Drive employee engagement and retention with smarter onboarding

Kelly Hughes
Kelly Hughes

October 6, 2022

When it comes to making a good first impression, there’s no such thing as a do-over.

That’s why it’s so important to get the onboarding process right. Onboarding is an organization’s opportunity to make a strong first impression — and successful onboarding programs are proven to result in more employee engagement, retention, and productivity. 

Still unsure of the importance of onboarding? Check out these statistics:

  • One in 10 employees has left a company because of a poor onboarding experience.
  • 69% percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they felt their onboarding experience was great.
  • Companies with strong onboarding programs report an increase in productivity up to 70%.

When you optimize your onboarding process, everyone benefits. Employees feel more at ease, your organization is able to achieve more in less time, and you can even increase employee retention. That’s just the beginning.

How to optimize your employee onboarding

Now that you know the importance of onboarding best practices, let’s look deeper into how to put them into action. Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your onboarding process:

Provide clarity

When it comes to your initial approach to onboarding optimization, some of the first things you should ask yourself are:

  • Are guidelines and expectations clear?
  • Are we using too much jargon?
  • Are set expectations reasonably attainable?

The reality is, new hires can’t be expected to meet expectations if they don’t even understand them. Survey results from the Society of Human Resource Management found that approximately 23% of new hires who quit during their first six months reported that clearer guidelines would have made them stay longer. 

Clear and consistent communication is the key to keeping your workers engaged and connected. And personalized, automated text messages are one of the most effective ways to support their initial success — and longevity — at your company. Sending timely reminders and encouraging nudges to your workers helps you communicate expectations early and often — while giving space for new hires to ask questions free from judgment.

Build a sense of community

It’s important to take a step back and remember that employees are human too. Nice benefits and a polished knowledge base only go so far. Consider the emotional needs of your employees by encouraging workplace connections and socialization. Implement mentorship or buddy programs and connect newer hires to more seasoned employees. 

Mainstay’s behaviorally intelligent chatbots also provide a judgment-free way for employees to access resources related to mental health and well-being. People often feel more comfortable asking questions and sharing their feedback during these interactions than they do with a superior. When a conversation requires more personal attention, Mainstay will notify a member of your team so they can follow up one-on-one.

Create a source of truth

The early stages of a new position can be overwhelming. Think back to your first onboarding. Did you retain every detail that was shared? Probably not! To provide peace of mind and confidence for new hires, develop a centralized reference point for information storage. A gated knowledge base hosted on your site or within a shared cloud is a great way to accomplish this. Eliminate any miscommunications or the chance of information getting lost when passed from others.

Continually improve the process

Industry leaders include 30/60/90-day check-ins with their new hires because they are proven to work. Providing new hires with the space not only to ask questions but share insights about their onboarding can make or break your retention rate. SMS text messaging can also give you a direct line to send surveys and solicit feedback instantly and automatically. 

Mainstay automates this process with chatbots that actively listen at scale to your workers’ needs and sentiments — giving you clarity into employee challenges so you can make improvements fast. Employees feel good knowing they’re being heard — and an organization’s processes can be improved when taking real-time feedback into account.

Automate your onboarding

Human error is unavoidable when it comes to interpersonal interactions. Maybe you spend too much time answering frequently asked questions or collecting feedback in a way that isn’t consolidated. Optimizing your onboarding process doesn’t have to be so daunting. By integrating automation into your onboarding process, you can:

  • Streamline operations
  • Reduce stress
  • Save time
  • Increase productivity

With automated onboarding processes, you give and get peace of mind.

Employee engagement has never been easier

It’s time to make onboarding a breeze. Whether you’re revamping your existing processes or just need to tweak them, Mainstay’s Employee Engagement Platform makes it easy. Using a combination of intelligent responses, empathetic engagement, and contextual relevance, Mainstay helps people take the next step toward a more fulfilling career — one conversation at a time.

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Mainstay’s behaviorally intelligent chatbots make it easy to engage with students and employees on the channels they prefer to use:

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