The Business Case for On-boarding
“Approximately 70% of new hires decide whether to stay or leave an organization within the first six months of joining”
Human Capital Institute
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Over the years, on-boarding has been viewed by some as merely a way to introduce new employees to a team and ensure important tax and health care paperwork were completed.
Recently, however, on-boarding has seen a surge in focus among leaders as research identifies it as one of the most effective ways to address engagement and retention challenges and ensure a smooth and welcoming transition for new hires.
With almost 25 percent of staff turnovers occurring within the first 45 days of employment, there’s a real business case to be made for effective on-boarding programs since the cost of losing an employee within the first year adds up quickly -- often equating to 150 percent or more of an employee’s salary.
Based on the business case and numerous indirect team benefits resulting from updated and more effective on-boarding programs, companies are no longer waiting until the first day of employment to start bringing new hires into the fold.
At leading-edge companies, the on-boarding process begins as soon as an offer is accepted. Some effective practices include sending a welcome box with goodies, or providing access to online portals for new hires to access information on the company’s values, history, key corporate information, and pre-boarding tasks (DHL case study).
These online portals replicate the function of social media platforms with content that can be liked, shared, and recommended. We’re seeing videos, blog posts, and games being used in various on-boarding portals.
We’re also seeing more and more companies assigning a “buddy” to each new employee -- someone who can provide advice, guidance, and encouragement to help new employees settle-in, while senior management actively introduces new hires to the business purpose and legacy. In fact, 66 percent of Top Employer certified companies assign a buddy to new hires and about half assign a mentor – a trend that’s continuing to increase in popularity.
“We expect the importance of mentors to be recognized more in the near future as the use of mentors is something that millennials, in particular, see as both an engaging way to welcome them to the company and an effort immediately impacts their leadership development needs.”
David Plink, CEO Top Employers Institute
The active measurement of on-boarding’s effectiveness is also a growing trend. Leadership is following the progress of employees throughout on-boarding and looking at areas of improvement in the actual process.
Our study found that 83 percent of companies consistently have meetings with new employees at the end of their probationary period and 74 percent are asking employees to evaluate their own on-boarding experience against expectations.
Companies are also collecting qualitative feedback at regular intervals from new hires and managers via online platforms, allowing the company early insight into any potential challenges during the settling-in period.
To hear additional ways in which you can affect engagement via your on-boarding practices, listen to this special 5 minute episode of the Talent is Transforming podcast for key trends and download the full report for additional case studies. Develop. Always.