Area Vice President EMEA at SumTotal Systems SumTotal
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Employee onboarding: a game changer for talent development and retention?

29th Jul 2019
Area Vice President EMEA at SumTotal Systems SumTotal
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manager introducing new employee
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Organisations that have robust employee onboarding and talent management structures, which support continuous learning, will secure the committment of their employees.

According to research published earlier this year, approximately a quarter of new employees, reported that they received no clear onboarding when starting a new job. Some even stated they had a truly bad experience; one in 10 new hires said their company forgot it was their first day on the job entirely. 

A lack of skilled workers and the difficulty of replacing high value talent means that getting onboarding and retention strategies right has a direct impact on organisational productivity, profitability and long-term business success. It’s challenging on two fronts: getting the right people into the organisation and keeping them there.

Onboarding matters

A smooth employee onboarding process is one of the best ways to welcome a new employee to the company and start building a foundation for a lasting relationship.

Although an employee has agreed to join your team, their first few days, weeks and months with your organisation can be the deciding factor in whether they stay for the long run or leave shortly after joining.

Onboarding is more than simply delivering the best experience for new employees, it’s a good business decision too.

When a new employee starts a job, part of the onboarding process often includes the completion of specific tasks and training.

Learning Management Systems (LMS) should include a function allowing you to automatically process all new hire required assignments, including the welcome letter, forms, first-day schedule, recommended learning, while also facilitating collaboration with peers and mentors. This creates a streamlined process and makes the new starter feel immediately valued.

Onboarding is more than simply delivering the best experience for new employees, it’s a good business decision too.

According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), the average cost of replacing a single member of staff for a UK employer is £30,000. But the cost of replacing a senior executive can cost a business up to 213% of his or her salary. A poor onboarding experience and a high attrition rate costs both time and money.

Why talent management is a key part of retention

Once you get employees through the door they want meaningful development opportunities. Gallup research found that 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important or very important. 

Transparency and relevance are crucial to delivering the experience each employee expects. Listing career development on a corporate values poster will not cut it. Too many organisations are missing the mark with career development.

The same Gallup study found less than half of millennials strongly agreed that they have had opportunities to learn and grow in the previous year. Moreover, only one-third reported their most recent learning opportunity was “well worth” their time.

87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate 'professional or career growth and development opportunities' as important or very important. 

A rising demand for skilled workers and a cultural shift towards shorter workplace tenures means organisations need to make retention a top priority. Employees place a premium on being able to access directed and meaningful development opportunities delivered in a systematic and methodical way.

Today’s Human Capital Management (HCM) technologies make it possible to deliver career pathing capabilities, giving employees personalised learning plans on which they can build the skills and competencies required to move to their next step.

Personalised development

Machine learning and AI gives us the ability to capture real-time feedback linked to specific goals and performance, and in the process identify learning needs and behaviour gaps.

Organisations can provide tailored development and career path recommendations that keep individuals motivated and engaged, while enabling employees to search for their next role within the organisation, based on current competencies and skills.

When it comes to accessing personalised learning, these platforms can take account of individual learning preferences and enable seamless access to eLearning and online content (including corporate YouTube resources) on any device, at a time that suits. 

Organisations can provide tailored development and career path recommendations that keep individuals motivated and engaged.

Continued learning is vital to long-term employee retention, which is why it’s imperative that employers improve onboarding and retention strategies. 

Organisations don’t have the luxury of losing top talent, especially with the challenge of the current skills shortages. By getting these areas right, companies will receive significant dividends, particularly in terms of employee engagement, productivity and retention. 

Today’s HR systems can easily enable highly effective processes that integrate new hires fast and create a successful long-term employee experience.

Improving career development and boosting talent retention can prove a game changer for organisations looking to gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly challenging business environment.

 

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