How Effective Onboarding Strategy Contributes to Employee Retention and Positive Company Culture

Becca Mulhill | 4 min read

We’ve all been there. It’s day one at your new job. The first-day jitters have set in, only to be exacerbated by the coffee in your hand. You know what you’re walking into — a day of paperwork and the start of your onboarding process.

As an employee, the thought of onboarding can be daunting. As an employer, it’s an opportunity.

An opportunity to put a strategic program in place that helps new employees quickly reach productivity. To help them feel comfortable contributing to company culture. And research shows that effective onboarding helps boost retention.

What Makes An Onboarding Strategy Effective?

1. Give It Time

The first year at a new job is critical for getting new employees up to speed and settled in their position. It’s essential to provide new employees with the tools and information they need in a timely manner to adequately set them up for success — about 20% of turnover happens during a person’s first 45 days.

The flow and timing of your onboarding should provide them the critical knowledge they need to understand and get up to speed on how things work, as well as support them once they’ve found a groove in their day-to-day responsibilities. According to the Harvard Business Review, this kind of strategic onboarding boosts new hire productivity by 62% and increases new hire retention by 50%.

At Wisetail, every new employee goes through a standardized month-long onboarding process, complemented by a department-specific onboarding course. This program sets new employees up for success by providing in-depth knowledge on the Wisetail software, the company culture, and HR practices, as well as content that will help them thrive in their individual position and department.

Wisetail LMS employees share their thoughts on a project.

2. Success is Defined from the Start

Explaining to new employees what success looks like at your organization is the first step to those employees striving for and achieving excellence in their position.

This includes a thorough job description that shows specific expectations for their work. You also need to lay out what resources they have at hand. A well thought out set of goals that are both meaningful and achievable paired with constructive feedback from a superior goes a long way in defining success and excellence for a new hire.

In combination, these items allow new hires to define their purpose in your organization and gives them momentum to achieve their pre-set goals and objectives.

3. Create Coworker Connections

Creating a welcoming, open environment is key for new hires to feel like they’re a part of the company culture. The onboarding process is an ideal time to connect current employees with their new peers.

Here at Wisetail, we utilize our entire team to help onboard new employees and make them feel at home. Every time a new hire starts, we break out each onboarding session to be with a different person, allowing the new hire a chance to meet a variety of their new coworkers and exposing them to the diversity within the company.