The ROI of Onboarding


Congratulations!  You’ve landed an organizational change project for an initiative that is hiring a large number of FTEs in the very near future.  It should be a piece of cake to bring people onboard and get them up and running, right?

Change management methodologies generally do not place much emphasis on the onboarding process of organizational change, leaving that piece of the equation up to HR.  This can be a huge oversight as recognizing the need for proper onboarding programs within your organizational change plans increases new employee retention and reduces the ramp-up time for your new hire to become productive – providing faster ROI for new employees.

Within the first 45 days of employment 22% of new hires are already out the door, and the cost of losing an employee within the first year is greater than three times that person’s salary.  This is a risk that needs to be identified, tracked and mitigated through onboarding programs that provide new hires with the support, mentoring and feedback they need to become a fully aligned employee as quickly as possible.

Some key points to remember:

  • Onboarding is not a one-day event.  It is easy to mistake onboarding with orientation.  Employee orientation is the event that kicks off a new hire’s job.  Onboarding is the ongoing process that occurs until the employee is fully engrained in the corporate culture.

  • Onboarding takes time.  Studies, like that from the AberdeenGroup suggests setting up a window of at least six months for onboarding to complete.

  • Onboarding takes multiple people.  New employees need perspectives from others with at least one designated mentor that the individual can look to for help understanding and navigating the corporate culture.

  • Onboarding is not an expense.  An effective onboarding program saves money through lower attrition and faster time to productivity.

  • Onboarding goes beyond HR.  All of us are a part of a new employee’s onboarding experience.