It’s your new hire’s first day on the job. Too early to worry about them leaving? Not really. Retention begins the minute your fresh employee begins their tenure at your company.

Statistics show that a strong onboarding process can make a major difference in keeping your best talent over the long haul. One study showed that organizations with a well-conducted onboarding system see 82% higher retention.

Even with this benefit, most companies don’t invest enough in onboarding. A Gallup survey found that just 12% of workers feel strongly that their companies did a great job with the initial introduction process. That leaves nearly nine out of 10 employers sowing doubt in their new team members — undermining future attempts at retention.

So what can you do to fix the problem? Here are steps you can take during onboarding that will boost your ability to retain top talent:

Prove Your Value as an Organization

Think of onboarding like a first date. You’re creating a first impression that will stick with your incoming employee, forming the basis of their long-term opinion of you as a company. Show that you are organized and dependable by smoothly navigating your new hire through the onboarding steps.

Give Your New Employee Confidence

On the other side of the onboarding process, your new hire should feel ready to start their job. This involves more than just understanding the tasks you want them to perform. They should also have a connection to their supervisor and co-workers. At the same time, your incoming team member should have developed a familiarity with your organization, including its structure and culture.

Build a Relationship

Onboarding offers the perfect opportunity to begin building long-term bonds. The connections formed in this process will become the foundation of future loyalties. A well-planted seed at this point will blossom into easier retention over time.

Set a Cultural Tone

More than the logistics of the particular job, you should use onboarding to introduce broader themes. Culture sits at the core of this process. You want to share your overall vision with your new hire, setting the stage for a connection that goes beyond a paycheck.

Introduce Team Dynamics

Retention gets easier when your employees like and respect each other. Personal bonds within your team will help connect your top workers to the overall organization. These connections are first formed during onboarding. As such, do what you can to encourage your incoming hire to form meaningful relationships with their new team members.

Assign a Mentor

This team-building process can be accelerated by assigning a mentor. Having a company veteran available to help with onboarding your new hire will serve multiple goals at once. It facilitates relationship-building. At the same time, it accelerates the training and acclimation process.

Set Ambitious (But Achievable) Goals

Onboarding offers your first chance to set a tone that will inform your new hire’s work habits throughout their tenure with your company. As such, you want to send the right message. That involves getting the most out of your new hire without overwhelming them and creating unnecessary stress.

Think hard about the right bar to set for expectations. Create ambitious but achievable objectives for your incoming employee.

Create Excitement

Consider the emotional component of the onboarding process. Don’t turn the system into a parade of boring paperwork and snooze-inducing presentations about corporate policies.

Of course, you need to deliver the information necessary to get your new hire started. However, you also want to establish a sense of excitement and anticipation. Stir their enthusiasm. That way, they enter their tenure with a high level of motivation — eagerness that will likely continue over time and make retention much easier.

Looking to improve retention? The process starts even before onboarding begins. Hiring the right employees makes it easier to build – and keep – the perfect team. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can bring you the ideal candidates for your open positions.

Contact SmartTalent today to take your hiring to the next level.

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