Roughly one in five new employees leave their organization within their first year, compared to less than one in 10 for all employees, finds PwC Saratoga’s 2013/2014 US Human Capital Effectiveness Report. Since the cost of turnover per employee is 1.5 times the average compensation, employers should pay close attention to improving their onboarding process and how they work to assimilate and engage employees before their start date and throughout their tenure. 

Orienting new hires into the company’s culture and their new role starts before they even step in the office and should go beyond filling out HR paperwork on the first day. Employers should assimilate workers by setting upfront expectations for the position without overwhelming the new employee, introducing them to colleagues and managers in their area, and previewing their long-term career development with the company.

Organizational assimilation programs, explained Chris Dustin, director with PwC, “are targeted toward decreasing the overall time for employees to become productive, promoting behaviors that are aligned with organizational goals, values, objectives and culture itself. And in building loyalty, which demonstrates commitment and builds the foundation for employee retention.”

He added that “people remember their first day of their job,” and how helpful their co-workers were, as well as how engaged those co-workers were with the company. Employers must sustain the new hire’s belief that they made the right decision accepting this job offer so that the employee doesn’t become one of five that leave their company before their second year.

“Assimilation is a continual process,” said Dustin during a recent PwC web seminar, adding this process “should continue throughout the entire lifecycle of the employee.”

Employers can monitor employees’ engagement across this lifecycle and make improvements where most needed through strategic analysis of employee surveys. With data from different surveys at various employment stages, employers can build and leverage an informational repository for survey content, data and reporting. Here are the three most common surveys and the value each delivers, according to PwC:

  1. Onboarding survey: Provides a view into the new employee’s perspective. Employers have a unique opportunity to shape engagement as the new hire’s employment experience begins.
  2. Engagement survey: A detailed assessment of which aspects of the employee/company relationship drive employee effort, pride and commitment.
  3. Exit survey: Provides candid insight into the organization’s strengths and factors that are driving turnover. They can point to organization’s strength, as well as vulnerabilities.

Read EBN’s October issue to learn more about how to leverage employee surveys and strengthen your onboarding and engagement strategy.

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