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Onboarding: The Start of Employee Retention

Onboarding: The Start of Employee Retention | VertiSource HR

Onboarding is an inevitable part of bringing in new hires. Every new hire, regardless of education or skill level, needs to be fully integrated into the company culture and workflow. But know this: you only have about six months to get it right, on average. That first six months are make or break time in terms of retention.

Given how important retention has become in the American workplace, it is in the best interests of any employer to maximize those first six months with the goal of ensuring that a new hire returns on month seven. If a company can get past the initial ‘feeling things out’ period, its chances of retaining a new hire will go up dramatically.

As you read the remainder of this post, bear in mind that this make-or-break concept is one of the many reasons we recommend outsourcing HR functions to a service provider that offers the latest tools and strategies – including a modern human resource information system (HRIS).

Employees Decide to Stay Within the First 180 Days

Having just six months to make or break a new hire’s experience is not something we pulled out of thin air. Rather, it is supported by SHRM data that clearly demonstrates the shocking truth: 90% of new employees decide within the first 180 days whether or not to stay at a new job.

An employer able to make a positive impression on a new hire during those first six months is in a strong retention position. On the other hand, new hires who finish that initial term with a negative impression are not likely to stick around long term.

More Than Completing Paperwork

Unfortunately, where many companies fall down is in assuming that onboarding is nothing more than having new hires complete their paperwork. If it were only that easy, more companies wouldn’t struggle so much with retention. But companies do struggle because onboarding is so much more.

A good HRIS can help with the paperwork. Through digital documents and cloud-based efficiency, document completion is a snap. But then what? That is when the real onboarding fun begins.

Successful onboarding incorporates:

  • familiarizing new hires with their working environment.
  • introducing them to company culture.
  • educating them about company policies.
  • providing adequate training, as necessary.
  • answering questions and addressing concerns.

Throughout the entire onboarding process, it is important to regularly check in with new hires. Note that checking in is part of the HR department’s responsibility. It doesn’t fall exclusively on management.

New Hires Needed to Feel Supported

If there is one key to all of this, it is making new hires feel supported. Doing so is critical. When new hires are left out in the cold to fend for themselves, the lack of support often leaves them wondering why they took the new job to begin with. On the other hand, making new hires feel fully supported gives them strong motivation to stay.

Similarly, an HR specialist like VertiSource HR can support your organization with an HRIS payroll system, outsourced employee benefits, accounting, and administration, and even complete PEO services. By supporting your company with industry-leading HR services, we free you up to support your new hires. Everybody wins in the end – you, your new hires, and VertiSource HR.

It’s time to think of onboarding as more than just paperwork completion. Remember that it takes just six months for the average new hire to make a retention decision. If you haven’t managed to convince a new hire to stay during that time, the chances are pretty good that the new hire might never be convinced.

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