Strategic Onboarding Retains the Best Talent


Without mincing words, the reality before most global organisations now is the “great resignation.” Coupled with the pre-existing shortage of talents, most employers struggle immensely to attract and retain the best talents. In contrast, from the employee perspective, there is a prerogative to accept or decline a job offer because they can find better jobs elsewhere. No doubt, the task of attracting and retaining great talents to a company requires a solid strategic onboarding. This will not only ensure lower new hire turnover rates, but also a very good return on investment from the hiring and onboarding processes.

This article will discuss strategic onboarding. We start by defining what is strategic onboarding and its key benefits. Furthermore, we will discuss onboarding effectiveness, and the elements of an effective onboarding process.

What is Strategic Onboarding?


We have discussed repeatedly the issue of what is onboarding. However, let’s briefly restate the key element of onboarding. Onboarding is a process of organisational socialisation through which new hires acquire skills, knowledge and form the relationships that will enable them to become productive and effective. 

Traditionally, onboarding has been associated with administrative and logistic settling into a job. You need to file and sign papers, you need to read codes of conduct and guidelines. Many companies only have a limited new job orientation, rather than a full-fledged onboarding process.

Strategic onboarding is different from such approaches to onboarding because it focuses more on the employee’s full lifecycle with a business firm. Thus, strategic onboarding is more than a one-and-done event.

Strategic Onboarding Retains the Best Talent

Strategic onboarding is based on a long-term strategy focusing on engaging new hires and retaining their talents. What you experience during onboarding will influence how you connect to every other aspect of the employee life cycle.

Effective strategic onboarding impacts your entire employee lifecycle. This is due to the fact that it can provide answers to questions specific for each of the five stages. For example, you can understand early on if you will have a future in the company. This includes whether or not you can become better in this organisation.

Thus, strategic onboarding can even prepare new hires for a leadership future in the company, as it will document and prepare the steps for career growth in the company.

Implementing a strategic onboarding process, that provides you with a clear image of your lifecycle in the company, is possible with employee onboarding solutions.

Effective Strategic Onboarding

The onboarding process is the period in which the employee sees the organisation clearest with all its pros and cons.

—Andreas Olesen, HR Business Operations for Medtronic.

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5 Key Benefits of Strategic Onboarding


Strategic onboarding offers employees an onboarding experience that keeps them and their needs at the forefront.

Sure, your employer is investing resources into your onboarding, so they want to see a return on their investment. But, a low time to performance and a high new hire integration score do not happen in a vacuum.

Effective Strategic Onboarding Insights

Strategic onboarding offers employees an onboarding experience that keeps them and their needs at the forefront.

So let’s review some key benefits of strategic onboarding. These benefits refer both to the employee and employer perspective.


Strategic Onboarding Leads to Employee Motivation and Engagement


First and foremost, strategic onboarding has cultural integration as a focal point. When your onboarding programme instills in you the company’s values and mission, you become more excited and enthusiastic about being part of the team. Moreover, you acquire a better understanding of your role for achieving the main organisational goals.  ‍

Interestingly enough, more and more business organisations are changing the strategy around onboarding. Industry data reveals that 80% of US companies declare employee retention and engagement as more important than employee readiness.  ‍


Strategic Onboarding Facilitates Upskilling


Strategic onboarding empowers newly employed workers with the right skills to meet future needs. Moreover, it offers the right training to improve your capacity to perform better and fulfill their job obligations and key expectations.

Upskilling of human capital is a great asset for any business organisation. Upskilling is extremely attractive for job seekers. A lot of employees quit their jobs because of a perceived lack of career advancement options and insufficient training. So, a company culture based on upskilling is not only a great component for an employee value proposition and employer branding, but also a great strategy for convincing new hires of a upwards future within the organisation.

After all, aren’t employees always concerned about their future and career in an organisation? Why would a company only give a bunch of papers and a brief introduction and handshake? Especially when there is a very competitive talent attraction market. As an employee, why would you waste time in an organisation that does not show you all the have to offer from the very first points of contact in the employee journey map?


Strategic Onboarding Leads to Higher Productivity


Since strategic onboarding aids employees bridge any skills gap, it leads to them attaining optimum productivity during the process.

