Business meeting
article icon

How Your Onboarding Program Can Make (or Break) Your Employee Experience

A G&A Series: The Benefits of an Onboarding Program

This 4-part onboarding series from G&A will cover:

Part 2 —

In November 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reported that approximately 10.5 million jobs were vacant. As a result, workers gained leverage with various employment options and, at of the time of this article’s publication, still maintained the upper hand in the labor market.

Due to the state of imbalance in the labor market, companies are more focused than ever on figuring out ways to improve retention rates so that they don’t lose out on the investments they’re making in their workforce.

“A great onboarding experience positively impacts new-employee satisfaction, engagement, and performance,” says Michelle Mikesell, G&A Partners’ Chief People Officer. “If an employee has an impactful onboarding process, they’re more likely to tell other people about it—and vice versa if they don’t.”

“A great onboarding experience positively impacts new-employee satisfaction, engagement, and performance.”

— Michelle Mikesell, G&A Partners’ Chief People Officer.

The Benefits of a Comprehensive Employee Onboarding Experience

A dynamic onboarding program—one that provides support from (or before) day one of a new hire’s employment—demonstrates to new recruits that you are willing to do what it takes to make their transition a smooth one.

According to 360 Learning’s “Everything You Need to Know to Build a Scalable Employee Onboarding Process” by Joei Chan, superior onboarding processes can benefit your company and your employees by:

  • Fast-tracking administrative tasks: Onboarding processes leverage organization and technology to help your human resources manager (or team) and your employees complete new-hire administrative tasks quickly and efficiently. “The average onboarding program has around 50 admin tasks alone, including setting up company accounts, filling out tax documents, signing employment contracts and forms, and getting on the payroll,” Chan says.
  • Improving employee retention rates: Helping new employees acclimate to their new job and workspace demonstrates your interest in their wellbeing. “Without enough support, new hires start off their job with doubt and distrust, driving 20% of them to quit within their first 45 days,” according to the 360 Learning article.
  • Doubling new-hire productivity: New-hire productivity will increase two-fold when employees are allowed to acquire skills and become familiar with processes in a high-learning, low-stakes environment.
  • Building trust and community: Time and attention spent welcoming new employees into your community and laying the foundation for professionally and personally meaningful relationships helps you gain their confidence from the beginning.
  • Strengthening company culture: An onboarding program that communicates different aspects of your company culture helps new hires understand your organization’s vision, mission, and goals and will clarify how they fit into the big picture. This can enhance employee engagement early in the onboarding process and encourage employee performance. “Culture drives positive organizational results, but when it’s vague or disconnected, it can actually undermine them,” Chan says. “Plus, these days, people care about culture more than pay or titles.

of new employees begin searching for a new job before they have been with the employer for six months.


of employees leave before they have been there a year.


The Downside(s) of a Not-So-Great Onboarding Experience

Companies that don’t have a comprehensive and engaging onboarding program in place are at risk of the following negative impacts:

  • Lower employee engagement: When new employees don’t connect with their employer’s vision, mission, and goals—and don’t have a clear idea of how they contribute to the big picture—their employee experience diminishes. Down the road, lagging employee engagement can decrease productivity and lead to higher absenteeism.
  • Higher employee turnover: A poor onboarding experience is a significant cause of employee turnover, which can cost a company 100-300% of the employee’s salary in total, according to Business News Daily’s “What Does Poor Onboarding Really Do to Your Team?” “One-third of new employees begin searching for a new job before they have been with the employer for six months, and 25% leave before they have been there a year. This gives them little to no time at peak productivity,” according to the article.
  • Unmanaged expectations: New hires often have high expectations of their new manager and co-workers. When those expectations fall short, it can be damaging to their psyche and their future at the company. This can also impact your ability to attract and keep top talent.

How G&A Can Help

G&A Partners offers access to HR experts with years of experience helping businesses develop their employees, improve their workplace cultures, implement new HR processes and procedures, and more. Schedule a consultation with one of our trusted business advisors to learn more.