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What Are the 5 C’s of Onboarding?

Onboarding is the critical first impression that you only get one chance to make. Prior to the pandemic, many companies skated by with a basic onboarding process involving a few forms and an employee handbook. Companies making a nominal effort may have treated their new hires to lunch on their first day.

A lackluster onboarding process isn’t cutting it during the “Great Resignation.” With many companies struggling to find enough employees to provide fundamental customer service, they need to do everything they can to hold onto the new hires they’re lucky enough to get.

An outstanding onboarding process is the proven first step to lowering employee turnover, improving engagement, and boosting productivity. Small and mid-sized businesses are learning in 2021 what the most successful corporate giants have known for years: great onboarding is a key component of your company’s success.

But why is onboarding so important?

And what makes an outstanding onboarding program?


Download ExactHire's Employee Onboarding Checklist

Benefits of a Robust Onboarding Process

When your onboarding process checklist has got game, your new employees fall in love with their jobs. The fact is, your company needs employees that are fully engaged to compete in the new economy. According to this Gallup study, employee engagement is a key factor in nine performance outcomes, including customer service, profitability, and turnover.

Engaged employees are passionate about their work and they feel a strong connection to their company’s culture and values. Employee engagement is all about the emotional bonds people form with their work. These employees will always outperform their peers who couldn’t care less.

You want your employees to show up on time, every day, and do their best work. You want them to go the extra mile for the customer. When they’re on the manufacturing line, you want them to care—really care—about the quality of the goods they’re producing.

Companies are constantly looking for that special combination of skilled talent, soft skills, and work ethic that make a great employee. But they leave their new hires to fend for themselves as soon as they are finished filling out their W-4. A poor employee onboarding process flow contributes to the massive national turnover rate that costs U.S. companies $1 trillion each year.

A robust onboarding process, on the other hand, can make your employees almost 70 percent more likely to stay with your company for at least three years. And your new hires can be 50 percent more productive when your onboarding process steps set clear expectations while also providing crucial support early on.

Your new employee’s onboarding checklist pdf covers four areas known as the “4 C’s.” The 4 C’s are listed in order of importance to company growth. However, every stage of the 4 C’s is essential to a comprehensive onboarding plan.

Onboarding: The 4 C’s

Most companies stop with the first two C’s: compliance and clarification. Successful companies pay careful attention to the last two C’s: culture and connection. And our team likes to add a fifth C (shhh…don’t tell anyone!).

Compliance: Companies interested in avoiding discrimination and harassment lawsuits, i.e., every company, should start their onboarding with a thorough run-down of their policies and rules. To be most effective, you should implement a clear process by which employees can report discrimination and other issues. Earn your new employee’s trust by making it clear your company takes these issues seriously.

Clarification: This is the stage during which your new hires learn about their role, their duties and their responsibilities. Take this time to set your employee up for success. Establish a support network and ensure she has the tools she needs to complete her work.

Culture: More than a buzzword, culture has a tangible effect on a company’s success. A strong and positive culture gives you a recruiting edge. And clear values keep individual behavior in line with your company’s ethics. Make culture a strong aspect of your onboarding process by inserting it throughout your new hire’s experience. Include your company’s history and mission in your onboarding process.

Connection: Often overlooked during the onboarding process, connection is a key driver of employee retention. When workers form friendships with their coworkers, they’re more likely to enjoy being in the office. Positive relationships between your employees also mean less drama and conflict. You can foster connection during your onboarding process by finding creative ways for your new hires to spend time with coworkers.

We like to add a bonus C: check-in. New hires are most likely to quit their positions within the first year. By checking in with these new employees throughout that first year, companies can address brewing problems.

New Hire Onboarding framework

These 5 stages of onboarding create a framework companies can use to improve employee engagement and its associated outcomes. By adopting a more formal, vs an informal, onboarding process, companies can boost their customer ratings, improve employee retention, and increase their profits. Onboarding software can help companies keep their improved onboarding process organized and efficient.

