Onboarding with an Eye Toward Employee Retention

When it comes to onboarding your newest hire, their first days, weeks and months on the job are critical to helping them build a strong foundation, and become an effective member of your team.

  • Many new hires spend the first few weeks getting acquainted with coworkers, learning the ins and outs of the workspace, and finding a path to contribute as soon as possible.
  • They also spend time getting a better sense of your company culture, especially in cases where your culture played a role in the recruitment process. Now they have a chance to look around and decide if it’s the right fit.

But as they approach and pass the half-year mark, how well they understand and see their role in the company’s vision can help determine how long they stick around.

Increase Employee Retention by Extending Onboarding Beyond the First Year

In this competitive, candidate-driven hiring environment, companies are extending onboarding programs deeper into a new hire’s first year, and sometimes beyond. This is where retention comes into play.

Making sure your new hire has filled out all the paperwork, is comfortable in their workspace, gets to know their coworkers, and has the tools they need are all-important, but they’re not the sum of an effective onboarding strategy. Today, it’s paramount that managers and senior leaders help new employees see the links between their work, their goals, and where the business is headed.

Without a view that extends beyond the day-to-day and into the employee’s future, a business can run the risk of creating a revolving door situation where they’re constantly in recruitment mode. One of the last things any company wants is to have a successful recruiting strategy on one hand, and a hoard of passive job seekers on the other.

So while your new hire’s first few months will always be important, it’s essential to make sure the onboarding process strengthens the link between the employee’s growth and the company’s success.


A great deal of onboarding involves meeting time-based benchmarks and handling administrative tasks. But making sure your new hire is engaged at work—and stays engaged—can be even more important to retention. Download our recent Spotlight, “Building an Effective Onboarding Strategy,” which discusses the link between onboarding and retention, and much more.

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Making the first day personal is a great way to kick off the onboarding process. But you also want new hires to understand the long-term vision behind your onboarding process, and how the process can benefit them.

When employers and employees see onboarding as a chore, they can overlook how things like culture-shaping and training will make a difference in the day-to-day, and in the future. But when they see onboarding as an integrated part of the workplace, companies and their employees are more prepared to put renewed energy behind the process.

Onboarding with an Eye Toward Employee Retention

3 Tips for Helping Hiring Managers Understand the Link Between Onboarding and Employee Retention

Here are three tips that can help hiring managers and new employees see the bigger picture of onboarding:

  1. Help your hiring managers understand why training and workshops matter for both employees and the company.

Many professionals look for trainings, courses, and even in-house opportunities designed to grow their careers and help the company. Help both your hiring managers and their employees see the value in these trainings, by helping them make personal connections, and seeing how the personal ties back to the company. For example:

  • When an employee has to attend a mandatory conflict-resolution workshop, have your hiring managers share an example of when they saw this workshop pay off for someone else.
  • Train your hiring managers to discuss something that happened to them recently, and how a different style of communication could have been helpful and more aligned with your company’s culture.
  1. When it comes to skills training and career growth, talk about the moment and the future.

When new hires are finding their way, discussing the processes they’re going through can help them gain a clearer picture of their work, especially if they’re doing things that seem outside of the job’s original scope:

  • Advise hiring managers to discuss how specific skills trainings will support their employee’s development right away, and also strengthen their department.
  • If a new hire wants to move into a leadership position someday, be sure that hiring managers are aware of opportunities that might come up in the future. For instance, maybe it’s too soon for a new hire to go to a leadership training, but the hiring manager can tell them about the program, and how key members of the organization used it to advance their career.
  1. Help new hires discover the full extent of your onboarding program at their own pace.

One way to grade the effectiveness of your onboarding program is to see how easily employees transition from new hire to key contributor. And while calendars, benchmarks and deadlines will always be part of the conversation, it’s important to support employees at their pace:

  • If a new hire begins feeling overwhelmed by the onboarding process, let the hiring manager know that they can slow things down for a couple of weeks.
  • This can happen in cases where new employees have to jump into work quickly.

While it’s natural to want new hires to wrap up the onboarding program, remember that onboarding is about supporting people, not checking off tasks. When they feel supported and mentored throughout their experience, they’re more likely to stay engaged over the long-run, rather than scanning job sites before their one-year work anniversary comes up.


How onboarding actually looks and plays out is different at every company. Whether your onboarding program lasts a few months, or well into your new hire’s first year, myStaffingPro helps you stay organized, especially when it comes to sharing access to essential onboarding forms and documents. Contact a representative today, and find out how we can help you get the most out of the hiring process.

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