How to Create an Onboarding Program that Promotes Employee Retention

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A recent study conducted by a software company revealed that 31 percent of employees have quit a job within just six months of starting. This isn’t just frustrating for company leaders, but it is also costly for organizations. Replacing a salaried employee can potentially cost an employer six to nine months’ salary. For many companies, the solution to high rates of employee turnover is effective onboarding.

Onboarding: the Key to Retaining Employees

If your company has issues with high rates of turnover, it’s possible that its onboarding process is absent or insufficient. The Society for Human Resource Management claims that onboarding is the key to retaining and engaging talent. It stated, “Onboarding new hires at an organization should be a strategic process and last at least one year to ensure high retention.”

Does your workplace offer an onboarding program that lasts at least one year and equips employees to do their jobs well? If not, read on.

How to Create an Onboarding Program that Promotes Employee Retention  

Creating an onboarding program that promotes employee retention isn’t complicated. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Have a welcome packet waiting for a new hire — Before your new hire arrives at work, have a welcome packet sitting on his or her desk. This packet should include an outline of the worker’s personalized onboarding plan. This will help the employee feel secure in knowing you are in charge and have a measurable plan for his or her success. A copy of the Employee Handbook should also be awaiting the new hire.

2. Teach new employees to use the company LMS — You may be very comfortable using the company LMS, but remember that new hires will not. Interacting with the company LMS will be a totally new experience for them.

Since many organizations use an LMS as a repository for all training materials, it is crucial that new hires get familiar with logging in and out of the platform, and interacting with it. Ensure a new hire gets several training sessions with IT on using the company LMS. Once this is accomplished, he or she can move on to accessing online training modules. 

If your company doesn’t use an LMS, train new employees in whatever learning technology your organization delivers training through.

3. Provide a company book list — An onboarding step that may get overlooked is providing a company book list for new hires. Forbes stated, “Giving your employees materials that will help in long-term success shows them that you care about them and their growth.” Set up a short meeting every couple of weeks to discuss what employees are learning from the assigned reading and address any questions they may have. 

Underestimating onboarding is costing companies major money. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting to create an onboarding program that promotes employee retention. This type of onboarding program can be created simply by:

  1. Providing a welcome packet that includes a detailed, month-to-month onboarding plan.
  2. Ensuring new hires learn to use the company LMS well. 
  3. Suggesting/providing books and other materials that promote professional growth.

Could your company’s rate of turnover be related to its onboarding program (or lack thereof)?

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