Macro photo of tooth wheel mechanism with imprinted RECRUIT, RETAIN concept words

The following is a portion of a question and answer interview provided by Cecilia Rodriguez, director of client relations at StaffGlass, an employee onboarding platform that helps businesses order and set up drug testing, background screening and occupational health services.

How essential is robust employee onboarding?

A study commissioned by Glassdoor found that companies with a strong onboarding program improved employee retention of new hires by 82% and productivity by more than 70%.

Why is employee retention important?

Employee retention is important because having to hire and train a new employee will cost your company money. According to Gallup estimates, it costs, on average, one-half to two times an employee’s yearly salary to replace them. It isn’t just cost that should be a concern, but also the lost time and productivity and the knowledge that walks out the door when a member of your team leaves.

How should employers start to decide how they will handle vaccinations among their employees?

Some companies are considering mandating a vaccine for all employees, while others may offer an incentive to do so. Depending on the company, and whether their employees interact directly with the public, they may require regular coronavirus screenings to detect a current infection and/or a COVID-19 antibody test to indicate immunity to the disease. However, it is still uncertain how long that immunity lasts. Furthermore, CDC workplace guidelines remain critical to follow.

How can being upfront about risks, mitigation efforts, new requirements and other policy changes due to the pandemic help to improve employee retention?

It is your organization’s responsibility to ensure that your staff feels safe and knows that you have their best interests in mind, in addition to your customers’. The best way to convey this is to be upfront about risks, mitigation efforts, new requirements and any other policy changes due to the pandemic, including with new hires during onboarding. In addition to creating a more positive and productive work environment, you’ll also improve employee retention.

How can comprehensive online tools help create a more seamless candidate-to-employee transition?

These comprehensive online tools include robust occupational health assessments to ensure a healthy workforce, bringing peace of mind to employees and employers alike. These next-generation tools also allow for seamless candidate-to-employee transitions, making the onboarding process smoother and more convenient for everyone.

What are some effective employee retention strategies?

1. Comprehensive Orientation

Information about job expectations, company values and culture and how they can contribute and grow. 

2. Ongoing Professional Development

Workplace training and career path guidance keeps employees current with important skills and benefits your company. This can include continuing education, business conferences, workshops and tuition reimbursement.

3. Performance Reviews

There should be regular discussions of the employee’s short- and long-term career goals.

4. Mentorship Program

Provides career guidance and a knowledgeable resource that they can use to field any questions and concerns.

5. Attractive Compensation Package

Includes bonuses, paid time off, health benefits, retirement plans, etc. This can also include perks, such as a wellness program and financial advising. Review and update this regularly.

6. Communication, Feedback and Teamwork

Encourage employee engagement by letting them know that the company values their opinions and ideas. Foster team collaboration and accommodate different working styles. 

7. Graceful Handling of Big Company Changes

During layoffs, mergers, etc., keep staff informed and supported.

8. Acknowledge Accomplishments and Milestones

Provide employee recognition when warranted and have a celebration when a company goal is reached. 

9. Promote Healthy Work-Life Balance

This may include flexible work hours and the ability to telecommute. 

10. Commit to Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility

For many employees (and customers), a company’s commitment to the local community and their environmental stewardship is especially important.

What is the key to a more satisfying onboarding experience?

The key to a more satisfying onboarding experience and greater employee engagement and productivity is integration of services and simple transparency. There is enough confusion, uncertainty and fear regarding starting a new job, and the rapid changes impacting all of us make that even more difficult.