Home » Remote Workforce » Retain and Engage with an Effective New Employee Onboarding Program

For a busy manager with competing priorities, looming deadlines, and people to manage, the thought of onboarding a brand new employee can be daunting. Bringing a new hire up to speed takes time and attention – something a busy manager can’t always spare. A good New Employee Orientation program (NEO) not only eases the burden on the hiring manager, it sets the new employee on a path to success with your company.

The data here backs up the importance of implementing an effective NEO program – and justifies the expense in producing it. According to the 2018 Job Seeker Nation Survey by Jobvite, almost 30 percent of employees leave a job within 90 days of hire. About 66 percent of those surveyed cited an incident or bad experience, or company culture as a reason for leaving. Meaning the expensive new hire process begins again for the same position. Conversely, according to the Society for Human Resource Management 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

It’s clear that the experience an employee has when walking through the door has a huge impact on their happiness and level of commitment to the company. So how can you create an experience that builds the commitment and loyalty to turn a new hire into a long-term employee?

Hire for the Right Job

According to the JobSeeker survey, 43 percent of employees who left their job within 90 days felt their day-to-day role wasn’t what they expected. That means employee retention begins with the recruitment process. Ensure the job descriptions for the open roles are accurate prior to posting. Hiring managers should talk with the company recruiter about the role, highlighting the most critical elements of the job and any challenges the new hire might encounter. This enables the recruiter to ask the right questions and provide accurate information as the potential candidate moves forward with an interview. 

Prepare for the New Employee’s Arrival

A negative experience on the first day at a new job can create instant job-seeker remorse. Set a specific start time and be ready to greet the new employee when they arrive. Introduce them to the team and get them oriented in their new surroundings. Express expectations regarding their job and the major tasks they’ll be working on during their first month. The more comfortable an employee feels in their new space, the more they can focus on learning their new responsibilities.

Provide Access to and Training on Essential Tools

Employees often spend their first few days waiting for access to essential tools and systems. Even if your IT process is slow to grant access, providing training courses can get an employee up and running. From time tracking to proprietary systems training, a professional Instructional Designer can create self-contained courses with system simulations so that an employee is ready to go before system access is granted.

Tell the Company’s Story

A company’s culture has become a significant factor in employee retention. In the Jobseeker survey, forty-six percent of employees indicated that culture is very important in their job search. Telling that story to your new hires in an engaging and relatable way can help achieve a sense of belonging and shared goals that builds employee loyalty. A training course with video and interactive storytelling can drive new employee engagement and ensure a consistent experience for all new hires.

Crafting an effective NEO program may take some time, but the payoff in employee retention and engagement is worth the time and resources. A TimelyText Instructional Designer can help you craft the perfect experience for your NEO program. Contact us at info@timelytext.com

Kelly Phillips is a professional Instructional Designer with over 20 years of experience in Learning & Development. She is versed in facilitation, public speaking, instructional design, eLearning development, and more.


2018 Job Seeker Nation Report, Jobvite https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2018_Job_Seeker_Nation_Study.pdf

Hirsh, Arlene S.  “Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Good Onboarding” SHRM (blog), Aug. 10, 2017

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