Onboarding software can help you improve all 5 stages of employee onboarding. New employees can fill out their paperwork more quickly and accurately during the compliance portion of the 5 stages of onboarding with the help of auto-populating fields. Legally binding electronic signatures for all of your important onboarding forms will always be easily accessible, even years down the road.

Create training modules for every position within the company. Use training videos, how-to guides, and assessments. A simple checklist and triggering feature ensure your new employees won’t feel overwhelmed.

Include information about your culture, mission, and values in your training modules. By making culture a key component of your new employee’s experience, you’ll encourage behavior that aligns with your values. You can foster connection by assigning roles to team members to assist in the onboarding process. Each team member will receive email reminders so you know your new hires won’t fall through the cracks.

Incorporate the bonus C, Check-In, by assigning tasks to supervisors at intervals throughout the new hire’s first year. Over time, the data you collect in your onboarding software will help you improve your overall onboarding process.

Final Thoughts About the 5 C’s of Onboarding

The pandemic underscored the high cost of employee turnover, low engagement, and an uninspiring culture. When your employees are unenthusiastic, they’ll be less productive and less innovative. You’ll need more people on the payroll to get the same amount of output.

Beefing up your onboarding process is the first step to creating an inspired workforce. The investment you make in onboarding will pay dividends by creating a strong, cohesive team. Learn more with our webinar, How Effective Onboarding Boosts Your Bottom Line.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What Are the 5 Main Drivers of Employee Retention?

Are back-to-back candidate interviews cutting into your other responsibilities? Are there so many new faces at work that you have trouble remembering who needs to complete the latest safety training module? Or maybe a hostile culture simmers under the heated grumblings of overworked, under-staffed employees. You’re inviting these and many more problems if you aren’t implementing these 5 main drivers of employee retention.

Hey, I get it. People leave their jobs for a variety of reasons. And at first glance, it may seem like there isn’t much you can do when an employee says they want to move to another city or switch careers. The reasons for high turnover that you hear most seem to be out of your control. It’s easy to hyper-focus on recruiting, even if you understand the importance of employee retention. But when an employee leaves, the reasons they give you for leaving may not be the whole story. Giving these employees a reason to stay may be easier than you think.

Employee Retention Definition

A simple employee retention definition is “the rate at which employees leave a company and are replaced by new employees.” New hires are at the highest risk of leaving, with many companies losing one-third of these workers. Long-term employees, however, take experience and knowledge with them when they leave. When your employee turnover is high, you lose the stability long-term employees bring.

The importance of employee retention can’t be overstated. Whether your business is Armstrong Flooring or Physicians Healthcare Network or anything in between, you need a high employee retention rate to stay competitive. Companies that maintain a definitively high employee retention rate enjoy greater profits and productivity. Their teams are stronger and their customers have a better experience. By keeping your employee retention rate high, you spend less on recruiting and training. You also get to hold onto the wealth of knowledge and experience your current employees offer. Employee retention, by definition, reduces the high cost of turnover.

Employee Turnover

A high employee turnover rate, on the other hand, is costly. According to the Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report, every employee that leaves costs your company about 15 percent of his salary. That cost goes up if the employee leaves before his one-year anniversary, long before his productivity can offset recruitment costs. Companies lose an average of one-third of these new hires.

High turnover has hidden costs too. Decreased customer service that goes along with too many inexperienced new hires can drive sales down. Low morale and a weak team also exemplify the harm that comes from voluntary turnover. These factors prove the following statement about turnover: poor employee retention is expensive.

Employee churn refers to the rate at which companies must hire new employees to replace the ones who are leaving. A high rate of churn tends to have a negative impact on the remaining employees in an organization. And while insufficient pay is one of the reasons that lead to employee turnover, it isn’t the most important. Before companies can find ways to retain employees, they must first know what is driving their workers to leave.

Factors Affecting Employee Retention

There are five main drivers of employee retention.

