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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Lee

Good OnBoarding: Retain Your Talent from the Start

What is OnBoarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into a company and its culture while obtaining the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team for the new employee. According to HR experts, the onboarding process should be strategic. How employers manage the first few days and months of a new employee's experience is crucial to ensuring high retention.

Why is Onboarding important?

A better onboarding programme can help to retain and maximise the potential of employees. The goal is for all parties to communicate their expectations, assess needs and speak about their concerns about their job or company from the very beginning. As workforce demographics and career expectations change, millennials cannot be expected to stay on in the company employees traditionally would. Therefore, maximising their potential during that brief period is key to retaining your staff and maintaining operational efficiency.

Tips for good onboarding:

  1. Implement a comprehensive, structured onboarding programme

Many mid-size companies make the mistake of not structuring and formalising the onboarding process for new hires. Not only is this a mistake, but it can also set a precedent for poor organisation and blurry timelines for the new employee. Creating and following a structured onboarding plan not only saves time for everyone but also automates the process for a smoother and more efficient onboarding for future hires. Your HR team will thank you for it!

2. Communicate expectations and needs clearly

We often believe that during a thorough recruitment process, the job description has been explained and challenged, the vision and strategy have been exposed, and key people have been met. However, we tend to forget that the recruitment process often happens 2 to 4 months before the start date. Hence it is very important to go through the job description again, point by point, and ensure alignment on expectations. Laying down expectations will start everyone off on a clear note and encourage a culture of clear communication in the company.

3. Emphasise relationship-building and bond-creating

Hiring the best talent means nothing if they are unable to fit into the team. As people shape the work experience, building strong relationships within the company is paramount to creating a positive work environment for everyone. Bonds, however, take time to develop. Therefore, the onboarding program should focus on team bonding to kickstart the relationship-building process between colleagues and boost productivity within the team.

4. Adopt an employee-centric approach

Long gone are the days of endless onboarding presentations to indoctrinate employees with company values and boring discussions around the importance of the employees’ commitment and ability to conform to the company. Human resource managers are increasingly interested in having a genuine connection with employees by embracing their real identities and putting the focus back on the employee. Emphasizing employee development and what you can offer your employees has been shown to increase employee satisfaction, which retains your talent!

5. Create a network of mentors and coaches

Entering a new company means growing your professional network. Leverage everyone’s networks by providing them with relevant people in and outside of the company that they can approach with questions and challenges at work. Leverage the networks in the company and provide your new hire with resources and people that would help them in the future. Assigning them to a mentor or buddy can also create a nurturing environment for your new team members, providing them with a safe environment to ask questions and navigate their new role.

6. Make their first day feel memorable!

Take them to lunch! Give a little welcome pack! Share your snacks with them! Special gestures leave a long-lasting positive impact on a person and set the tone culture-wise. Begin their journey in the company with a warm welcome and inject a little fun into their first day.

With higher staff turnovers and more costly external recruitment costs, retaining talent is one of the main goals for many HR directors and company executives. Enhancing your employee’s experience is now more important than ever, and there is little time to waste. Therefore, companies should boost their onboarding process as part of their employee retention strategy alongside other corporate goals. A structured OnBoarding process that provides staff with resources encourages communication, builds relationships and respects everyone’s unique identities will ensure a smooth transition into their new role in the company. Onboarding is an inherently human process and managers should do their best to make fresh staff feel welcome into the team.


At WeLinkTalent, we are strong proponents of good onboarding for new employees. We have developed a comprehensive, coaching-based programme to enhance the onboarding process for executives of various levels, adapted to the leader’s needs. Our programme aims to communicate agendas, set expectations, and provide support, as well as act as insurance.

Find out about the programme here or contact us directly.

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