4 Signs Your Small Business On-Boarding Program Needs a Tune-Up

Written by: Christina Merhar
Originally published on January 3, 2014. Last updated April 26, 2022.

Does your small business employee on-boarding program need a tune-up? Reducing voluntary employee turnover is a critical issue for small business HR professionals and CEOs, and a structured on-boarding program is one strategy to address voluntary employee turnover.
Small Business OnBoarding Need a Tune Up?

After all, employee turnover is expensive. How expensive? The cost of losing an employee is estimated to be anywhere from 16% to 213% of the employee's annual salary, depending on their role at the company.

About a quarter (22%) of employee turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment, which means a thoughtful on-boarding program can make a dent. In fact, studies show that new employees who go through a structured on-boarding program are 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.

But if you're reading this article you probably already have an employee on-boarding program in place for your small business. Is it working?

Here are four signs your on-boarding program may need a tune-up.

Sign #1: The On-Boarding Program is Not Documented

Take the time to document your on-boarding program. While you may have all steps and activities well thought-out and planned, what happens if you suddenly have a leave of absence? With a written on-boarding program you will stay consistent, have organizational agreement, and can easily transfer (or delegate) responsibilities as needed.

Sign #2: You Don't Know How Long it Takes for Employees to Be Productive

If you don't know how long it takes for employees to become productive, look at how you can revamp your on-boarding program to benchmark this statistic, and measure it in the long term. The purpose of on-boarding is to give employees the information they need, when they need it. Knowing your time to average productivity will help HR and Managers identify poor performers, as well as high performers, early on. It will also provide supervisors realistic time frames for productivity of new hires.

Sign #3: You are Not Conducting Exit Interviews, or Not Using the Feedback to Improve the On-Boarding Program

An effective on-boarding program (and retention strategy) is not just about those first couple weeks of training. Make sure you are also conducting exit interviews to find out why people are leaving the company. Ask not just why an employee left, but what caused them to look for employment outside the company in the first place. Use the feedback for change to your on-boarding process (don't just file the interview notes away!).

Sign #4: You are Not Communicating About the Benefits of Working for Your Company

During your on-boarding program, are you promoting your company's benefits and workplace perks? Don't be afraid to market your benefits to new employees. Ask employees what they like about working for a company. Then make sure new hires know about the benefits and perks. These are the benefits that make employees stay with the company.

Related articles on small business recruiting and retention:

What are some other signs that your employee on-boarding program might need a tune-up? Leave an idea or question in the comments below.

Originally published on January 3, 2014. Last updated April 26, 2022.


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