Hiring the perfect employee might seem like a win, and it’s certainly an essential step in the right direction. If you simply release them into the office with a job description and a pat on the back, though, you’ll likely find yourself recruiting again. A proper executive search is an investment you don’t want to throw away with improper employee orientation, so what can you do to improve retention?

Businesses that have a concrete onboarding process retain significantly more employees than those that don’t. Moreover, an oriented employee who feels valued is far more productive and in turn, creates quality work.

We’re going to look at some critical inclusions in a robust, effective employee onboarding program. Some may be familiar and some may not, but together they provide a solid foundation for a practice that is absolutely necessary if you want to retain quality employees.


Orientation is absolutely critical

Many companies will take a new employee to their desk after walking them around their immediate office and begin training. This makes the employee – consciously or subconsciously – feel expendable and as if they’re simply a part in a machine.

Employee onboarding shouldn’t be frivolous – dedicate a day each week or month to an orientation for new hires. This can be a program that continues each month, exposing your new employees to different aspects of your work culture. Conversely, it can be fully one-on-one, which would work better for smaller businesses.

The point is that you need a process that is more than a momentary introduction and a peek at the breakroom. Show them to HR, benefits, the cafeteria if it exists and where they can park. Talk to them about places to eat nearby, resources for public transit and demonstrate aspects of work culture.

A new employee wants to feel welcome and necessary, and especially if you’re hiring a headhunter, that new employee is an investment for your business.


Foster inclusion

Make sure your office knows when a new recruit is starting. Something as simple as a staff meeting with breakfast is a cheap, easy way to introduce people in a social setting. Each person should explain what they do and how their jobs interact with the new employee’s.

This type of orientation helps someone realize how their efforts affect the larger product of your business. They see the people who will rely on their work and it becomes more visceral for them during the learning process. These types of connections pay dividends down the line from invested employees.


Training is the last thing on the first day

You may be tempted to thrust your new employee into their role and get them working right away, but this is a terrible idea. The first day of work should be about orientation, setting up benefits, and other aspects of navigating the job office. A new employee is going to be in sensory overload from new people and surroundings and will not learn well.

Don’t stress about losing a day of training because the shock of this new environment will make training almost useless. Instead, focus on getting questions and concerns out of the way so that they can focus moving forward.


Ongoing training is a must

There are wonderful companies out there that specialize in making sure your employees are trained on the bleeding edge of procedure, no matter your business. Though it often costs money, again this is an investment and continued training is critical to improved results.

An employee who is given the opportunity to train in new and better techniques feels more efficacious and will in turn perform better. Depending on your business, you can even find learning events that are free, as the hosting company wants to pitch their services. Take advantage of these trainings when available!


Ensure the employee is aware of their job duties

This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s not well established. If you’re a company that doesn’t use written job descriptions, you need to get on that immediately. Having a concrete job description for each position will ease training and transition between employees.

Written job details also take ambiguity out of the work expected from your new employees (and your old ones). When the buck gets passed around, customers get frustrated and might go elsewhere.

Nobody wants to get bounced from worker to worker to find an answer, so create clear, obvious job duties and then an organizational chart. This makes it easier for a new employee to settle into their role and for others to adhere strictly to theirs. Overlapping duties are fine but ambiguous ones are not.


Inclusion, efficacy, and orientation are key

A new employee doesn’t want to feel unneeded or unappreciated. Likewise, they also want to feel they’re capable of doing the job for which you hired them. A nebulous, incomplete or absent onboarding process is a great way to lose or hobble an otherwise outstanding employee.

Creating a complete, well-planned onboarding and orientation procedure is critical to a functioning workplace. It prevents scrambling and confusion when someone leaves but it also builds confidence and familiarity when someone new gets hired.