellence is designed to support hiring managers who invest a significant amount of time in the process as well as setting the stage for a positive employee experience. This should, in turn, result in higher retention rates – after all, the cost of replacing an employee can range from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the scenario.
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that feeling socially accepted was a key factor in newcomer success. Another study, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, found that on average 17% of new employees leave within the first 3-6 months. When onboarding is efficient, 91% of employees stay for at least a year after their hire date and 69% of that group will stay for at least three years.
Google, for example, takes a proactive approach to ensure their hiring managers think about their new team members prior to their start date. Emails are sent, reminding managers of the proven steps they can take to boost retention and engagement. Small actions such as introducing new hires to team members, selecting a peer mentor and relaying duties and responsibilities all contribute to a positive onboarding process and a sense of belonging to the new employee.
Zappos has an active approach to onboarding. Their process consists of a five-week program aimed to protect the organization’s culture by instilling ten core values that are reinforced across the business. Culture is so crucial to Zappos that they don’t want anyone there that doesn’t feel the organization is a right fit for them. In fact, they offer employees $2,000 to leave if the role or company isn’t right for them.
Twitter follows the “Yes to Desk” rule. Meaning there are 75 steps from offer stage to start date that ensure employees are up to speed on all things culture, HR and IT-related.
I’m proud to say GQR has also taken steps to improve the employee onboarding experience. New associates joining the business, partake in a very thorough training program. The first few weeks are focused on collaboration, mentorship and understanding how our culture sets us apart. How do we measure the results of our training program? Through a series of surveys where trainees are asked about their sentiment surrounding transitioning into their new role.