  1. The first driver for employee retention is effective onboarding. Introducing your employee to the company and her new role will improve your company’s image in her mind. By proactively creating an onboarding plan for each new hire, you take the reigns on another important factor that affects employee retention: culture.
  2. The second factor, a positive workplace culture reduces turnover and improves employee retention. Emphasizing a positive culture during employee onboarding is one way to improve employee retention. A strong value statement and purpose will help you find ways to improve culture throughout your company.
  3. The third factor that affects employee retention is job satisfaction. An employee who is satisfied with her job feels her work has meaning, is challenging, and is fulfilling. There are several ways you can improve workplace satisfaction. Recognizing achievement, fostering growth, and increasing responsibility are a few.
  4. A fourth way you can improve employee retention is through environmental factors at work. These are things like salary and benefits, work rules, and coffee breaks. Maintaining facilities that are comfortable and conducive to good work is just one way to improve the environmental factors that can reduce employee turnover.
  5. The fifth driver of employee retention is inertia. Turns out Newton would have been a good HR manager because he understood a body that isn’t moving won’t move without good reason. Even if you’ve proactively addressed the previous causes of turnover, your employee may leave if there is a significant change to his circumstances. If he becomes fully invested in his stock options and his children graduate college, he may decide to move on to a less stressful position. HR managers need to create drivers for employee retention during all phases of an employee’s tenure.

Adams Equity Theory and Employee Retention

John Stacey Adams is an American psychologist who developed the earliest need-based theory of human motivation at work. The resulting Adams Equity Theory is still used over 50 years later. The theory states that the employee’s input, in the form of his work, must be balanced by the output, such as salary or job satisfaction, he receives from his employer. Adam’s Equity Theory neatly balances employee motivation with employee retention.

Hard work, which according to equity theory is an input, should be balanced with the result the employee gets in return. According to Equity Theory, employees lose motivation if they feel their input is greater than the output they receive. Conversely, employee motivation is higher if they trust they’ll receive an output that matches their input.

According to Adam’s Equity Theory, employees provide the following inputs: effort, skills, knowledge, loyalty and experience. Employees receive as outputs financial rewards as well as immaterial rewards, such as recognition, challenge, and responsibility. These financial and immaterial rewards keep employee turnover low. Adams Equity Theory provides a formula for employee retention strategies by balancing the employee’s input with the rewards he receives.

Employee Retention Strategies

Employee onboarding software can help you organize and develop an onboarding process for each position. By strategically introducing employees to your company and their roles, you’ll help them become productive more quickly. You can also emphasize your company’s culture and expectations through the onboarding process. Companies with a strong onboarding system enjoy higher employee retention rates.

Defining your company’s values and purpose is the first step to creating a better culture. Once you have a clear vision for your company’s mission, you can use employee assessments during the pre-screening process for candidates. Employment assessments are one of the most effective employee retention strategies. You’ll be able to screen candidates for the qualities you value in your corporate culture such as work ethic, integrity, and compassion.

You can expand the scope of your employee retention strategies by implementing ways to increase job satisfaction. Remember, effective employee retention goes beyond salary and benefits. Recognize your top employees’ achievements. Incorporate opportunities for growth through educational and training programs.

Pay attention to the environmental factors that drive employee retention. Create a workplace environment that is comfortable and conducive to productivity. Make investments in software and other tools your employees need to reduce their frustration and increase efficiency. Pay attention to the details, like providing quality coffee and tea.

Proactively work to make sure your employees don’t have a reason to leave as their circumstances change. Yearly bonus programs are more effective than stock options that become vested at the same time. Use HR software to identify employees who may have plateaued in their careers and find ways to reignite their enthusiasm. Interviews that assess current employees‘ experiences will help. If an employee does leave, conduct an exit interview to find out why.

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Employee Retention | PDF Download

The importance of employee retention goes beyond saving the time of your HR team. The numerous benefits of employee retention will keep your company competitive. You can increase the scope of your employee retention measures through strategies that address the drivers of employee turnover. Employee retention strategies should balance employees’ input with the output they receive from your company. A thorough exit interview will help in employee retention efforts as well.

If you need more ideas on how to create a workplace that encourages employee retention, download our guide on Cultivating Company Culture.

 

Photo by kate.sade on Unsplash