Blog Post
Quick Read
May 22, 2018

How to convince your company to invest more in onboarding

What’s a key way to engage new hires early, reduce turnover, and boost productivity? Implement a strategic onboarding program. Here’s how to get your company on board with investing in making the process better.

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Remember the last time you got hired at a new company? I’m sure you spent time hustling and applying for jobs, created alerts on all the major job boards, and prepared for interviews. Eventually you found an organization that you liked, and that liked you back. They offered you a job and let you know your start date was in two weeks.

And then… silence. A couple days later, you’re still getting those job alerts and you start to feel something inside you. Did you really like the organization that you just “married” yourself to? Maybe you only liked them because they liked you. Look at all these other opportunities flooding your inbox, you think, “If I got this job, I’m sure I could get another.”

An employee’s journey with your organization starts from the time they are hired. But instead of considering these early days as a critical part of the employee experience, organizations may bombard new hires with paperwork, instead of balancing that with making them feel welcome and connecting them with company culture. This can lead to your organization losing that new hire (and money and time), just one of the costly impacts that arise from a poor onboarding program.

In today’s world of work, strategic onboarding is key to retaining top talent, strengthening the employee experience, and making life easier for HR departments. However, many companies still don’t invest in the tools and technology required to evolve their programs successfully.

The organizational impacts of a poor onboarding program can be both short- and long-term. To help build the case for – and get leadership on board (no pun intended) with – strategic onboarding, here are four reasons to invest in the process.

Reduce turnover and improve the employee experience

A poor onboarding experience can lead to increased costs and lower value from new hires. As  mentioned earlier, a poor onboarding experience increases the likelihood of employee turnover, which is known to be one of the largest variable costs for a business. Harvard Business Review notes that the organizational costs of employee turnover are estimated to range between 100% and 300% of the replaced employee’s salary.

Research shows that nearly one-third of new hires start looking for a new job within their first six months. However, you can lower this number for your organization with a great onboarding experience. A well-planned onboarding experience can reduce the amount of time it takes for new hires to become fully productive. This has many impacts including, but not limited to, an increase in customer satisfaction and an increase in revenue per full-time employee.

Improve employee retention, productivity and engagement

A natural effect from the previous point is that if you reduce turnover, you’re likely to increase retention. In fact, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

Onboarding is a critical part of the employee lifecycle in terms of inciting employee engagement. The process helps employees hit the ground running from their first day, making sure they understand their jobs, personal and organizational goals, and company culture. It also helps them be productive more quickly – organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity.

Lower administrative costs

Whether it’s with paperless onboarding, automated task tracking or validated compliance checks, a strategic onboarding program that leverages technology has lots of room to reduce administrative costs. Research shows that when onboarding information is collected manually, HR professionals report struggling with heavier workloads, missing documentation including compliance-related forms and company policy acknowledgements, and delayed start dates.

When you create a consistent, compliant, and repeatable onboarding process, administrators can focus on the real issues impacting the organization, rather than on mundane tasks easily completed by technology. Not only will the onboarding process reduce costs and improve the experience for administrators, but it will also ensure that important tasks and details don’t fall through the cracks.

Reduce brand costs

HR teams are becoming increasingly important to establishing and growing an organization’s brand. The idea of a strong employer brand is becoming  even more significant with the rise of review sites like Glassdoor, employer rankings and the ease with which employees can share their opinions on social networks.

A strategic onboarding program is a great way to reduce the likelihood of a negative brand image and help foster a positive one, especially since negative reviews are spread more often and have more influence than positive ones.  

The benefits of strategic onboarding far outweigh the costs, whether monetary or time spent. Once implemented, programs require few adjustments, and they benefit all stakeholders, from the finance team to recruitment to administration, and most importantly new hires. The impacts on the bottom line of your business, the lives of your employees through an improved employee experience, and reduced administrative and brand costs, make this investment an easy choice. 

Stay tuned for my next blog, where I’ll cover the pieces of a successful strategic onboarding program.

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