Resolve to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019 Through Onboarding Improvements

Dec 31, 2018 4:43:59 AM / by Saumya Bhatnagar


High Employee Turnover:  Quality Employee Onboarding Reduces Quick Exits

Employee onboarding is one of the most important factors helping new recruits get adjusted to the way of working in an organization. It is also one of the first things an organization can do to ensure improvement in high employee turnover.

Onboarding isn’t just about getting the new employee used to what work he or she has to do; onboarding is multi-faceted. Social, emotional, intellectual and psychological, all spheres of one’s personality have to be addressed - all an important part of organizational socialization. Each of them impact the reduction of a high employee turnover.


Onboarding Programs: What they do and do not do. Do they affect High Employee Turnover?

There is no distinct pattern in the type of industry that does employee onboarding. However, the reduction of High Employee Turnover is significant with good onboarding. Research shows that 30% of companies do not spend much time thinking about constructing an effective employee onboarding process, 50% of the companies spend time in constructing an onboarding process, but don’t attach a lot of turnover implications to it and the remaining 20% are very proactive about their onboarding.[1]

So, what exactly is good onboarding?

  • Basic Paperwork before the first day
  • Making the first day on the job feel special to the newcomer
  • Have formal orientation programs
  • Developing a written onboarding program
  • Make onboarding participatory
  • Running the programs consistently
  • Monitoring onboarding over a period of time
  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Engaging newcomers with the company’s mission and vision
  • Being clear on timeline, roles and responsibilities

Adjustment Indicators and their impact on High Employee Turnover

An Adjustment indicator is exactly what it sounds like. An indicator that lets you know how well a new employee has adjusted in the company in a holistic manner and impacts high employee turnover massively.

What are adjustment indicators?

  • Acceptance by coworkers
    Acceptance by the people on the inside of the company is paramount for newcomers. Being a part of and accepted by something larger than you, is how employees thrive and put in their one hundred percent in a job. Acceptance means that people in the company like the newcomer, respect him/her as a part of the organization and value his/her opinions. It’s a great validation that helps the employee stay motivated and committed to the new job.
    60% of managers who were not able to socialize their new employees well, noted a distinct failure of the employees to adjust with all other aspects. Studies show that acceptance of co-workers positively affects a new recruit's job performance and negatively affects high employee turnover.
  • Role clarity
    Role clarity is much more important than most of us make it to be. In fact, Bauer (2010) noted that not being clear about your work costs companies in the US and UK a total of $37 billion each year. Clear planned goals and objectives are a necessity of the job performance of an employee to be good. Remember, they’re already dealing with a lot of other pressures. Being clear about their jobs is a major roadblock out of the way. Role clarity is positively associated with job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Role clarity is highly connected to getting high newcomer performance and engagement. Employees felt more productive, accepted and there is less role conflict.
  • Performance self-efficacy
    Performance self-efficacy means an employee’s increased confidence in their ability to do one’s job optimally. It’s a good feeling to know that you can really make a difference in this new job! Self-efficacy makes a huge impact in job satisfaction, the commitment to one’s organization, performance and high employee turnover.
  • Understanding the company culture
    The company culture, the mission and vision of the organization plays a big role in establishing the emotional connection with the company in the mind of a new recruit. The more they understand the emotional reason behind why the company exists, what the company wants to do and how they’re going to change the world for the better, the better he/she will perform in the job. (Check out our blog on Business For Social Responsibility As Good As Pumpkin Spice)


How do the above indicators make an impact on the employee’s future in the company? What leads to high employee turnover? We have answers.

  • Culture Commitment
    What does job attitude comprise of? Job attitude comprises of how satisfied an employee is with a job, if they are committed to the culture, mission and vision of the organization and whether they have an intention of turnover.
    Research done by Chang, Chang and Jacobs (2009) suggested that the degree to which employees engaged in communities of practice that was supported by their new organization, their engagement was directly related to all three aspects of job attitudes.
  • Job Performance
    Chen and Klimoski (2003) found that newcomers within three large high-tech organizations who generally had self-efficacy had much better job performance. The better job performance you have, and the more you’re recognized for it, the high employee turnover reduces.
  • Lack of Socialization
    Lack of proper socialization is the biggest reason of unpredictable high employee turnover in companies. Allen (2006) studied 256 employees from a financial firm and found that being embedded with your job negatively impacted high employee turnover.

