July 01, 2022

New Hire Orientation: The Key to Employee Retention

Sam Caucci

Writing on paper

Why the First 90 Days Matter

In the current job market, new hire orientation and employee onboarding have become necessary for employee retention. As employers, we want to find ways to attract and retain the best. Yet, a recent study shows 33% of new hires leave within the first ninety days. That’s costly. New hire orientation and onboarding is an area that needs improvement.

Why Are New Hires Leaving?

It’s about expectations created during the hiring process. Do these expectations align with the reality employees experience in the company? Thought leaders like Tony Robbins suggest the way to happiness is having no expectations. Clearly, during the hiring process, an employee will build expectations and will expect your company to fulfill those expectations.

Prospective hires are told about the company, the corporate culture, the job, and their boss. In the prospective hire’s mind, this process builds an idea about what they are to expect when they join the company. 

If the reality is significantly different than promised, there’s a let-down factor. The new hire will feel disappointed or, worse, feel like the company wasn’t genuine.

Joy is told her prospective employer values and cares about their employees. But on her first day, Joy is met with blank stares at reception. She has no desk assigned to her and spends most of the day leafing through manuals from 1996, waiting for IT to set up access to the system. 

Though the rest of her onboarding is stellar, Joy quits for another opportunity about eight weeks later.

We’ve all heard stories like this, and many of us have dealt with a similar situation. But, now, with the job market so competitive, employers need to up their game to make sure their new-hire onboarding goes smoothly. 

A New Hire Orientation Policy That Retains Employees

New hire onboarding is your corporate brand in action. For the first ninety days, your management and HR teams need to ensure your new hire is happy. They have all the information they need. They experience your company as promised. They get the respect they deserve.

What answer do you want your new hire to give when their partner asks them how their first day went? Set up the following procedures to ensure the day goes smoothly:

Internal communications: Ensure IT and reception know a new person is coming in. Have a desk assigned, all access set up, and materials for training are readily at hand.

Assign a “peer buddy”: Assign a coworker who will show the new hire the ropes, from the lunchroom to the washrooms, to how to use the photocopier. The peer buddy will pave the way socially and introduce the new hire to coworkers.

  • Initial support levels:

In the first few weeks, tasks and projects will require some hand-holding. The new hire may need monitoring to make sure they know how to perform their job in a way that works for your systems. Their manager should check in daily for the first week. Then weekly check-ins for the first couple of months as necessary. 

The manager should pay attention to the new hire’s progress/needs and required support.

Training materials: Training materials are no longer heavy tomes no one wants to read. Information can be set up as employee portal websites (or intranets), digital manuals, and videos. 

One of the best ways to train a new hire is using employee onboarding software like 1Huddle.

Employee onboarding software is immediately engaging and a lot of fun. The app is installed on the new hire’s phone, so it’s handy. 1Huddle can cover the gamut of onboarding information from corporate mission to where the washroom is.

Make a game of onboarding: Making a game of onboarding injects a little competition into a cohort of newly hired employees. A leaderboard will show who is winning, which may be an incentive for new hires to go back to the app repeatedly. 

Further, a manager can track a new hire’s progress. They can note areas where the new hire needs extra attention. They can support when needed and can acknowledge the new hire’s achievements.

1Huddle also has the advantage of helping review materials. This review avoids the inevitable loss of information we all experience (almost 50% is lost the next day if there is no review). A fun app is an attractive way to encourage new-hire engagement and continued study.

And it’s in a language millennials understand. Over 77% play computer games regularly—what a great way to help them onboard at work.

 Contact us now to book a demo to see how 1Huddle uses game-based learning to maximize employee retention. 

Sam Caucci Founder & CEO at 1Huddle