Onboarding New Employees: How To Set The Tone & Keep Retention High

onboarding new employees

Back in the day, companies believed that only employees should be making an effort to get hired. But in this day and age, the hiring process is no longer one-sided. With so much competition and a shortage of workers, you need to put in more effort when recruiting your employees, especially if you want the best talent in their teams.

That’s where the onboarding process comes in!

The onboarding process for new employees is crucial for long-term employee retention and high job satisfaction. You need to establish a great onboarding process if you want to ensure that your new employees will be highly productive and feel fulfilled with their jobs. This way, you’ll get the most out of them.

Keep reading to find out how you can make your new hires feel appreciated and convince the best talent to be on your team – and stay on your team!

What Exactly Is The New Employee Onboarding Process?

The new employee onboarding process is a carefully planned system, often handled by the company’s hiring managers, that helps new employees integrate into a company and its culture in order to transform them into top-performing workers.

It allows the company to provide new employees with the tools and knowledge they need to become highly productive team members. New employee onboarding is an ongoing process that may last for as long as a year.

Why Is It So Important To Nail The Employee Onboarding Process?

It’s likely you’re already aware of why the onboarding process matters so much. Here are a couple of benefits you’ll unlock by providing new employees with a great onboarding experience:

Helps New Hires Acclimate

It’s easy for new employees to feel lost and out of place when they first start. Providing them with a great onboarding process that allows them to feel welcomed and appreciated will help them acclimate to their new job and job environment.

Provide them with all the information they need to help better understand the company’s vision and mission. Discuss with them the company’s culture, philosophies, and goals. Let new hires know how exactly their role helps the company reach its goals.

Aside from informing the new hires about what they can do for the company, show them what the company can do to achieve their personal goals as well. Talk about career growth, possible promotions, weekly check-ins, or learning programs. Give them something they’ll look forward to and will make them want to stay and grow with the company.

Creates Engaged Employees

Did you know that employees who are engaged are five times less likely to leave their companies than unengaged employees? But what exactly is an engaged employee? Engaged employees are committed employees who genuinely care for the company’s goals and will help reach them.

When you show new hires that you appreciate them, they are more likely to pay back the favor and work harder to show their appreciation for the company as well. A great employee onboarding process creates highly productive and engaged employees.

Engaged employees can result in better company outcomes. Companies produce better quality work which in turn results in happier customers and ultimately higher profits. The onboarding process can quite literally make or break a company.

Avoids High Turnover Rates

A major problem that companies face today, especially with millennial workers, is the high rate of turnover. If a company is lucky their workers might stay for a year or two. But what does employee onboarding have to do with turnover rates? And how can it help keep employees around for 3-5 years or longer?

A survey conducted by Careerbuilder and Silkroad Technology found that 1 in 10 new hires leave their companies due to a bad onboarding process, with 37% of them saying that their managers did not play a critical role in their onboarding process support.

These turnover rates are concerning because companies spend thousands of dollars to replace a single employee. For low-wage workers, it can cost 16% of their annual salary to find a replacement. For employees in mid-range positions, it costs 20% to find a new hire. Gallup polls estimate that millennial turnovers cost the U.S. economy around $30.5 billion annually.

The statistics make it pretty clear that the onboarding process does affect a company’s turnover rates. Surveys also show that 69% of employees are more likely to stay for at least three years if they experience a great onboarding process.

So, if you want to increase long-term employee retention and avoid financial loss, make sure to prepare an employee onboarding process that will convince new employees to stay.

What Are The Critical Steps To A New Employee Onboarding Process?

A successful employee onboarding process requires a deliberate set of steps that every hiring manager should follow. We’ll be going over these steps one by one and in detail so that your company is prepared to onboard new hires.

Preparing for the Onboarding Process

The onboarding process starts way before the company begins to recruit new hires.

To prepare for a great employee onboarding process, keep in mind that it’s all about making a good first impression. Remember, the hiring process is not one-sided, and you need to persuade new hires to apply for your company.

A survey by Gallup found that new employees, particularly millennials, want to work for a company with a clear mission. Provide information about your company culture, values, and goals. Set clear and specific expectations for new hires so you know you’re attracting the correct applicants.

You can do this by constantly updating your website and social media accounts with content that matches your brand identity. The About Us page and Careers page are two of the most important parts of your site.

Your website and social media accounts are the first places candidates will get to know you. Think of it as your resume that’ll help candidates decide whether they want to apply for your company in the first place.

Recruiting New Employees

The recruitment phase is all about meeting and getting to know the possible new hires. We do this through job interviews either on the phone, through a virtual conference, or in the office. It is a critical stage in the onboarding process because it lets you and the candidate decide if you are fit for each other.

If the job interview is happening in the office, this would be a great time to bring the candidate on a tour of the office. Give them a glimpse of what the day-to-day flow is like at your company, introduce them to important people in the office, and allow them to ask questions as you go along.

During the interview, make sure to ask the right questions. Take this as an opportunity to inform the candidate about everything they need to know about the role, the working conditions, the benefits, and so on. Be transparent and honest and do not give out any false promises or misleading information.

Sending the Job Offer

Once the recruitment phase is all done, it’s time to send out the job offer to your new hires.

There are several ways to send out a job offer. The best way to do it is to contact them by phone. Some companies will skip this part and go straight to emailing the letter. But if you truly want to make the candidate feel special, send them the email after calling. Make sure to sound enthusiastic and show the new hire how excited you are about them being part of the team.

