Great Training During Onboarding Drives Talent Retention

This is an old saying that is highly relevant to talent retention: “You only get one chance to make a great first impression.”

That is why new-hire onboarding is so important. Onboarding is an employer’s first — and best — chance to connect with new employees in a positive way.

Unfortunately, most organizations are bad at it. A Gallup study found only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job of onboarding new hires. Brandon Hall Group™ research shows that 9% of employers rank onboarding as excellent and that 56% are in the early stages of developing onboarding or have no formal process in place.

Schoox, a Brandon Hall Group™ Smartchoice® Preferred Provider, believes onboarding is perhaps the most important step in retaining talent. Their onboarding solutions make it easier for employers to effectively train employees as soon as they arrive on the job so they can quickly contribute and feel ready to do so. This is especially critical in high-turnover, front-line-focused work environments like restaurants, retail and manufacturing, where new hires often need to be trained quickly on almost every aspect of their job.

Some companies focus onboarding on initiating new hires to the culture and treat skills training as a separate process. In reality, learning should be the driver of teaching new employees about the culture and at the same time preparing them for success.

Our research shows that many organizations are using the following learning approaches during onboarding:

  • Experiential learning (81%)
  • Formal in-person instructor-led classes (72%)
  • Peer-to-peer learning (70%)
  • Microlearning (62%)
  • Goal setting (61%)
  • Coaching/mentoring (48%)
  • Assessments (47%)

Many research studies show that the biggest driver of talent retention is creating great employee experiences. That process starts with onboarding. You can make a great first impression or struggle continuously to change a bad one.

If you are one of the many organizations looking to reimagine onboarding, I’ll leave you with a few critical questions to consider:

  • Is your onboarding a standalone training event or a sustained journey to proficiency with ongoing support and reinforcement?
  • Does your onboarding deliver the message that the organization cares about employees’ skills and career development and will support them in their learning journey?
  • Is your onboarding scalable?
  • Are you able to capture enough data to assess the impact of onboarding both on individuals and the organization?
  • Does your onboarding approach help new hires build a social network of mentors and co-workers?

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Claude Werder



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Claude Werder

Claude J. Werder Senior Vice President and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group Claude Werder runs Brandon Hall Group’s Talent Management, Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) practices. His specific areas of focus include how organizations must transform culturally and strategically to meet the needs of the emerging workforce and workplace. Claude develops insights and solutions on employee experience, leadership, coaching, talent development, assessments, culture, DE&I, and other topics to help members and clients make talent development a competitive business advantage now and in the evolving future of work. Before joining Brandon Hall Group in 2012, Claude was an HR consultant and also spent more than 25 years as an executive and people leader for media and news organizations. This included a decade as the producer of the HR Technology Conference and Expo. He helped transform it from a small event to the world’s largest HR technology conference. Claude is a judge for the global Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards and Excellence in Technology Awards, contributes to the company’s HCM certification programs, and produces the firm’s annual HCM Excellence Conference. He is also a certified executive and leadership coach. He lives in Boynton Beach, FL.

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