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Onboarding and Training: The Secret to Employee Retention


According to The Society For HR Management, 69 percent of employees are likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

But great onboarding is a hard thing to do when your new hires are working from home because of COVID-19.

If you get your onboarding and training process wrong, you run the risk of hiring disengaged, unmotivated and unproductive employees. And that’ll cost you.

If you get it right, however, you’ll hire employees who stand with you through thick and thin.

Here’s why a strong onboarding and training process is the secret to employee retention.

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1. Improve employee value and decrease the ‘time to productivity’

An effective onboarding process will get new hires up to speed faster, which will both increase their value at the company, as well as boost their own sense of value as an employee.

The bottom line is: A slow and stagnant process can demotivate new hires, which may cause them to look elsewhere for work.

To offer employees a greater sense of value (and to improve retention), you must actively invest in development and encourage success whenever possible. Try to find the balance between effective training and onboarding, which is completed within a reasonable time frame.

Takeaway: A sense of value is essential to employee retention.

2. Creates lasting impressions and improve talent acquisition

When it comes to hiring, candidates will read reviews by employees both past and present. While many well-treated employees who receive good training may advocate your business, one in five new hires is unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend, according to a Digitate report.
Failing to properly onboard and train your employees will lead to negative reviews, and negative reviews will scare off top talent.

Takeaway: First impressions last, and a lasting impression will attract the best candidates.

3. More than ever, community is key

COVID-19 is making America’s loneliness epidemic even worse. Even before the pandemic, 40 percent of people felt isolated at work.

If your onboarding process fails to give new hires a sense of community, they won’t last long. Shefaly Yogendra, a governance and risk consultant, explains the importance of community in this article by The Financial Times:

Office banter is a social lubricant. It humanizes people and makes them seem not like robots.

While the office may not exist anymore, the banter must live on. Make sure your onboarding process effectively incorporates new hires into your culture.

Takeaway: Treating employees like humans will mean they’ll stick around for longer.

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4. Align the expectations set during hiring

It’s easy to set false expectations about your company during the hiring process and ‘sell’ candidates on your business.

Without a strong onboarding process to back your claims up, new hires will quickly catch on and check out before they fully check in.

To improve your chances of retaining top talent, be sure to align your training and onboarding process with the expectations you set during hiring.

Takeaway: Expectation management is key to employee retention.

The bottom line for employee retention

Within the first 90 days of employment, 33 percent of new hires are likely to quit their jobs. That’s a cause for concern. After all, turnover is expensive, disrupts workflow, and impacts company culture.

To survive this delicate period and avoid the ‘one step forward, two steps back’ sinkhole, you must get your onboarding and training process right on the first swing. Only then can you begin to retain the best talent and, ultimately, grow your business.

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