Onboarding: A Strategic Tool for Talent Retention

14 July, 2022

By Mélanie Denturck, FSC Executive Search (France)

After months of searching for a special candidate, you’ve finally found the right profile for the job. What happens next? Then along comes another challenge: successfully integrating this new person within the organization. 

Let’s not forget that onboarding is a window to your company’s values and beliefs. Your actions during the onboarding program will help set the right expectations for new hires. It also ensures that the new employee will feel like a valuable member of the team.

Onboarding is not simply a matter of welcoming your newcomer and installing him or her directly at the workstation. A successful integration must be anticipated and prepared for, and last at least 90 days.

Here are the 3 keys to successful onboarding:

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: Yes, In That Order

Preparation in advance is key to making the new hire feel welcome. Email all employees who are directly or indirectly affected by the integration. Indeed, nothing is more unpleasant than the feeling that colleagues have not been informed of the new hire’s arrival.

You can also select a mentor, “a buddy” or even a coach, who should be a guide for the newcomer in his or her working environment.

2. Day 1

Design the workspace: be sure the newcomer has a nice place to work in and set up essential documents, computer, materials, supplies, and so on.

Give a warm welcome: to make him/her confident, welcome your new colleague with a generous breakfast, for example. It will be the first occasion to introduce the new hire to coworkers. Also organize a company visit, have a lunch and at the end of the day, have a quick meeting to share first impressions and address possible questions. It will be the right time to precisely define his/her role and objectives.

3. Maintain Momentum

Arrange regular check-in sessions with the new employee for at least the first three months.

After structured training and orientation, onboarding should include occasional check-ins or progress reports to ensure new employees continue to thrive throughout their first year.

Before giving his/her best, your employee must feel included and supported throughout this period.

A high-quality onboarding program will not just help the new employee, but the manager and the overall organization.

In conclusion, my best advice as a coach is: manage the onboarding of each new team member as though it were your own.

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