Why Should the CEO Care About Onboarding?

By Alexis Sparks written about 5 months ago

After a three-month search, you officially send an offer letter to a candidate for the position of Director of Sales. He accepts the offer and everyone is excited for him to start the following week. He walks in on his first day, bright-eyed and ready to work.

One month goes by and he quits. He apologizes, saying it wasn’t anything your company did, but he just got an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Everyone looks at the HR team, thinking, “what just happened”?

Your mind starts to run about the wasted dollars just spent and now you have to spend the next three months looking for another person in that role. On average it will cost a company six to nine months’ salary for a new hire, according to a study done by SHMR.

This has happened to most companies and the one area they don’t seem to reevaluate is the onboarding process. A recent study shows that only 32% of companies have a formal onboarding process in place. (Aberdeen Group). Why is a formal onboarding process necessary?

If you don't have a formal onboarding process, how do you expect your employees to integrate into your culture and be successful in their role?

The moment a candidate says, “yes,” the onboarding process has begun. The first day is not only important but also the days leading up to it and the first few months after joining the company. I believe onboarding is one of the most critical components to the hiring process and usually takes the least amount of dollars.

Most CEOs say if they want to leave then they'll leave, regardless of how great the onboarding process might be. There is little we can control. False.

Focusing on these four areas below will help you retain new employees and tap into their potential quicker.

  1. Define the company's Purpose and Vision statements. It is not only important that your customers connect with why you do what you do, but also that each employee buys into your company purpose. If a new employee connects with your purpose, they will buy in much more quickly. Vision statements describe a world your company will help create that is uplifting to all those involved. New employees want to know where you want the company to go and why what they do matters. Articulating your purpose and vision to new hires will allow them to feel connected to the organization early and quickly.
  2. Stewardship – Create meaningful relationships. Most CEOs don't take the time to get to know a new hire unless that new employee directly reports to them. That saves valuable time, right? Wrong. If employees have the opportunity to meet the CEO, they are more likely to stay with that company. As a CEO, you have a stewardship responsibility to protect, preserve and enhance the assets in your organization. Every person working for your company is an asset. Companies that do new hire lunches or spend time connecting with them will help them buy in and feel needed by the company.
  3. Feedback – Early and Often. Most employees want to know how they are performing, especially when they just started. Provide positive reinforcement and constructive feedback on what they can do better to help boost confidence and kick any bad habits before they form.
  4. Allow them to take initiative with clearly defined responsibilities. New employees want to know expectations so they can be successful in the role. Bamboo HR found that 23% of new hires who quit early would have stayed if they received clear guidelines of their responsibilities. To keep turnover low, you can also consider giving new employees the opportunity to manage a project or task.

At Think Shift, we help companies unlock the potential in their people. When that happens, the results lead not only to better employee engagement results, but also to a real impact on the BOTTOM LINE.

Take a look at your onboarding process: Does it have potential gaps hurting your organization from retaining the best talent out there?

Is the leadership involved in the onboarding process? Take a look at how many dollars were spent last year on turnover and recruiting. Then set a goal on what you can do to your onboarding process to lower those numbers next following year.