The job offer letter must include:

  • Your company address, phone number, and email
  • Job title and description
  • Work schedule and start date (end date, only if applicable)
  • Reporting structure
  • Salary and other employee benefits
  • Privacy policies and termination conditions

Make sure to set clear expectations for the new hire in the job offer letter. Ensure that you are both on the same page and that the new hire understands the responsibilities of the role they applied for.

Do take note that not all candidates accept the job offer immediately. There is also what we call a “waiting period”, the time when candidates are still deciding whether to accept the job offer or not.

Usually, it’s because they also received a job offer from another company. That’s why it’s important to build a good rapport with your candidates to increase the likelihood of them accepting the job offer. This goes beyond just salary, benefits, etc.

Early Onboarding Program

Once the candidate has officially accepted the job offer, you can now welcome your new hire!

The goal of the early onboarding program is to convince your new hire that they made the right choice accepting the job offer. Start by sending them a welcome email that may include a company introduction video. This is all about getting your new hire excited before their first day!

During the early onboarding program, you usually provide the new hire with their work credentials, email, phone number, and other communication tools used by the team members. You can also help the new hire ease into their new job by providing them with a task list and a set of goals to accomplish for the first week.

First Day

This part of the employee onboarding is also usually when the orientation occurs. Some people think orientation and employee onboarding are the same, but they’re very different. Orientations are usually a one-time thing, while employee onboarding – as we mentioned before – happens for as long as a year.

A new employee can undergo several orientations in a week but it’s usually done in one day and during the employee’s first day.

At this time your new hire should have everything they need, but to make things more exciting you can send them a first-day swag bag to really get them into the company spirit! We’ll talk about this more in-depth later on.

Prepare fun activities for the first-day orientation like a fun getting-to-know-you game or an icebreaker to help your current employees get to know the new hires better. You can even have a simple team-building activity or just prepare a team lunch.

Before the day ends you can set up a debrief meeting with your new hire to see how their first day went. Invite them to ask questions and raise any concerns so that you can address them right away.

First Week

By the time the new employee’s first week has ended they should have a good idea of their tasks and what’s expected from their role. But it’s still a good idea to stay close to the new hire, just in case they have any more questions they need to be answered or to give them moral support.

You don’t have to hover around the new hire all week, just make sure to check up on them from time to time. Why not assign an office buddy to them to help them feel more comfortable at work? Set an end-of-the-week meeting to ensure that they’re settling down nicely and that they’re starting to get into the working groove.

First Month

When the new employee reaches their first month you can start giving them larger tasks. But make sure that they’re still engaged and haven’t burnt out.

Giving new hires genuine feedback is important during the onboarding process. It not only helps boost their morale, but it also gives them a better idea of how they can do better.

First Three to Six Months

Once you’ve reached month three, you need to ensure that your new employee is feeling more at home. Because once you reach the six-month point, that’s when most employees decide whether or not they should continue working at the company or leave for good.

You could put them under a learning or mentorship program at this point to show that there are growth opportunities in the company. If you have corporate social events, make sure that they’re invited and that they participate in the activities. This can help further integrate them into the company culture.

First Year

If you’re lucky enough to have your employee stay for as long as a year, good for you! Don’t stop making your employees feel appreciated. You want them to feel like the company is their home and that they’re making great contributions to the company’s goals.

Now that your employee has made it this far, you can offer them positions in company committees or remind them of the possible promotions they can apply for in the future. Continue opening up new opportunities, because from this point onward it’s no longer about training but about continuous development.

Start Your Relationship On The Right Foot With A New Employee Onboarding Swag Pack!

The key to a successful onboarding process is to make sure your new hires are always appreciated, comfortable, and happy. What better way to show your appreciation than by giving them a new hire swag pack to integrate them into your company culture?

This will set the tone from day one and ensure their first experience in the office is memorable and positive.

What’s a Swag Pack?

A swag pack is the perfect welcoming gift for your new employees! It’s a great giveaway to give on their first day. Not only does it make a great first impression it also helps calm their nerves and make them feel extra special and appreciated.

It’s filled with tons of goodies branded with the company’s logo and unique design to make new employees feel at home at their new job. You can find t-shirts, hats, water bottles, stationery kits and so much more in these swag packs!

Where Can You Get One?

There’s only one place you can get fully customizable and premium quality swag packs for your onboarding program and that’s from Swag Bar!

Swag Bar makes customizing your swag packs extremely easy. We are the #1 place to find all your branded swag boxes. You get to choose the colors and design elements that you’ll use on your swag packs. So it can be as formal or as creative as you want! We have one of the best customer services, and we make all of our products here in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A. — satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

How Does It Work?

Our custom swag packs only take five easy steps to design and complete!

Step 1: Pick Your Pack

You can sort through our preset packs or create your own pack design.

Step 2: Describe Your Vision

We have a dedicated design team willing to turn your every dream design into a reality! Just let us know what kind of design you have in mind and we’ll create a one-of-a-kind theme for your brand.

Step 3: Provide Feedback

Once our design team has come up with some ideas, we’ll contact you to get your feedback and we’ll work together to make sure your design is exactly what you imagined.

Step 4: Approve

After our design team edits the swag pack based on the feedback you provided, we’ll contact you again to ask for your approval. Once the design is approved and your payment has been processed, we’ll add your swag pack into the production queue.

Step 5: Ship in 15-30 days!

Now all you have to do is sit back, relax, and wait for your one-of-a-kind company swag pack to arrive!

Remember a great onboarding process can make or break your business. Make a memorable first impression on your new hires by sending them a swag pack from Swag Bar and they’ll know they made the right choice joining the company

Our new hire boxes are awesome – but, we’re here for all your branded swag needs. You’ll find other great products like: