Can You Afford to Lose A New Hire?

Why should companies care about onboarding?  For starters, it is expensive to find, train, and replace employees.  In fact, some experts suggest that the cost of turnover ultimately reaches 150 percent of an employee’s annual salary when lost productivity and overtime worked by those filling in are considered.

However, several studies have shown that employees who are carefully onboarded are almost 70 percent more likely to remain with the company than those who did not go through such a program.  Employees who benefit from an effective onboarding program generally reach full productivity earlier than those who don’t.

In this highly competitive job market, it is important to not only hire the best employees but also to keep them.  There are many things that you can do to welcome new hires and, in turn, decrease the amount of turnover in your company:

  1. Designate a workspace for newcomers.  When new hires arrive, ensure that their work areas are set up with their needs in mind.  That means full functioning, fully stocked, work-ready spaces.  If the company appears unprepared to welcome them, new hires will feel undervalued.  Moreover, they are likely to form poor opinions of the company based on first impressions alone.
  2. Go the extra mile.  Give the new hire a welcome basket, complete with snacks; work supplies, such as pens and sticky notes; business cards and/or a nameplate; a balloon that reads “Welcome!” and a card signed by the work team and the owner.
  3. Don’t rush it.  Don’t expect to cover the entire orientation agenda on the first day.  Plan on weeks of integrating and training new hires in the skills necessary to thrive in today’s competitive work environment.
  4. Complete paperwork and review policies, but don’t kill new hires’ enthusiasm with data dump.  Setting aside a few hours on the first day to complete required forms is necessary.  But after an hour or so of reading and signing forms, stop the information overload.  Move toward more exciting, memorable and interactive activities.  Schedule a follow-up meeting to ensure that they understand the policies.
  5. Treat new employees to lunch on the first day.  After filling out paperwork, a relaxing lunch will be a treat for a new hire.  Do not leave an employee alone on the first day for lunch.  The person may feel lonely, isolated or too embarrassed to ask a co-worker out to lunch.  The first day is a great time to host a “meet and greet” with the new hire’s work team and learn a little about the new employee.
  6. Make new employees feel like part of the group.  On newcomers’ first days, give them tours of the department, introducing them to teammates and other co-workers in the office.  It is especially important to introduce new employees to the executives in the organization.  Sometime during the first two or three days, schedule one-on-one time between the new hire and the senior leaders.  Or better yet, invite executives to join the team for lunch.  Remember that proper introductions with colleagues and co-workers make everyone involved feel clued in and respected.
  7. Offer a history lesson.  Review the organization’s history, sharing photos, funny stories, milestones reached and news stories about the organization.  New employees will feel a sense of belonging once they understand where the organization has been.
  8. Focus on the future.  Communicating the organization’s goals and plans will make new hires feel informed about the direction the organization is moving in.  Also, sharing organizational goals helps new hires to feel like they are a part of the bigger picture.
  9. Revisit newcomers’ job descriptions.  Present them with a clear outline of their job titles and job duties.  Discuss expectations for them, the goals you would like them to reach and plans for evaluating progress.
  10. Don’t assign busywork.  Instead, train new employees in the essential skills needed to succeed in the work environment.  As they focus on and learn essential skills, assign meaningful tasks and challenging work that will fully engage employees right off the bat.

Proper onboarding can make all the difference between engaged, dedicated, excited new hires and new hires that are already applying elsewhere. UAP can help your business with guidance and recommendations to establish an onboarding program that works for you!