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When it comes to improving employee engagement and retention, the onboarding experience is absolutely vital.

From writing job descriptions to best practices during onboarding, your employee retention plan is an imperative element to the success of your business.

Smiling newcomer setting up her table

Every business owner knows why employee retention is important, but not everyone is equipped with best employee retention strategies right from the get-go. If you are looking at how to improve employee retention in your business, you should always start by assessing your onboarding process. This is the initial interaction that anyone will have with your business and will pave the way for their continued perception of the company.

Deliver a positive experience

Firstly, you should ultimately strive to deliver a positive experience, as you will never be given the opportunity again to impact someone on their first day. Their energy will be unmatched, as they will be filled with anticipation, so you need to do all you can to maintain this excitement. The entire onboarding process should ideally begin before the prospective employee has officially joined the company.

For instance, you might send them a welcome message, some initial check-ins, and even some remote work tips. Similarly, their workstation should be set up before they arrive, along with their login credentials and a clear briefing of the job duties.

Document the entire process

Documenting everything can really speed up the entire onboarding process, as it’s a fact that people read faster than they listen. Additionally, your candidate won’t have to hastily jot down notes or ask hundreds of questions, as everything will be detailed within the onboarding document. This is also a handy tool for managers, as they’ll be able to keep track of where someone is within the training process.

On top of this, proper documentation allows for a smooth transition should managers leave the company. Similarly, many companies have continued to operate remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; consequently, proper documentation enhances the remote onboarding experience.

Add a personal touch

Something that can often go forgotten is that the onboarding process isn’t the sole responsibility of the manager. Instead, companies should put measures in place to ensure that everyone is doing their bit to welcome any newbies. This can be as simple as knowing the names and roles of new employees or pairing one of the new team members with an existing employee.

Onboarding a newcomer, handshake with a colleague

Some companies go above and beyond when it comes to onboarding, writing personalised welcome letters, and giving little gifts. These gestures may be small, but they can make a big impact on your employee retention rate. They break the ice and express a level of thoughtfulness that is unique to your company.

Do frequent check-ins

It is really difficult to take in everything that you need to know on the first day of a new job. From a new environment to new tasks, to new people, this is a lot to take in for anyone. Therefore, you should ensure that you perform frequent check-ins for your new recruits, making their lives easier and letting them know that you care.

As well as this, check-ins allow you to give and receive feedback so that each area of the professional environment can be improved upon. Frequent check-ins should be weaved into your employee retention strategy, as employees will feel much more confident and secure within their onboarding experience.

Engage more

Starting a new job can be an isolating experience if you are not presented with the right provisions. Therefore, you should ensure that new recruits are being frequently engaged with by managers and other members of staff alike. This engagement should begin via email even before the prospective employees have officially started, inviting them to ask questions. Once they have started, you can then organise a series of meetings and lunches, allowing them to build rapport within their team.

After their first week, month, and year, you might provide them with a survey, enabling you to understand whether:

  • they enjoy their position and professional environment
  • they feel equipped to assume their responsibilities
  • they have everything they need to do their job well
  • the onboarding experience was good

This provides you with an opportunity to gain a fresh perspective about your recruitment strategy plan and experiment with new employee retention ideas.

Automate the mundane

Human resources do not solely handle hiring; they also add business value. Despite this, paperwork, scheduling meetings, follow-ups, and answering questions can be time-consuming and monotonous. As a result, automation can really come in handy by automating onboarding workflows rather than HR managers chasing new hires for tasks.

These automated notifications can handle reminders for employees about updating documents and other general housekeeping bits. This streamlined process will allow for a smoother onboarding, allowing you to reap the benefits of employee retention.

Onboard new recruits with the help of Paydata

Here at Paydata, we are a reward management consultancy that is dedicated to improving professional lives across the nation. We know how vital employee retention is to the success of a business, which is why we encourage all companies to review their onboarding process and deliver the best experience possible. For further advice regarding your recruitment strategy template and improving employee retention through employee engagement, please contact us.

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