Additionally, your satisfaction and engagement also go hand in hand with your productive output and your efficiency. In fact, a Gallup study found that engaged teams generate 21% more profit than their disengaged counterparts.


Strategic Onboarding Leads to Cross-department Mobilisation & Collaboration


Onboarding is a complex process with multiple sub-processes and participants within the team and across the organisation. With strategic onboarding, an automated system can be instated. This will ensure an effective onboarding workflow across the departments in the organisation. Everyone is in-sync: no last minute task burdens, no sloppy experiences for new hires.

Hence, strategic onboarding will establish the right synergy between the newly employed workers and current team members, thereby boosting its growth in the process.


Strategic Onboarding Leads to Talent Retention


Effective strategic onboarding will not only make you feel prepared for success in your new job. But it will also make you want to build a career in that company, and not leave before realising your full potential. In fact, organisations with strong Pre & Onboarding processes improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

Without a strategic onboarding programme, both you and your organisation could end up wasting time and resources on an employment relationship that is not fruitful & long-lasting.


Effective Strategic Onboarding

Organisations with strong Pre & Onboarding processes improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

Brandon Hall Group.

How to Develop an Effective Strategic Onboarding


We already mentioned it briefly, effective strategic onboarding keep the employee experience at its core. Onboarding is not a size fits all programme. Each employee has different needs, and brings a different baggage of skills, experiences, needs and desires.

Sure, one cannot expect organisations to craft unique programme for every single employee. It would be ideal, yet not very realistic from a budget perspective. However, having customisable modules is already a great step at the disposal of HR.

So, when making a stratefic onboarding plan, there are some key elements to consider. Let’s review them one by one.


Role and Candidate Understanding


An intensive internal assessment will provide a clear understanding both of the role and of the successful candidate. A comprehensive feedback from the stakeholders that interviewed the new hire can already identify some key elements for the onboarding programme. 

With this, an employer can pinpoint the strengths of the newly employed worker and capitalise on them. Additionally, the manager/ mentor can put measures in place to improve any gaps with relevant training activities. No doubt, this will boost the confidence of the new hire.


Collaborative Efforts of Onboarding Planning


Involving the newly employed workers in developing their integration plan is of utmost importance. This includes keeping in touch with the new hires after the acceptance of the job offer and soliciting their input during the design of their integration plan before they resume work. These will be components of a Preboarding plan.


Champion Social Connections


Arranging meetings between the new hire and the company’s key stakeholders will help establish the right working relationships between the new employees and the relevant personnel in the company. Also, it aids the newly employed workers in understanding the vital aspect of the company’s culture. This will thereby aid their integration into the company’s system of operation. 


A Clear Roadmap and Milestones


Setting clear milestone integration objectives for the newly employed workers will ease any anxiety and confusion at the job start. This entails having integration goals that the company’s key stakeholders will properly monitor. This is enacted through regular meetings between the new hires and the company management team. It can follow a 30-60-90 time structure, or any other desirable or applicable one.


Focus on Training and Development


As mentioned before, what makes an onboarding process strategic is the future outlook. This means that there has to be a clear development aspect into the onboarding process. This involves having a process that allows the new hires to be anticipatory in their career path. This will prepare them to take on the training or tasks required for career advancement.

No doubt, this will help keep the momentum of the progress of the strategic onboarding.


Strategic Onboarding: Final Remarks


In conclusion, organisations are assured of a cost-effective method to engage with the new hires from day 1 with strategic onboarding. However, employers must make their strategic onboarding activities a living document that is not static but very flexible to earn the confidence of their new employees and get the best from them.

Achieving an effective strategic onboarding that will positively project the company’s image and aid the new hires in attaining optimum productivity. This is made easy with the right employee onboarding software like introdus. For instance, introdus provides a tailor-made onboarding programme that creates wonderful onboarding experiences with multimedia content that simplifies the exercise.

If you want to discover more benefits of a good onboarding process, we highly encourage you to read these two articles: Social Benefits of a Good Onboarding Programme and What Does Onboarding Mean for a Job?

Enjoy the benefits of Strategic Employee Onboarding.


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