Onboarding Best Practices to Drive Culture and Increase Performance of New Hires

After making a great hire, the next big goal of your team should be retention. Unfortunately, within the first 6 months of working, 31% of employees quit their jobs. This is an alarming statistic that points to a bigger issue— poor onboarding. What’s more, the price of bad hiring adds up quickly, with attrition costing an estimated $1 trillion per year in just the US alone.

Onboarding is vital to improving your company’s retention rates. In fact, if employees receive stronger onboarding, 69% of them are more likely to stay with your company for up to 3 years.

But what modern onboarding best practices should your company be using to improve the culture and performance of your new hires?

Read on to see our favorite best practices for effective onboarding that leads to greater performance, engagement and retention in new hires.

Onboarding Best Practices to Drive Culture and Increase New Hire Performance

If your onboarding process consists of showing the new hire their desk and calling it a day, you’re basically writing the employee’s resignation letter for them.

If, on the other hand, your onboarding process is thorough, effective, and even exciting, then you’ve given new hires a great first impression of your company that can secure their long term retention.

Use these best practices to make your onboarding program more engaging and effective, so hires can have the tools they need to excel in their new roles.

Gamification of Onboarding

Onboarding activities like scavenger hunts, team competitions or even video games can help set the stage for your employee learning about the culture of your company. Companies like Bazaarvoice send new hires on weeklong scavenger hunts designed to bring them up-to-speed on company culture and jargon, while companies like Arrow Electronics actually created video games to teach new employees about corporate history and culture.

Provide Fresh Swag to Get Them Hyped

The companies that are famous for being loved by employees, are the ones that make employees feel special on Day 1. Make a positive impact by offering them a unique swag pack filled company goodies. Skip the basic pens and pencils and opt for some more “hip” items like custom moleskine notebooks, backpacks, laptop cases, a grab bag of their favorite snacks, etc.

Set Goals, Priorities, and Success Measures

Let your new hires know that you run a goal-oriented team from the get-go. The worst thing you can do is surprise them 6 months in with an unattainable goal. Work with them to create measures for success within the first two weeks and introduce them to the goals they will be striving for in their first 6 months and first year on the job. This will show them that your company is fun, but high-performing as well.

Reinforce the Impact of their Role

Remind your new hires, early and often, that what they do matters and tell them why their work matters so much, and remind them that they are “top talent.” Disengagement often stems from an employee believing that their contributions or position don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but this belief will be hard to hold when you’ve told them why their work is so important. After selling them on this new job, you’ll want to keep reminding them how important they are to your company in performance reviews and retention interviews, which can be seen as further extensions of the employee onboarding process.

Use Retention or Check-in Surveys

Using a talent platform like Harver Reference, you can implement an automated retention survey every 30 days (or as often as you like) during their first quarter or year to see how they’re doing, gather feedback on what they need to succeed, and how they recommend improving the recruiting and onboarding process in the future. Taking their feedback and responding to it immediately will show your new hires that you care about their opinion early on and that they can be agents of change within your organization.

Make Introductions

Introduce your new hires to every member of the team that they’ll need to communicate with on a weekly basis. Make sure to set up informational meetings and introductions with anyone the new hire will need to know and work with to be successful.

Create a Question Box

New employees will have questions. Open a slack channel or communication thread where they’re able to ask questions to their team or other members of the company without feeling judged for not knowing things. Remember, you can’t know if you don’t ask, so make asking easy and new hires will get up-to-speed more quickly.

Invest in Employee Training

Whether you have a mentoring program or a video learning library, you’ll want to offer some form of training for your new hires. Depending on the role, you can make this training as in-depth as needed. For example, for new sales reps, you can create entire libraries of sales pitches, value props and case studies to get them up-to-speed and productive quickly.

Have Structure in Place Ahead of Time

Don’t make your employees feel like their on boarding is cobbled together at the last second, and go beyond a simple employee handbook. Have organized checklists and agendas created , meetings set, and everything prepared before-hand. This will show your new hires that your team was actively thinking about them prior to their first day, and that you are all excited to welcome them to your company.

How to Reduce Attrition Pre-Onboarding

A strong onboarding process can strengthen employee satisfaction and reduce early turnover. But what about unwanted employee attrition that starts pre-hire, like mismatched expectations about the role or selecting candidates who aren’t an objectively good fit for the specific role?

Harver’s suite of automated hiring solutions can help improve quality of hire and reduce employee attrition. For instance:

To learn more about how your organization can reduce latent attrition before onboarding begins, schedule a call with one of Harver’s hiring tech experts.

1 https://www.bamboohr.com/blog/onboarding-infographic/


Harver Team

Harver Team

Posted on:
July 31, 2023

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