The question remains, how do you manage onboarding and high employee turnover?

  • Build a bond
    It does sound cliched, but managers need to go the extra mile to build a bond with new hires. Engage them with the culture of the organization. Introduce them to other coworkers. For a successful onboarding, the silos need to be broken down and the hierarchy needs to be dissolved, just for that adjustment period. Take some of the pressure off the newcomer. Make him like your organization. Let him be emotionally connected to the organization.
  • Cultivate important relationships
    This is an extension of the previous point. Involve the seniors in the organization. Make the newcomers aware of the tools and modalities to assimilate information. Set up meetings to introduce key people playing a role in the new comers day to day. Help the newcomers assess the team.
  • Cultivate a shift from just orientation to onboarding
    Instead of HR policies and frameworks, discuss the broad aspects of success factors and company culture. (Check out our blog CSR Strategy: Shaping the Employee Experience). Make the goals and objectives clear and set a clean timeline. Make orientation a phased approach instead of a one time thing. Remember, newcomers are humans and need time to assimilate all the information. Use multiple modalities to explain the goings-on in the company. Everything doesn’t have to be a classroom approach. Find ways to make it interactive, web based. Even try gamifying it. Don’t be in a hurry to give the newcomer responsibilities. Start with shared responsibilities and then graduate them into full ones.
  • Take feedback
    Taking feedback is very important in all aspects of organizational work. Taking feedback from the new recruits doesn’t just help with you getting to know what could be improved, but also gives the newcomers a sense that their opinion counts. This will gravitate them further towards your organization and improve high employee turnover. Below is a sample Survey that you may use for feedback from the book Talent Management: Conceptual Approaches and Practical Challenges.

Survey that can help with High Employee Turnovers during Orientation

1. Which segment of the orientation did you find most informative?
Least informative? Why?

2. Which segment of the orientation did you find more interesting?
Least interesting? Why?

3. Was the order in which topics were presented effectively?    Yes    /       No

4. What order of topics would you have preferred?

5. Was the appropriate amount of time devoted to each category of information?

  • Employer commitment to employees                         Yes    /        No
  • Employer expectations                                                  Yes    /        No
  • Benefits                                                                             Yes    /        No
  • Policies and Procedures                                                Yes    /        No
  • The organization (background and culture)             Yes    /        No

6. Indicate whether the following categories of information should have received more or less time:

  • Employer commitment to employees               More/Less
  • Employer expectations                                        More/Less
  • Benefits                                                                   More/Less
  • Policies and Procedures                                      More/Less
  • The organization (background and culture)  More/Less

7. Identify what you learnt about each of the following categories of information as a result of orientation:

  • Employer commitment to employees              More/Less
  • Employer expectations                                       More/Less
  • Benefits                                                                  More/Less
  • Policies and Procedures                                     More/Less
  • The organization (background and culture)  More/Less

8. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing excellent and 5 signifying poor, rate the following:

  • Duration
  • Format
  • Location
  • Number of participants
  • Quality of printed materials
  • Quality of visuals
  • Range of topics
  • Relevance of topics
  • Room setup
  • Selection of speakers

9. As a result of the orientation, do you understand your benefits?             Yes             No

10. As a result of this orientation, do you fully understand the company’s policies and procedures and content of the employee handbook?                                                                   Yes              No

Employee onboarding has a huge impact on making a happy employee who will stay with your company. Make it count! Reduce High Employee Turnover!

Learn more about reducing employee turnover and improving your Employee Engagement Through Corporate Volunteerig in 2019 via our whitepaper.

Download Now - Employee Engagement Whitepaper

[1] The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Socialization
[2] Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees
[3] Talent Management: Conceptual Approaches and Practical Challenges, Peter Cappelli and JR Keller Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Topics: Employee Engagement, Reducing Employee Turnover, Employee Retention

Saumya Bhatnagar

Written by Saumya Bhatnagar

Saumya is InvolveSoft's CTO and a serial entrepreneur. Passionate about helping #womenintech, Saumya helps drive the direction and culture of the company.