It seems that it’d be common sense, but studies have shown that the onboarding process for new employees is a crucial component of their overall experience and longevity at the company. It sets the tone for the company culture, values, and demonstrates what the employee can expect long term during their tenure at the organization. If their experience is anything less than spectacular, it can decrease their likelihood of staying at the company. What happens to the average $150,000 it just took to hire and onboard that employee if they decide to leave after training? I think you can answer that question.

With the current average length that an employee stays at a company being about three years, the importance of employee experience has become a spotlight for many companies. Hiring is not only costly but can be very exhausting for all departments of an organization if there’s a high rate of turnover. A poor onboarding experience can cause an employee to feel “new hire remorse," which is a phenomenon that has shown that one in five new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member. Referrals from top talent can be of significant value if the employee has a strong network of associates and losing that network could wreak havoc on talent management within a company.

So, what can companies do to ensure successful onboarding? Invest in training and mentorship. Those two elements combined has shown to improve engagement and increased retention of employees, both newly hired and existing personnel. Make sure everyone that’s involved in the onboarding process is aware of the importance and severe impact that the employee experience has long term for the organization. Lastly, never lose focus. Sure, any company can create an initiative to improve the onboarding experience, especially if they’ve had a poor or failing program in the past, but what makes it truly successful is support and follow through. Ensure that it’s not just an initiative, rather ensure that it’s an integral part of the company.