Are your new hires crossing the 90-day finish line?

Tap into onboarding and workplace culture

December 1, 2022
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It's not enough to simply fill open positions in today's tight labor market. Engaging new employees in their first 90 days is essential to keeping them. Experts say onboarding experiences and company culture are the key to engaging new employees.

Businesses are grappling with a record number of turnovers during the Great Reshuffle, where more than 47 million workers quit their jobs voluntarily in 2021.1 And with more baby boomers retiring each year, they're also feeling the "brain drain" effect of trying to fill vacancies.

New employees have higher expectations about what they want from their job which, in turn have put pressure on businesses to engage and retain new hires right away, explained Dora Clements, VP of Digital Transformation of Unum Group.

"In a time where we are all fighting to retain great talent, we need to ensure that workplace satisfaction is really front and center," said Clements. "And a critical way of doing that is making sure that we are listening to what is driving those stressors for our employees."

Some businesses are making a great first impression by focusing on best onboarding practices and evaluating their company culture.

Onboarding technology with high impact

Modern and efficient onboarding practices can play a significant role in retaining new employees. And using technology that makes onboarding faster and easier with less paperwork helps workers feel taken care of and welcomed to the organization.

"Nothing is worse than being a new employee at a company and having a bad onboarding experience," said Clements. "They aren't sure if what they have done is right or if it's fallen into a black hole. What a difference it can make to employees when they've had a great onboarding experience that eliminates that stress."

Onboarding technology with high impact features:

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    Automatic offer letters sent out
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    Form tracking
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    Company handbooks and safety manuals
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    E-learning platform

Step up onboarding with benefits enrollment

Another opportunity for a modern onboarding experience is benefits enrollment.

New employees are generally the most open to learning about their benefits when they first start a job. Convenient enrollment options and digital learning tools can help new hires make informed decisions and feel valued. So enrolling in benefits provides a tremendous opportunity to elevate their workers' onboarding experience.

Enrollment options

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    Virtual conferencing
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    Online self service

Digital learning tools

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    Benefits portal
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    Digital benefits booklet
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    Digital postcards
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Nearly 70% of employees said their benefits made them more likely to stay with their employer.

Source: Colonial Life, Employee Survey, company sponsored, 2021. 1,462 full-time employees responded to the survey in August 2021.

Foster a sense of belonging in the workplace

Workplace culture can play a key role in retention. A recent report revealed that nearly 40% of workers in unhealthy workplaces were actively looking for another position. But only 9% of employees in a healthy workplace were looking for another job.2
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Quick Check: workplace culture

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    Do your workers feel valued?
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    Do they feel inspired?
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    Do your employees feel their work has impact?
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    Is the work environment a place where people want to come to work?

Employers that foster a sense of belonging in the workplace will have more engaged workers who are less likely to leave. Fostering a sense of belonging means making sure the workplace is inclusive and diverse.

Matching each new employee with a mentor is an easy, effective step in engaging them early on. The mentor can help the new worker get up to speed with the job and the culture, and feel included.

Prioritize employee listening

Asking for your employees' feedback goes hand in hand with creating a healthy workplace culture, which in turn can help boost retention. Most workers say their employers could do a better job of listening to their feedback in a recent survey.
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61% of employees said their employer needs to do a better job of listening to their feedback.

Source: Qualtrics XM Institute, Q3 2021 Global Consumer Benchmark Survey, 2021. 16,484 full-time employees in 24 countries responded to the survey.

Organizations can get employee feedback through regular anonymous surveys or questionnaires, team meetings, focus groups and informal meetings. Keys to getting employee feedback that creates a healthy culture include, in final:
  1. Acknowledging the feedback
  2. Prioritizing areas that can be addressed
  3. Taking meaningful action
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Among workers who said their employers sought their feedback (whether formal or informal), 94% said they felt their needs were taken into consideration.

Source: Colonial Life, Employee Survey, company sponsored, 2021. 1,462 full-time employees responded to the survey in August 2021.

Losing good employees in the first 90 days is an issue for many companies. Organizations that can prioritize modern, easy onboarding experiences and create a workplace culture where workers want to be every day are going to better positioned for higher retention.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
2 Mental Health America, 2022 Mind the Workplace: Employer Responsibility to Employee Mental Health Enrollment Survey, 2022.