What is the impact of a good vs. bad employee onboarding process?

Discover how the quality of your employee onboarding can impact the bottom line. Learn about new hire training costs, benefits and everything in-between.
What is the impact of a good vs. bad employee onboarding process?, employee onboarding, onboarding, onboarding process, employee experience, employee app, employee engagement

Employees’ first days on the job once consisted of just filling out paperwork, or attending a couple of short meetings. Then, the expectation was for new hires to “learn as they go”.     Spoiler alert!    That onboarding story tends to end with wasted time and money characterized by new hires turning into disengaged team members, and leaving the organization early.

Gallup recently reported only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees. Unfortunately, poor onboarding can be costly; check out our free Onboarding Calculator to find out how much it could already be costing you.

Let us rewind. A candidate just accepted a job offer from your organization. What comes next?

Warm welcome the new hire and set them up for success! Nowadays, great employee onboarding is engaging, shortens time to perform, and typically involves blended learning. The benefits from upgrading to this new version of remote onboarding are many. Indeed, with a strategic view and mindful execution, developing an improved, modern employee onboarding process is a worthwhile investment.

Here are top business benefits to taking employee onboarding to the next level:

HR Cost Savings

Onboarding and employee turnover are not independent from each other. About 50% of hourly workers leave their new job in their first 4 months, and half of senior outside-hires leave after 18 months. People are most vulnerable, or likely to leave, during the beginning of their employee journey. Luckily, great onboarding can make a difference. In fact, employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%.

Is your onboarding process helping or hurting your employees’ decision to stay? Pre-boarding and onboarding is the first phase in the life cycle for new hires, represented in the Employee Lifetime Value Model. Improving the onboarding process with focused efforts on employee experience and engagement, can help create an outstanding first impression. Particularly, one that sets new hires on the right track, helps integrate them into the team and culture, and motivates them to see value in being with the business for a long time.

Leaders, please take this seriously. Early employee turnover is not only demotivating for those who led the original hiring and recruitment efforts; it also represents high costs for the business. Finding the ideal candidate may take a long six weeks. Meanwhile, the organization will remain less productive than ideal.

As a best practice, give onboarding the importance it deserves to save on employee turnover and not have to inefficiently double recruitment and hiring efforts. HR professionals and leaders needing that extra helping hand(s) at your organization will appreciate it.

Productivity and Performance Gains

One of the main reasons why leaders decide to invest in better onboarding is to boost efficiency and output. Rightly so, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire productivity by over 70%.

Opportunities for learning and development have always been highly motivating in people management. Therefore, by offering an engaging onboarding experience, new team members may feel more valued by their employer. Showing support for employees’ growth and long-term success from the start can encourage them to contribute to the business with their best.

Studies also suggest effective onboarding can increase employee performance by up to 11%. Moreover, great new hire training can speed time to competency, and help team members start performing faster. On the other hand, poor onboarding can mean less confident employees that may require continuous attention from managers, or more experienced peers, to do their job.

Ensure new hires are ready with the necessary knowledge and tools, and with instant access to these whenever they want, during and after onboarding. Doing so will have an effect on boosting employees’ confidence, motivation, output and performance!

Other Benefits to Modern Onboarding

Other benefits to structured onboarding that is at least partly digital, include reduced operational costs. Needing to spend fewer working hours on training new employees, and less money on paper, printing, and other office supplies is certainly worth mentioning.

Finally, there are 4 other advantages still related to time savings and increases in employee retention and productivity as a result of modern, effective onboarding.

1.   With an onboarding process complemented by automation, leaders can start the introduction to the business earlier, a step known as employee pre-boarding.
Learn more about what your pre-boarding stage could encompass.

2.   Onboarding can be more seamless by automatically delegating pre- and onboarding tasks. For instance, send digital notifications to IT to remind them to set up new hire accounts, or to a direct manager to schedule a team introduction.

3.   By digitizing the learning on standard tasks, leaders can add more consistency in the initial training journey, limiting the chance for employees to be left behind.

4.   With the right platform, leaders can access insights into employee engagement throughout their onboarding experience, and even after it.


Prioritize the development of an effective onboarding process. It has been proven to impact the bottom line, representing significant gains like cost savings, and boosts in morale and productivity.

In general, employee onboarding done right plays a crucial role in optimizing employee lifetime value and overall organizational success. Rewrite the ending to your new hire’s story or employee experience. Give your new hires the welcome they deserve, and the high-quality onboarding the entire organization will benefit from.

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