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How to Wow New Hires with Social Onboarding: Keys to Ensuring Retention, Productivity and Success

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Ellen Julian
on August 09, 2012
By now HR professionals have heard ad nauseam the statistics about how Millennials and Gen Y are expected to make up almost half of the workforce by 2014. When those statistics are paired with the facts that nearly 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment and that the cost of losing a new hire in the first year can be as much as 3X the average business leader’s salary, it’s enough to make HR professionals lose more than their lunches.

Savvy HR departments are tackling this impending challenge by revisiting and even transforming their onboarding processes.  The great news about well-conceived onboarding is that these processes can increase the likelihood a new hire will still be with the organization after 3 years by as much as 58%. So what will it take to get past standard onboarding processes and ensure the success and retention of new employees as the workforce shifts to Gen Y and Millennials?

Engagement: Personally Connecting Via New Hire Communities

You can go beyond who new hires meet during the interview by supporting dialog and interaction with other new hires and future co-workers, even before they take their first step in the door. By leveraging a social collaboration platform, you can provide a new employee with an avenue to make personal connections with the enterprise community, as well as provide opportunities for learning, mentorship and peer identification. Onboarding approaches like these are quickly reducing training time and strengthening company culture. In addition, you can provide rich media content from leadership to welcome and describe company goals, achieving alignment and a better understanding of expectations for your new hire.

Familiarity and Trust: Ensuring Employee Loyalty

Connecting your new talent with the enterprise community by leveraging tools that resonate with their preferences can dramatically improve the likelihood that the new hire will move from “outside” to an engaged and productive team member as quickly as possible. These tools deliver an engaging and transparent way to open up channels of communication and enable new employees to begin participating in the organization’s dialog.

These simple steps break down the barriers of isolation new hires typically struggle with – and remove unknowns about the culture and how the existing workforce interacts and gets work done. This clarity and vastly more honest and trusted introduction for a new hire breeds familiarity and contentment out of the gate, ensuring loyalty to the company and to the enterprise community, which is the key to retention.

Effective Communications: Increasing Employee Satisfaction

You can move from a disengaged “cold start” to an engaging and welcoming “warm start” for new hires by helping them avoid the typical labyrinth of forms, emails and paper trails associated with static HR portals on company intranets. Social onboarding allows you to automate and streamline onboarding tasks, as well as message efficiently to new hires and their managers.

Social onboarding gets new hires involved faster with the flow of work and quickly past the orientation phase of their tenure. It will keep them motivated and lessen the chance that they become a flight risk.  

[To learn more, visit Peoplefluent Social Collaboration.  Also, you can view the replay of the recent webcast “From Warm-up to Winner’s Podium: Social Onboarding Goes for the Gold”.]

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