Great Onboarding is How Retention Begins

How are onboarding and retention related?

As we inch our way around the corner after more than a year of battling COVID-19, employers across the country are wondering how to retain new employees and employee retention in general. Not surprising is the reality that the pandemic has only underscored the vital importance of a better onboarding experience across the board. Now, if companies want employees to stick around for the long haul – particularly their top performers – they need to act. And act quickly.

Why? Because retaining your best employees is more difficult than ever. According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national employee turnover rate has steadily increased over the past several years, averaging about a 1.5% lift annually. But in 2020, the national turnover rate completely surpassed the year-over-year average, skyrocketing to 57.3%.

Facing employee retention head on

In this fiercely competitive environment, the primary concern for employers and HR professionals within every industry has become employee retention. We’ve recently heard from HR executives across the country who’ve shared these critical, top-of-mind concerns with us: 

  • Are we able to foster a stronger sense of belonging in a virtual environment, e.g., departments with high turnover or low employee engagement?
  • With many workers now hybrid or fully remote, how do we rethink our approach to employee engagement for success?
  • How can we develop “engagement ambassadors” so engagement is everyone’s responsibility, not just HR and managers?
  • What tools will ensure communications and key messages are shared with all employees?
  • How do we engage remote employees who feel isolated, lonely and burned out?

Employee turnover is a big problem…and it’s getting bigger

Even before COVID-19, keeping your employees around long term was a primary concern among people leaders. Now, with a new remote workforce established and in place, employee turnover rates are only expected to increase. It’s no surprise, then, that experts are predicting massive employee turnover to continue throughout 2021 and into the new year. 

SHRM.org reports the main reasons for this dramatic mass exodus fall heavy on the shoulders of the pandemic:

  • Stress, anxiety and burnout
  • Adjusting to remote or hybrid work
  • Lack of engagement
  • Decrease in company culture

Other contributing factors of employee turnover

What other factors fall into play when employees leave an organization? Here’s what the latest statistics reveal:

  • 58% would “absolutely” look for a new job if they weren’t allowed to continue working remotely in their current position (source).
  • 65% think they can find a better position elsewhere (source).
  • Nearly 66% of all employees are disengaged (source).
  • 78% of the reasons employees quit could have been prevented by the employer (source).
  • 52% indicate they will job hunt in 2021, an increase 17% from 2020 (source).
  • 71% more people are disengaged in 2021 than in 2020 (source).

It may seem like a lot of bad news, but it doesn’t have to be. Why? Because experts agree: a standard onboarding process can improve new hire retention rates by as much as 50% or more. But if an onboarding program can retain a new hire for the first 12 months, the propensity for that new hire to convert to a long-term employee grows exponentially!

Unfortunately, if you rely solely on your new employee onboarding and neglect to align it with a strong employee engagement strategy, you will likely fall short. Considering the national turnover rate has increased by 88% over the last 10 years, it’s high time for companies to take action. 

Consider this: It takes about eight to 12 months for a new employee to gain proficiency, comparable to their veteran coworkers. And that’s just proficiency. It can take a year or more for a new employee to really break into their new role, driving up expenses for the organization. With the cost of replacing an employee estimated between 100-300% of the replaced employee’s salary, you really cannot afford to wait.

So how can you tie effective onboarding into increased employee engagement and retention? A simple strategy, really. It’s called the 3 Is. It kicks off with effective onboarding and carries forward into the complete employee lifecycle. 

A simple retention strategy that works: Impress, Invest & Inspire

Each company spends a different amount of time on onboarding, but is it enough to build loyalty and long-term commitment among your employees? Focusing on exactly what goes into each stage of onboarding can be vital to a new employee’s performance as well as long-range retention. Here’s our proven process for a strategic, cadenced approach to win the war on talent:

  • Impress
    Communicate consistently as you focus on role clarity, cultural fit and reaffirming the “yes.”
  • Invest
    Transform enthusiasm into engagement as you prioritize connections and development.
  • Inspire
    Introduce stickiness through motivation, recognition and fostering commitment.

How to prevent the employee turnover problem

If your organization is genuinely committed to reducing the number of employees who leave, there is hope! With the right tools and planning, you can expedite your new employee onboarding, increase productivity and ultimately keep employees around longer. With 92% of HR leaders indicating employee experience as a top priority in 2021, there really is no better time than the present to improve retention and employee engagement.

Thankfully, our employee journey experts have the secret to secure your greatest assets: ClickRetain, your employee retention solution. Engineered with science-backed employee assessments delivered at key intervals throughout the employee journey, ClickRetain seamlessly captures both quantitative and qualitative feedback from employees, building employee baselines and setting the stage for ongoing engagement opportunities. Keep employees engaged, productive – and most importantly – onboard. Learn more>>

Your employees expect more

Make sure you deliver by being authentic, empathetic and intentional. It will make or break their long-term success and – ultimately – your retention statistics. When you’re ready to focus on people and let the process run itself, we’re just a click away.

 

The Business Transformation Network has shared this article in partnership with Click Boarding.