Employee engagement matters now more than ever. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees are still voluntarily quitting at historic rates each month. Better pay, better benefits, and better company culture are all significantly driving employees to look elsewhere for work. One solution is to create a culture and employee experience that will engage and retain top talent from day one. But that’s no easy task. HR must design and curate a relationship with employees so they feel valued, heard, and supported. The best way to start this relationship is to deliver a high-quality onboarding experience. 

Research proves the value of a great onboarding experience

Investing in your onboarding experience is not just a good idea on paper, it’s actually grounded in research. According to Gallup, only 12% of employees in the U.S. think their employers do a good job of onboarding. This is a major missed opportunity: The same report found that 70% of employees who reported “exceptional onboarding experiences” said they have “the best possible job.” These same employees are 2.6 times more likely to report being “extremely satisfied” with their jobs and, as a result, far less likely to quit.

In essence, this tells us that effective onboarding lays the foundation for an engaged, productive workforce. Below, we’ll share some tips on how to design a great onboarding experience.

Make sure all the basics are in place

It might sound like a strange point to emphasize, but so many organizations do a poor job of making sure all the fundamental elements of onboarding are in place for every new hire. Make sure your new hires have everything they need on day one to start doing their job (desks, equipment, e-mail accounts, etc.). This demonstrates care and forethought to the employee, and it enables them to hit the ground running as soon as they arrive. 

Consider “pre-boarding” your people 

There’s often a gap between the time a candidate returns their offer letter and when they show up for work. Successful organizations are learning to use this gap to connect with new hires. Try having their future manager send them a welcome letter, or set up a video call for them to meet their team. You can also use this time to get new hires working on paperwork and enrolled in benefits

Emphasize wellness and health from the beginning 

New hires care more than ever about achieving the proper balance between life and work. Onboarding is the perfect time to ensure employees know how to use your meditation app to reduce stress, or how to access their fitness benefits. Integrating them into your health and wellness solutions means they are more likely to use them in the flow of work when they need them.

Immerse new hires in your culture 

 Employees are usually at their most engaged during the onboarding process. Why not capture that excitement and magnify it by helping your new hires bond with your company culture? This could take the form of having leaders and long-time employees talk to new hires about the history of the company and what it means to work there. This is also a good time to talk about your organizational values and what they mean.

Great onboarding benefits them and the company

Effective onboarding can increase engagement, reduce turnover and, in turn, increase productivity and efficiency for your organization. Investing in onboarding lays the foundation for the culture of care, wellness, and support your people need today.