Solve Employee Retention With This Onboarding Process

3 min read
Apr 30, 2015

iStock_000005814992_SmallNo longer is it all about the first day or the first week on the job; it’s about the first two months. One week is not enough time for an employee to feel secure and comfortable in an entirely new role in an entirely new company. If you take the training wheels off too soon, many employees will choose to get off the ride.

According to The Aberdeen Group and TalentWise:

  • Employee turnover within the first 45 days of employment is at 22%

  • It takes an average of 8 months for an employee to become fully productive

  • 76% of companies have made their employee onboarding program last at least one month

These statistics show that if you don’t reel in and engage a new hire at the start, you’re far more likely to lose them. Moreover, a longer-term employee onboarding plan will make those employees more productive, faster. To figure out how, break it down into 30-day increments.

The First 30 Days

No new hire should be tasked with mission-critical projects from the get-go. This is when you lay the groundwork for success by teaching new employees the basics about the company, the tools and programs it uses, the day-to-day operating tasks of the job, and those small things people tend to forget, like where the restroom is, good places for lunch, and how parking works.

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According to a LinkedIn survey, new employees need clearer guidelines from the start. This can be as simple as a comprehensive but concise new-hire manual that has all the good stuff above included. In that survey, 76% wished they had better job training initially; this can be the time to attend program demonstrations and work on smaller projects that give a good picture of standard tasks. Managers can help out with the cultural elements by setting up casual lunches with team members. In fact, 56% of new hires say they wish they had a buddy or mentor to guide them through the start. Make that happen.

From Day 30 Until Day 60

Now that a new hire can make their way around the office with ease and handle basic job tasks, it’s time to loosen the reins. Responsibility can step up a notch as new employees take on more important tasks to achieve clear goals. Training should slow as job tasks heat up.

Managers should widen the picture of the company hierarchy by introducing new hires to other teams that will work in their orbit and explain how each group’s goals work together. Bersin by Deloitte has shown that workers are motivated by passion in their work more than by individual ambition. Showing where new hires fit in the entire company puzzle will show them that they’re meaningful to overall company goals. And we know that this makes happier, more productive employees.

From Day 60 Until Day 90

On the last leg of employee onboarding, accountability is everything. Empower your employees to fully take the reins of their job. Hold them responsible for working on a project from beginning to end. All employees, not just new hires, respond positively to higher responsibilities and empowerment with increased productivity. And now, with the first 60 days behind them, they truly have the tools — from understanding the office environment to navigating company software like a pro — to succeed and be happy doing so.

If you think one week is enough for employee onboarding, you aren’t looking at the statistics. Investing in a 90-day process will give you a boost in productivity for the long run.


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