The old saying still holds true: “You never get a second chance to make the first impression”. Organizations year-on-year welcome new hires from the industry and from campus with an endeavour to create a workforce culture that is highly engaging and that resonates with the vision and goals of the organization.
While there’s no second thought that recruitment and talent acquisition plays a pivotal role in attracting talent to the corporate world, what really sets the ball rolling is the‘ Organizational Onboarding Strategy’ coupled with an ultimate measure of success being retention.
According to a study by ‘Aon’, attrition rates dropped to 12.8 percent in 2020 before hitting a two-decade high of 21 percent in 2021. Currently, companies are grappling with talent attrition amidst an attractive job market and high inflation. It is certainly imperative that retention should be the end goal of onboarding strategy.
With this mindset and a similar approach, organizations can create that magic moment. The onboarding experience, wherein a new employee decides either to stay and build his/her long-term career organically or switch jobs. Onboarding acts as an imprinting window that stays with new employees for the rest of their careers.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals first and a much-deliberated topic: What is the best duration of an onboarding programme? The average onboarding program lasts up to 90 days. A 30-60-90 is a very commonly used onboarding style, however, Gallup’s ‘Creating an Exceptional Onboarding Journey for New Employees’ report mentions that it typically takes 12 months for new employees to reach their full performance potential.
At Vedanta too, we strongly believe in a 12-month long programme for freshers to keep the talent highly engaged and to imbibe the Vedanta culture inside them. If you want to give your new hires, a strong foundation of the roots of your organization, then you should invest in a 30–365-day platform for onboarding.
Adding to this, what one can call a perfect wrap-up would be to pause and have a one-on-one session on the first anniversary of the employee with his/her manager and functional leader (in addition to what you have 6 months of training and another 6 months of probation period review).
The success of the onboarding process depends on a very important and priceless aspect i.e., ‘the feel’. It strongly depends on how you make your new hire feel about your workplace and about your culture. Instilling pride in the vision, mission, values, and culture of the organization is very important to build a long-term association. This can be achieved in the simplest ways such as mentoring.
Mentoring is a very important tool and if implemented effectively, it can highly engage the new hire and acclimatize him/her smoothly to the organization. 90% of employees who have a mentor at their workplace are happy at work. According to 2019 CNBC Survey Monkey data, 84% of Fortune 500 companies and 100% of all Fortune 50 companies have mentoring programs. All that is required is passionate mentors and a robust programme for facilitating the initiative.
At Vedanta, our V-Excel Digital Anchor Café for our campus hires has been a very fruitful tool for building a highly engaged workforce. Another trending and rather simple tool is the ‘Buddy Programme’ that further makes the new hire more comfortable and make them feel welcomed into the organization. Connecting the new hire with a buddy who is an alumnus or a successful professional of similar demographics with whom the new hire can relate, can be a fantastic tool to create that ‘feeling of belongingness.
According to ‘The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey’, these days young talents are increasingly looking for purpose-driven work, where they are empowered to drive change both within their organization and in society. Here comes the importance of having a well-defined role and goal path for the new hires. It is vital to provide the new hires with a clear set of outcomes expected from their role and ensure that their managers provide them with timely and constructive feedback. At Vedanta, we have a digital platform for Goal Setting specially curated for our campus hires known as ‘V -Shadow’ that aims at providing a clear digital goal path for the new joinees and enables timely and constructive review by their managers.
Timely connect with the CEO and the leadership team of the organisation, helps break the ice and instills a sense of pride and aspiration in the new hires. Organizations should encourage short coffee connects, team lunches, one on one sessions between the new hires and the leadership team that will further help in developing a stronger bond and higher retention.
While I have covered most of the critical strategies around onboarding that are proven and successful across great workplaces, this article will not be complete without touching upon the core of onboarding – ‘Care’. In 2021, Vedanta recruited 1000+ new hires from major campuses across the country.
With this, came a simple yet important question from our Chairman Mr. Anil Agarwal, about how we will be taking care of 1000+ young minds spread across various locations of the organization. To ensure this, apart from keeping a check on the basics such as quality of life for the new hires, we also launched a digital ‘V-Care’ Pulse Survey which is a periodic dipstick that enables us to know-how are the new joinees feeling and gives us an insight of what more can we do to provide them a fantastic ‘Vedanta Experience’ and innovative value addition through ideas and suggestions.
Getting a real-time pulse of what your new hires are experiencing is indeed a great tool to take the right actions at the right time and ensure retention.
In a nutshell, if you want to improve your talent retention, you need to improve your employees’ onboarding experience. As per a study done by Brandon Hall Group, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.
Onboarding is the perfect time to tell stories about the organization’s history, values, and people and paint the big-picture vision for the future which should directly come from the heart.
Your new hires will thank you for setting them up on the path to success and your company will be well on its way to converting the new hires into transformational leaders.