How good onboarding leads to better retention

The Great Resignation could be followed by the Great Onboarding: are you ready?

How good onboarding leads to better retention

There is a lot of talk at the moment about the Great Resignation, a term first coined on NBC news by Anthony Klotz. Type in the term to Google and 300,000,000 results come up.

When the pandemic struck, companies that had already embraced flexible working and were talking about empathetic leadership and mental health were ahead of the game. They struggled less to transition to hybrid work and reached out to employees facing anxiety and uncertainty in their lives.

In the same manner, forward-thinking companies are also using this time to rethink the culture of their organisations. When significant number of people leave, it presents an opportunity to reset and change the way you do things. Specifically, when you hire new people, how do you make sure that they get off to the best start and aren’t disillusioned within six months – as is often the case.

Many organisations think the hard part is over once a candidate has accepted the offer, says Tony Tran, Culture AMP’s people scientist and psychologist.

“A good onboarding process sets the new staff for success, improves their speed to performance and drives engagement, and importantly in the current environment, reduces further turnover,” says Tran.

Look at the data and address the issues within your own organization to find the unique drivers of attrition and attraction for your people.

Put a lens on the onboarding process systems and communications, to see what's working and what isn’t, says Tran. Are new starters being lost in their first three months, the first six months, the first year? And if so, what's happening at each of those points that might be driving that disengagement?

Onboarding is often about the small stuff, says Dean Carpenter, vice-president talent and operations, MRI Software. He recalls an example of an employee where everything was going well with one exception where there seemed to be a red light around his work-life alignment.

“When we had a chat with the team member, it turned out that he'd underestimated his commute time and he was no longer able to do school drop offs for his daughter. The solution to his role ended up being such a simple fix. We just tweaked start and finish times,” says Carpenter.

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