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The Secret to Employee Retention

The Secret to Employee Retention

by Christine MarinoApril 6, 2016

And the secret is! (drum roll please)


Onboarding! YAY!

Don’t let the confetti distract you too much. Employee retention can make or break an organization! Replacing a salaried employee can cost 6 to 9 months of that employee’s salary. For a manager making $40,000 a year, it can cost between $20,000 and $30,000 to recruit and train a new hire. That is why up to 73% of organizations revitalize their onboarding process so they can improve employee retention.

How does a company revamp their onboarding process? Let’s start from the beginning, or before the beginning.

Best Day Before the First Day

For your employee to have the BEST first day, you need to be ready for it. New hires that participated in IBM’s pre-hire (or talent) community are 80% less likely to leave during their first year. IBM also offers pre-start date learning and training to complement their onboarding process, further underscoring the idea that onboarding starts WAY before the first day.

Your onboarding process is similar to a duck. To the new hire, it does off seamlessly and without a hitch, much like the duck looks graceful above the water, but below the surface there is more work being done than can be imagined. Your behind the scenes work before they arrive can make all the difference. Make sure you’ve completed these tasks before your new hire ever walks to their new desk.

  • Confirm the first date of work and schedule or agenda
  • Go over the dress code and other job expectations
  • Set up workstation, equipment and computer for your new employee

My Mentor is My Best Friend

When your new hire does come in for their first day it’s important for them to feel like they have an “in” with the company. Do this by designating an established employee to show the new hire around! Make your new hire feel included and like you actually want to have them there. It’s harder for a new hire to leave a company when they feel they have relationships built and feel they are a part of a community. Mentors and team activities are a great way to spell this out for them.

Not only can assigning a mentor retain an employee but mentoring can increase managerial productivity by 88% as compared to only a 24% increase when managers received training and no mentorship. Establish a mentor, or designated buddy, by:

  • Have the mentor welcome the new hire at the door
  • A tour of the workplace by the mentor, including how to work the coffee maker
  • Go out to lunch with the new hire and mentor

The Onboarding Swiss Army Knife

Every moment a new employee’s first day is an opportunity to advocate your brand. Since the everyday employee is 2x more trusted than a company’s CEO, if they have a bad first day it can impact your company negatively on work review sites such as Glassdoor.

One item in your toolbox that will give your new hire an opportunity to dive deeper into understanding what your company stands for is your employee handbook. To help your new employee, have a mentor show new hires the employee handbook so they can ask questions on the spot.

An employee handbook can sometimes be forgotten but it is a primary tool to help employees understand your company’s philosophy and where your new employee’s individual role is. It is an item that your employees can refer back to as their careers continue in your company. To make sure your new hire feels a part of the company after their first day don’t forget to:

  • Give them access to their personal workspace (digital or literal)
  • Invite them to any calendars, meetings or user groups
  • Give them all their company stuff (keys, books, sign in cards, computer, et.)

Onboarding Doesn’t Stop

Now that your new employee has gotten past their first day your onboarding is done, right? If only the secret to employee retention was that simple. Sometimes it can take new hires a year or longer to get up to speed in 30% of companies. Onboarding goes beyond the first day, or first week. Continue to pursue your employees as 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment.

Start your onboarding process right and make your new employees first day the best day! Find more tips for your onboarding process with this New Employee Onboarding Checklist. Make your next hire your best hire!

About The Author
Christine Marino
Christine is the Chief Revenue Officer of Click Boarding, LLC, a company that offers employee onboarding software and solutions. She is responsible for the sales, marketing and business development strategies. Leveraging her 18+ years of experience in the Human Capital Management space, Christine drives company growth through strategic partner relationships as well new customer acquisitions across the small to large enterprise markets.

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