It feels good to start an employee on the right foot, and it also makes good business sense. According to a study by the Wynhurst Group, employees who go through a structured onboarding process are 58% more likely to remain with the organization after three years. Onboarding success requires more than just locking a newcomer in a conference room with a pile of forms to fill out and binders to study. It requires an expert-level mastery of compliance, socialization, and productivity.
Here are five great ways to make it happen:
- Roll out the welcome mat before they even start. Remember that top talent is hard to retain. Who’s to say the employee you just took off the job market doesn’t have another job offer or two coming around momentarily? The key to early retention is to make them a part of the team as soon as they say yes to the offer. Glassdoor recommends laying the groundwork before the employee’s first day by reaching out to say how excited you are about them joining the team; going over parking options, who to ask for on the first day, dress code, work hours and other expectations, and sending an agenda for the first week so they know what to expect.
- Do lunch. Lunchtime can be a terrifying experience at a new office and can leave even the most hardened executives feeling like that new kid in middle school who can’t find a seat in the cafeteria. Take the stress out of it by taking the new employee out to lunch the first few days (and include it in their schedule ahead of time, so they know what to expect). Invite peers, managers, and other team members, and it can double as valuable team-building time for the new employee to get to know the people they’ll be working with on a relaxed, social level.
- Overcommunicate the first couple weeks. A critical mistake many managers make the first couple weeks is to allow new employees to flounder with no real plan. You should have actionable goals set up for them for the first two weeks of employment so that they feel valued, productive and engaged right out of the gate. Check in with the employee daily at first, then weekly and then, finally, monthly to solicit feedback and catch any signs the employee isn’t satisfied with the job.
- Make scheduling and paid time off easy. When a job requires scheduling and training, the first few days can feel unpredictable and overwhelming. Don’t let it be. A solution like Austin-based HotSchedules (which focuses mostly on the restaurant and service industries) offers one centralized hub for onboarding and managing employees. An online academy can be set up within the system that can automate the process of training new staff when it comes to rules, work culture, and specific job duties. Suddenly, the system employees use to “punch in” can do so much more: from managing schedules and paid time off, to certification compliance, to messaging and announcements.
- Start recognizing and rewarding the employee right away. Make your employees feel appreciated right from the start with an engagement and rewards program. Austin’s own YouEarnedIt is a pioneer in this field, offering a fun, visual platform for real-time recognition, meaningful rewards and experiences, connection, collaboration, and actionable insights. It feels more like a social network than a work process—and did we mention the actual, tangible rewards can include over 30,000 products, company-branded merchandise, and charitable donations?
For additional tips, take a look at the Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding from Solid Business Solutions. And if you have any favorite tips or tools, let us know! We’d love to share them with your peers in a future blog post.
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