The Benefits of Onboarding New Employees

Growth in any company is exciting because adding new employees can bring a sense of fulfillment to everyone involved in the organization. However, the first 90 days of onboarding a new employee are critical. Failing to bring everyone up to speed immediately can result in high turnover rates and poor efficiency.

Research indicates new employees are most vulnerable to leave an organization within the first 18 months of employment.Georgia State University

Quick, on-the-job training is not enough anymore as companies need a sustainable way to keep employees engaged and productive. The benefits of onboarding new employees are endless; onboarding will ensure every employee feels welcomes and at ease from day one.

The Difference between Onboarding and Training

Training and onboarding employees are two separate pieces of the puzzle; you can’t have one without the other, they must co-exist. Training involved the technicalities of the job such as how to complete tasks and how to use any necessary equipment. Training teaches employees the basics of how to successfully do their job.

Employee onboarding is where companies target what your new employees will feel, see, and hear after the hiring process. Training has a role in this process but doesn’t represent the full scope of employee onboarding. Onboarding involves integrating with other employees, management, and the corporate culture. Ideally, training and onboarding will complement one another to be successful.

No matter what level of experience you fall in, the first day at a new job is nerve-wracking for anyone. Starting a new job means there are new faces, policies, and new expectations to adjust to. One of the benefits of onboarding new employees is that this discomfort can be alleviated with the proper tactics.

There are numerous ways to perform employee onboarding. The key to doing it successfully is finding some kind of orientation that helps put employees at ease on their first day. Regardless of the process you use, your employee onboarding should show your new employees you are happy they are there and allow them to feel heard.

The Benefits of Onboarding New Employees

A study published in the Academy of Management Journal looked at 264 new employees and found that the first 90 days of employment are crucial for building rapport with management and co-workers. Without support or direction, employees often don’t end up staying with the company past four months. Many companies are aware of the benefits of onboarding new employees as opposed to simply training them. With adequate support from leaders, new hires tend to feel more positively about their job and work harder. Listed below are the top 4 benefits of onboarding new employees.

Higher retention rate

Many studies have been done on the high costs of frequent employee turnover. Every time an employee quits, it costs the company time, money, and other resources. A study done by the SHRM Foundation found that on average, replacing an employee can cost as much as 50-60 percent of that employee’s annual salary. So for a $60,000 management position, it could cost up to $30,000-$36,000 to replace that person.

Having employees leave the company can negatively affect not just the bottom line but the overall team morale. One of the benefits of onboarding new employees is that that it helps ensure a better fit right from the start and helps open up the line of communication.

Employee engagement

Research has shown that employee engagement is one of the top factors that contribute to employees continuing with a company. A growing number of organizations have recognized the benefits of onboarding new employees and are using onboarding programs to foster employee engagement.

To increase employee engagement, the employee should be introduced to the company’s options for career advancement and encouraged to seek additional support. New employees should have a clear understanding of their job expectations and have an understanding of what it will take to be successful within the organization.

Increased communication

When someone is starting a new job it can be intimidating to share any concerns or feedback with employers. One of the benefits of onboarding new employees is that it provides the correct structure and setting for new employees to ask questions. Misinformation will lead to poor employee performance so it is important to reinforce consistent messages during the initial onboarding process. Many companies believe that employees make the decision to continue on in their position within the first 6 months of employment, so extending the onboarding process for that time period can be useful.

Attract top talent

Companies spend a lot of time and money looking for the right person to fill the right position. Once they do find that person, their goal is to retain them through training and development. One of the benefits of onboarding new employees is that it reduces uncertainty, creates an atmosphere of support, and shows employees that they are valued. These are all attributes employees look for in an organization and will encourage them to stay with the company.

Perks and salary are easy for other companies to match but an excellent onboarding program builds a strong foundation for intangible elements that create a positive work culture. This kind of company culture will attract and retain top talent.


Josh Bersin is the Founder of Bersin by Deloitte and in this article, he challenged businesses to consider the “real” cost of losing an employee. These factors include:

  • The cost and time spent hiring, including advertising, interviewing, and screening.
  • The cost of training and constraints on management time
  • The cost of lost productivity, since it can take a new employee up to 2 years to reach the productivity of a current employee
  • Lost engagement of other employees who feel discouraged by high turnover rates
  • Customer service errors, since new employee tend to work more slowly and are less skilled at problem-solving
  • The cost of training a new employee
  • The impact on the culture of the company

Employee onboarding is a strategic management process that is designed to improve employee retention and streamline efficiency. The benefits of onboarding new employees are increased engagement, productivity, and building a shared corporate culture. An onboarding program that is executed effectively is worth the investment and can be one of the biggest contributions made toward the long-term success of a company.

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