How an effective onboarding process increases employee retention and productivity

By Alex Hellemons

Onboarding and integrating new employees constitute an essential aspect for many companies. Research indicates that organizations that enhance the onboarding experience reap various benefits, including increased engagement, shortened onboarding periods, and reduced employee turnover. At Highberg PLC, we don't view the onboarding journey merely as a one-time project but rather as an ongoing process. This approach enables us to continually strive for optimization, as we believe there are constant opportunities for improvement.

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What does our approach entail?

Upon joining Highberg People, Leadership & Culture, you not only receive a designated coach but also a buddy. This buddy guides you during the initial weeks, ensuring you become acquainted with the organization. Additionally, the buddy facilitates introductions to relevant individuals and assists you in socially integrating into the company culture. Furthermore, there is a standardized approach and checklist that is followed with new employees. 

Why do we do this?

Our approach is based on various practical cases and research, including that of Glassdoor. This research indicates that an effective onboarding process can result in an increased employee retention of up to 82%. Furthermore, it leads to a productivity increase of 70%, meaning employees can operate at the desired level of knowledge more quickly.

Despite these benefits, only 12% of employees report that their organization's onboarding process is excellent. On the flip side, a negative onboarding experience doubles the likelihood of employees seeking new challenges.

As both an employee and a manager, I can add that an unstructured and non-standardized onboarding process results in a lower employee experience regarding the onboarding process. This is supported by various articles, including those from Digitate.

It is a waste of time and energy to invest in recruiting the right candidate, especially considering the average recruitment fee, such as that of Randstad, which amounts to 25% of an annual salary. With an annual salary of 30,000 euros, this quickly translates to 7,500 euros.

Where to start?

As a robust onboarding process contributes to higher employee retention and productivity, many organizations have opportunities for improvement. Conducting surveys among employees can help identify areas for improvement.

The information obtained from onboarding questionnaires provides valuable insights, which, in turn, can be utilized to enhance the employee onboarding experience.

Another option is to analyze the process and its follow-up using data. This helps determine potential bottlenecks and the actions that need to be taken. At Highberg People, Leadership & Culture, we refer to this as a process analysis.

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Do you want to improve your (data-driven) onboarding process?

Read more about our onboarding product!