By Kelly Glosser, Learning & Development Specialist-Senior, Independent Health

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies and businesses have had to shift to remote or hybrid work environments. At the same time, a record number of Americans have walked away from their jobs voluntarily as part of what’s being called “The Great Resignation.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 3.9 million workers quit every month in 2021. Therefore, in order to stay competitive both from a recruitment and retention standpoint, employers may need to reassess and revamp their onboarding practices and strategies.

Research by Brandon Hall Group has found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. At Independent Health, our experience has also shown that a well thought-out and executed onboarding plan helps set new hires up for long-term success. However, to adapt to our current work environment and ever-evolving job market, we have significantly changed the way we approach and conduct onboarding over the past two years. Because the majority of our companies’ employees have worked from home since March 2020, our onboarding process now offers a remote component, too.

Last year, Independent Health onboarded a total of 189 new hires via a complete remote experience. That means we were able to meet their organizational, technical, and social needs without actually interacting with them in person. Here are some of the reasons why our onboarding efforts were so successful in 2021:

  • As a way to help avoid technical issues on the employee’s first day, we provide them with thorough instructions on how to set all of their equipment up, including a step-by-step video. A representative from IT is also on hand the first day or orientation to address any technological challenges that the new hire may encounter.
  • We have a team member assigned to support our new hires from the moment they accept the position until they transition to their respective departments. In addition to preparing them for a seamless transition into our organization, having a main point-of-contact provides the new hire with the chance to form a relationship with a trusted associate early in their onboarding process.
  • Our team of new hire orientation facilitators have kept training and orientation sessions engaging and fun by developing strong virtual facilitation skills and utilizing different interactive presentation tools such as Mentimeter, which allows them to capture real-time input from participants through live polls, quizzes, word clouds and more.
  • Our HR department closely partners with our hiring managers to make sure they understand our onboarding process and what type of information is shared during new hire orientation sessions. All hiring managers are required to take in part in an online learning module that explains each step of onboarding to them and what their role is in creating an effective experience for their new team members.
  • Since we’re continuously looking for ways to improve as an organization, we assess the effectiveness of our onboarding strategy by surveying new employees after they complete their orientation session and, then again, about 60 days later. The survey results from 2021 showed that:
  • 100% of respondents agreed that their overall experience with the hiring process was positive.
    • 97.5% of respondents agreed that they received all the information and technical equipment needed for a successful first day.
    • 96% of respondents agreed that new hire orientation provided them with information to understand the mission, vision, and values of Independent Health and it allowed them to make an easier transition into their new role.

Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Now more than ever, it’s vital to provide an onboarding experience that not only makes each new employee feel confident in their decision to join their organization but leaves them wanting to grow in their career, too.