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Use a Strong Onboarding Program to Increase Employee Retention

Ian Cameron Jul 15, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Welcome_signYou've made a great hire and added strong talent for a new position in the organization. How can you ensure your new hire will stay? A solid onboarding program does more than introduce a new employee to the company. In a recent survey we’ll be releasing soon, onboarding programs ranked as the #1 planned investment for HR professionals in Canada and US and #2 globally, and with good reason. Studies show that onboarding programs play a significant role in determining if a new hire will stay with the organization.

An onboarding program not only helps new hires feel welcome and comfortable in their first weeks in a new position, but a successful program will also prepare them to thrive in a new environment and culture. After completing an onboarding program, your new hire will have a solid knowledge of the company's culture, his or her new job responsibilities, and the foundation for forming solid relationships with others in the organization.

Here are a few important elements to include in your onboarding program:

  • An introduction to the company's culture, including its mission, vision, and values
  • A clear outline of departmental objectives and job expectations
  • A checklist of forms that need to be completed, as well as other HR-related tasks
  • A review of relevant policies and procedures
  • A tour of the new hire's work environment, including restrooms, lunch room, and meeting rooms
  • An introduction to team members and key stakeholders they’ll be working with

Before your new employee's first day, be sure to order any special equipment he or she will need, such as a computer, phone, and other office supplies. Will your employee need special access to any systems? If so, plan ahead by working with your IT department to make sure user IDs and access are in place. You can also call your new employee to welcome him or her to the team, explain where to park on the first day, and share any dress requirements.

A successful onboarding program is more than an initial employee orientation. It is a critical piece to your talent management program. An effective plan will continue through the employee's first 90 days and beyond with periodic meetings between the employee and his or her manager. By scheduling short meetings, the manager has an opportunity to check in with a new employee and make sure he or she has the tools and resources needed to be successful. The meetings also provide time to clarify any questions and set several short-term goals, which will help your new hire feel productive and quickly become a contributing member of the team.

At McQuaig, we work with our clients to help them understand how to customize the onboarding process based on an employee’s behavioral profile. We also help them equip managers with the behavioral insights our system provides so they can better establish rapport and understand how to more effectively coach a new employee.

Using a strategic onboarding plan, you’ll be able to help your new hires acclimate to the organization's culture, which will lead to better engagement and retention.

Is onboarding working at your company?

 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Recruitment, Employee retention

Ian Cameron

Written by Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron is the Managing Director of The McQuaig Institute®. He has more than 20 years of Human Resource and Organizational Development consulting experience. Throughout his career Ian’s focus has been on helping organizations realize their goals through their people and helping people live their passion through their work.