BW 10 Improve Retention Through Excellent Onboarding | BrainWorks

Improve Retention Through Excellent Onboarding

Recruiting the best talent for your firm is only the first step in a long process. You then need to onboard and train your new team members and encourage them to stay and produce quality work for your company.

Many companies do not realize just how vital onboarding is to employee retention.

Onboarding and Retention Are Connected

For an idea of how critical onboarding is for employee retention, consider a study that the Aberdeen Group conducted. Of people surveyed, 86% said they felt new hires decided whether they would stay with a company long-term in their first six months.

This finding aligns perfectly with a recent survey that found about a third of respondents had quit a previous job within the first six months after starting it. Additionally, 16 to 17 percent had left sometime in the first three months.

The study also asked what could have encouraged respondents to stay, and answers included:

• 21% wanting more effective training.
• 23% wanting clear guidelines about their responsibilities.
• 12% wanting recognition for achievements.
• 17% wanting helpful coworkers or a friendly smile.

The first several months are crucial to whether an employee stays with your company. A Wynhurst Group study confirms that onboarding has a decisive role in this. Employees with structured onboarding were 58% more likely to be in the company for at least three years.

Why Onboarding Matters

Experts who have analyzed these results and their own experience agree that onboarding plays a crucial role in employee retention for a few key reasons.

Many companies think of onboarding as teaching new hires about your company, including its culture, mission, and values.

While that is important, it is even more crucial that it teaches new employees how they fit into the big picture of the organization as well as their roles and responsibilities.

How to Achieve Excellent Onboarding

Once you recognize the importance of onboarding for employee retention, how do you achieve the excellent onboarding you need?

Be Prepared Before Employees Arrive

Start by making the process as smooth as possible for new employees. This means preparing the materials and forms they will need beforehand. This gives them more time to start getting used to the company on their first day.

Make Employees Feel Welcome

Do what you can to make your new employees feel welcomed. If you have time, consider a small event so everyone can get to know each other. Even something small, like a personalized welcome message, can have an impact.

Encourage Connections

Part of making employees feel welcome is encouraging connections with their coworkers. This will help them feel like they belong.

You can take this to the next level by pairing a new employee with a seasoned employee who can provide guidance. Mentorship should be an opportunity for both sides to grow.

Check-in Regularly

Make it a point to regularly talk to new hires to confirm they have everything they need. This should include one-on-one meetings with new hires when you give feedback and encourage them to ask questions. Be approachable so they know they can ask you for clarification on tasks or responsibilities.



BrainWorks is a prominent boutique executive search firm offering a 29-year track record of successfully sourcing and placing top talent. By harnessing proven strategies, collaborating with stakeholders and leveraging a diverse and talented candidate network, BrainWorks helps businesses find, attract, and ultimately hire talented professionals that create differentiated results. To learn more about how Brainworks can help you, contact us.


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