Why Good Onboarding Leads to Better Employee Retention

employees engagement onboarding Jul 21, 2021

Onboarding is the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organization. A newly hired employee may not fit in right away into an organization, resulting in premature resignation. To mitigate this issue, organizations can implement strategies to help acclimate new employees to the organization, and onboarding helps new employees feel more comfortable in their new work environment and is an effort taken on by both management and employees.


Proper onboarding can improve employee retention by:

  • Optimizing the performance of new employees: Research shows that employees who are subject to an effective onboarding program consistently increase their work output by approximately 20%. Performance and productivity are crucial to any organization, and implementing an effective onboarding program that educates new employees on the vision, mission, culture and core values of the business will help new employees integrate quicker, thereby improving their performance and creating an environment they are comfortable to work in and continue working in.
  • Allowing new employees to get comfortable: A new employee may feel pressured to hit the ground running and perform skillfully and quickly. This pressure can create tension, making the employee uncomfortable, which may affect the employee’s performance. An effective onboarding program will ensure the new employee is comfortable with their responsibilities and understand what exactly is expected of them, thereby creating a space where they are happy to work.
  • Facilitating a smooth transition for new employees: Making the transition as smooth as possible for the new employee will ensure the new employee acclimates quickly and easily and will want to work in an environment where they feel accepted and like a part of the team. Something as simple as introducing new employees to fellow teammates or ensuring the new employee's work station I set up and ready to go can make the transition smoother and increase the chances of retaining new hires.   


Methods For Effective Staff Onboarding  

  • Create programs that build trust: Trust is an important aspect of any relationship, including work relationships. Building a network that creates and fosters trust will ensure that teams are more productive and efficient. This trusted network must be implemented across all departments and teams and include senior management, lower-level management, team leaders and team members. Naturally, this foundation of trust must be included in the onboarding program, so new employees know the foundation of trust that runs throughout the organization.
  • Offer continuous feedback: It is important that new employees feel comfortable and appreciated in their roles. Offering feedback regularly to employees will help in retaining them. If an employee is performing well in their role, they should be recognized for their efforts. If the employee is not performing at their best, they should be provided with constructive criticism and support to achieve success.
  • Build clear communication channels: New employees may feel uncomfortable or intimidated about voicing concerns and issues. Therefore, as part of the onboarding program, proper communication channels should be made known, and new employees should be encouraged to share their feedback. Effective communication is essential in every organization, and the proper communication channels should be clear, and all staff should be supported to provide feedback to improve employee retention.
  • Assign mentors to new employees: Including this in the organization's onboarding program allows the new employee to socialize with other members of the organization and streamlines the acclimation and orientation process. Mentors will help ease the transition as they will show new employees how different operations run and motivate them to perform well. The mentor will also help make the new employee comfortable and feel like a part of the team.
  • Be creative: Each organization can be creative in implementing a program unique to its culture and core values as there are no absolutes to staff onboarding.


Ineffective onboarding can lower company morale, high staff turnover, stunted business growth, and lower employee retention rates.

Staff onboarding can take up to a year, or longer is not a one-time occurrence and involves everyone in the organization. The onboarding program is essential as it enables organizations to retain their top talent. Managers should ensure that their employees have all the tools and resources needed to perform their jobs effectively.

The relationship between onboarding and employee retention is clear, new employees who can quickly integrate because of an effective onboarding program will want to continue working with the organization because of how quickly and easily they integrate and feel like a part of a family, feeling accepted and valued means employees feel more comfortable and want to stay in the place that offers that.     

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