Why On-Boarding Matters

Did you know that only about 4% of new hires decide that they want to stay with your organization after the first day? 4%! On-boarding is often viewed as just another HR process that has to be completed where we throw policies and information at our new hires. Orientation requires coffee as we trudge through all of the necessary information. Wow…what a first day at work.

On-boarding happens on the first day of a new hire’s tenure, and that first day is one that will not be forgotten, but, the question is, do they WANT to remember it? Surveys show that most employees describe on-boarding as a “mind-numbing experience”; nothing says “Welcome to the Team” like having your mind numbed. By creating a more “wow”-ful (created a new word) on-boarding experience, you can positively impact your overall talent management strategy by:

  • Improving initial performance / productivity
  • Improving retention (remember, only 4% of new hires are committed after the first day)
  • Increasing employee engagement
  • Helping to recruiting (because if they are “wow”-ed, they will tell other people about it!)
  • Your on-boarding process is the first glimpse a new hire has into organizational culture, what is it reflecting? Is it aligned with your culture and who you say you are? What do your new hires tell their friends and family about you after the first day? All of this impacts your employer branding.

Here are some ideas to spice up your on-boarding process:

  1. Give welcome gifts / packs
  2. Highlight new hires in a unique way (that’s not too embarrassing)
  3. Assign them to a trainer that they will be working with consistently
  4. Take them, and their family, to lunch or dinner
  5. Have your new hires do something fun together (scavenger hunt, game, outing)
  6. Minimize the boring!

Let me note, legal compliance is a MUST, so ensure all local, state, and federal guidelines are met. Just don’t make that the entire experience.


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