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Effective Onboarding Drives Higher Retention Amongst Employees

In 2021, finding the right talent that is willing to stay long term is a rigorous process. For a company, the goal is to find and retain employees’ long term. For job seekers, employees no longer seek a job where they can stay at a company for 20 or 30 years. The “new” normal, is to accept a position that satisfies their financial and title growth, remain in that role for a year or two, and move on to a new company. So how can a company achieve their goal? The first step is to have a stellar onboarding program as it can be the catalyst in forming a long-term relationship with your employees.


Often, onboarding is the act of downloading as much information as possible to a new hire during their first week on the job. There are many problems with this tactic as a new hire can feel overwhelmed with the data dump they are receiving at once. In turn, they become stressed as they may have lost some of the information transferred to them. As the newest member on a team, they may not feel comfortable asking the trainer to slow down. The person training can also feel drained as they may feel the pressure to transfer as much knowledge over in a short period of time in order to be able to move on to their new task or role.

Onboarding is the process in which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members and insiders. The reality is that a successful onboarding program should engage both managers and employees in an ongoing fashion. Managers reflect the company culture and work ethics more than anyone. Since they will be the ones to set the goals and objectives for the new joiners, it’s only logical to involve them from the first day of onboarding. Managers can start by conducting a one-on-one with the candidate, explaining the company structure, roles, responsibilities, etc. Introducing the new hires to all the key stakeholders is also key in making them feel appreciated and a part of the team. New hires should be armed with understanding their roles and responsibilities, they should get comfortable in their new setting, meet their teammates, and learn company policies and protocols.


A successful onboarding program could last up to 3 months or more, which requires patience on both sides, so that the necessary information is transferred properly. Research conducted by Urbanbound has shown that up to 20% of turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment, but 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for at least 3 years after a great onboarding experience. Welcome your new teammates with a recognition reward. Some companies provide new hire pins with the company logo, computers, notepads with the logo, etc. Remember, first impressions count! Make sure you have ways to implement positive feedback that will both help your company and the employee by making them feel recognized. Staying current with your training materials is key! Sharing old information and outdated programs with the thought “you may need this in the future”, will most likely turn a new hire off. Unless those outdated programs and files are an everyday need, wait a few weeks before sharing that knowledge. Assign a buddy for the new hires. Even the best of onboarding programs require time for the new employees to perform their tasks confidently. Thus, assigning them a mentor or buddy can be an effective way to support them while they’re still finding their way around. A buddy can help the candidates understand the company’s work culture and how their roles fit in. They can train the joiners, monitor their progress, and identify their strengths and weaknesses.


  1. Pre-onboarding
    This phase begins when the candidate accepts the job offer and ends when that candidate joins the organization. The necessary paperwork is completed during this stage. HR managers and employers are constantly in touch with the new hire to ensure smooth onboarding.
  2. Welcoming
    As the name suggests, the organization welcomes the recruits onboard, provides them an orientation to take them through the firm’s structure, policies, and so on. HR managers discuss paid time off, medical insurance, payroll policies, etc. Employers aim to finish the orientation within a week.
  3. Training
    The training phase forms much of the onboarding tenure. Depending on the employee role or experience, the training period and modules may differ for each of them. For instance, seasoned employees may only require a run-through of the work processes, etc., while entry level employees will need detailed training from scratch.
  4. Transitioning
    The transitioning phase helps new joiners put their training into work and perform their responsibilities as required. To monitor their productivity, designated managers conduct timely performance reviews, one-on-one meetings, etc.

In conclusion, remember that the initial experience of an employee at your firm decides their long-term relationship with you. Recognizing their talents, providing them with a sense of belonging, and making them feel welcomed from day one is important if you are hoping to have a long-lasting relationship with them.


Christine Catarino recently joined the Dion team as the Marketing Director. She is an ambitious and driven Brand Marketing Strategist with proven success developing, managing and implementing communication strategies and measuring results across both traditional and digital channels. She has a unique ability for creating marketing strategies that considers the business as a whole. She also has an in-depth global perspective that fosters success across diverse international markets.


People Goal: Why Great Employee Onboarding Leads to Employee Retention
Hireology: Employee Turnover: It’s Time to Focus on Retention
Savion: 4 Reasons Why an Effective Onboarding Process is Essential for Employee Satisfaction