Learning & Development, Recruiting

6 Best Practices for an Effective Onboarding Program

Did you know that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years (or longer) if they experience great onboarding and that organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50% greater levels of productivity from their new hires?


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Statistics and research continually demonstrate the benefits of an effective onboarding program. If you want to develop an effective onboarding program for your own organization, here are six best practices you’ll want to follow.

1. Make It Last at Least 1 Year

Overall, research shows that the most effective onboarding programs last at least 1 year, if not longer. Such onboarding programs:

  • Significantly increase new hire retention rates
  • Lead to more productive and engaged employees
  • Offer structure and real-life context during a trial period
  • Save organizations money

2. Determine Specific Goals

Determine specific business goals when designing your onboarding programs, such as increasing employee retention rates or productivity rates, and be sure to include specific goals for the employees being onboarded, as well, so you can clearly communicate them to all new hires. An example could be whether you expect all new hires to learn certain skills or achieve certain milestones within their first 30 days or their first 90 days.

3. Consider Company Culture

When developing an effective onboarding program, consider your company culture, too. For example, if your company is known for its data-driven environment, include tasks, resources, and training sessions that use or include data and data analytics, and if your company is driven via collaboration, include collaborative elements in your onboarding programs.

4. Implement On-the-Job Training

Don’t simply provide new hires with handbooks and guidelines and expect them to excel at your organization, but rather offer them opportunities to learn while they’re at work, such as information on how to execute daily duties and handle new projects, and give them real-time performance feedback and training. This way, they’ll know from the first days of employment where they excel and where they can improve instead of guessing what they’re supposed to do and how they’re supposed to do it.

5. Outline Career Paths and Maps

If employees see a long-term future with your organization, they’re more likely to stay, and because 90% of employees decide whether they’ll stay with or leave an organization within their first 6 months of employment, you should outline long-term career paths and develop career maps for your new employees as you onboard them.

6. Include Mentoring

As you onboard employees, pair them with a peer mentor who can help them learn more about your organization and its culture, as well as career coaches or mentors who can help them succeed professionally at your organization.
Follow the six best practices highlighted above if you want an effective and successful onboarding program.

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