Effective Employee Onboarding: Key Strategies for New Hire Retention

Statistically speaking, about 33% of new hires leave a business six months post-hiring. This turnaround process is costly for companies, making it essential to cultivate engaged, fulfilled employees committed to their position and the company.

The average hiring manager scans career fairs, hosts virtual and hybrid hiring events and seeks out new, innovative talent for their company. However, if that talent remains unengaged, all that hard work goes to waste. Thankfully, onboarding is a great way to mitigate the chances of burnout and ease your new hires into the workplace.

A Quick Look at Onboarding and Employee Engagement

Not only does employee turnover hurt your bottom line as a business owner, but it can also impact employee morale. Here are some ways to keep employees engaged during onboarding and beyond:

  • Callout Good Work: While employees appreciate raises, salary bonuses and physical rewards, the most engaged employees received praise for their efforts and felt valued by their company.
  • Patience Is Key: Just like you would expect a student to read only part of the textbook before the first class, it’s unreasonable to expect your new hires to mesh with your team immediately. Launching an employee unprepared into this environment can cause burnout, leading to eventual resignation.
  • Begin Onboarding Immediately: While some offices begin onboarding on the new hire’s first day of work, effective onboarding begins shortly after hiring. Presenting a professional, prompt, but understanding workplace through early communications and onboarding processes is crucial.
  • Balance Communication: Keep in mind there’s a balance between communication and spamming a new hire with information. Try to keep each point of contact brief and to the point.
  • Even the Best Onboarding Can’t Fix a Bad Fit: Just like the first few months in an office allows employers to get a good sense of their new hires, it also allows new hires to get a feel for their workspace. Sometimes, a new hire doesn’t mesh, and that’s expected.

Virtual Onboarding Benefits

Another mistake offices make is ignoring hybrid or remote employees’ onboarding. While remote work is nothing new, it has grown in popularity in recent years, making it a vital part of any office. Because of this, traditional onboarding sessions tend to focus on physical events and locations, which can leave hybrid and remote employees on the sidelines. Just because remote employees are not physically in the office does not mean they need onboarding any less than a traditional employee.

Thankfully, with virtual onboarding, you can include all new hires in a virtual space. This virtual space not only helps promote engagement but can help streamline the informative portion of an onboarding session. These sessions allow remote and hybrid workers to socialize with one another and enable hiring managers to track key engagement metrics to get a feel for the employees’ overall interest in the topics discussed.

Image of Cleveland Clinic's virtual onboarding fair virtual lobby featuring directory signs and animated avatars moving about the venue.
Example of a virtual onboarding fair hosted by Cleveland Clinic.

While virtual onboarding spaces are crucial for any hybrid workplace, there are other onboarding tips and tricks to help integrate remote employees. For example, having a remote workspace through Slack allows all employees to swap information, get in contact with one another and host virtual meetings. With Slack app integration, you can quickly boost employee engagement, preventing employee resignation. Slack communities can also help hiring managers generate new and exciting onboarding processes to help engage future new hires.

Virtual Slack apps like CultureBot have integrated onboarding messages to help prepare new employees for the workplace and social prompts to help connect employees across different departments. By combining unique virtual onboarding spaces with remote workplaces, your office can jump into the future and avoid employee turnover simultaneously. Additionally, thanks to employee retention tools like shout-outs, wellness rewards and more, these virtual spaces become crucial tools for any hiring manager looking to take their hiring process to the next level.

Screenshot of CultureBot integration active in a Slack channel, connecting two users with a written prompt.
Example of CultureBot’s integration in Slack (credit: CultureBot)

Patience, Affirmations & a Positive Workplace

Some key things to remember for onboarding include patience, affirmation and recognition, and a positive workplace environment. As mentioned above, while you can expect a new hire to know their skills, it takes time to integrate into the workplace. Remember, while many of the processes in your office are now second nature to you, they took time to learn. Extend patience with new hires; they will likely start contributing sooner. Make sure any policy corrections are direct but polite and provide points of reference and examples where possible. This saves time clarifying future issues and allows new hires to compile notes for the future.

Be sure to call out a job well done. Acknowledgments can include things as significant as landing a new client or as small as getting coffee for the office. A workspace willing to acknowledge worker contributions is less likely to see infighting and fosters collaboration between departments.

Use in-person and virtual shout-out techniques to point out a job well done and encourage other employees to do the same. This helps build a team environment and encourages team members to talk with one another. By promoting a positive workplace environment, you make a space where new hires feel welcomed and cut down on hostility, increasing employee retention and satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in running a virtual onboarding session, vFairs can help. Our Virtual Onboarding Fairs Platform is perfect for hosting your onboarding sessions. With secure meeting locations, employee engagement statistics and much more, this program makes other onboarding sessions look like relics from the past. Contact us today to find out more, or check out our other blogs about hybrid and virtual strategies to bring your office into the future.

Effective Employee Onboarding: Key Strategies for New Hire Retention

Jamie Cohen

Jamie Cohen is a freelance digital marketer and writer with a passion for boosting company culture and employee engagement. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at dog parks with his two Boston terriers.


Effective Employee Onboarding: Key Strategies for New Hire Retention

Jamie Cohen

Jamie Cohen is a freelance digital marketer and writer with a passion for boosting company culture and employee engagement. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at dog parks with his two Boston terriers.
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