“You only have one chance to make a first impression”….No idea who said this

If a new employee is going to quit, chances are it will probably happen within the first six months.

More than 40% of turnover happens within the first month, and another 10% or more leave before their first anniversary, according to a study by Equifax Workforce Solutions. That means it’s more important than ever to engage them from day one.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, there is a direct correlation between effective onboarding and employee retention and engagement Ninety-one percent of [first-year] employees are retained in companies that have a robust onboarding program, but of those who don’t, just 50% are retained.

And of course, when you lose an employee after the first year, it ends up costing you three times the employee’s annual salary to recruit, hire, and train someone else. If you could make the first 45 days better, you could cut new hire attrition by around 20%.

There are so many onboarding horror stories: It happens far too often, where a highly engaged new employee shows up on day one and doesn’t have a place to sit, a computer, or a schedule. They’re just given papers to fill out. Nothing deflate the excitement of starting a new job, then an employer that is not ready for them and doesn’t seem to care.


The process needs to start well before the employee’s first day. Instead of using this time to fill out paperwork, allow the forms to be filled out electronically through a portal or printed from a website and manually completed at home. Employees can do it while they’re watching TV.

Get employees engaged by including a video about company culture, have either you, or the employee’s mentor call to tell them what to expect and include a video, when possible, that talks about company information, expectations or maybe even what happened during the previous quarter.

Send a welcome email to the rest of your Team. The email should include the new hire’s name, picture, a description of their role and initiatives (which you can pull from the job description), some resume highlights, the person’s educational background, supervisor and contact information. You can also ask new employees for an interesting fact to share with their new colleagues.

from week one to 90 days


Try and keep the first day simple. The first day should be about the employee having a great experience, going home and telling their significant other or family.

This means providing “critical” information such as where to park, where to find the coffee bar, and where the restrooms are located. This is a simple day after which the employee can walk away saying, ‘I have everything I need to get back here tomorrow’.
An industry overview is critically important. You want your employees to understand what the company does and how you’re different from the competition.

Assign a “mentor” to take the new employee under their wing. It could be someone who is in the same position as them or someone who started out in the new hire’s position. Let them know they can come to this person with any concerns, for guidance, or just to have a friendly conversation. If you aren’t able to assign a mentor, for whatever the reason, then it should be you.

And never let them eat lunch alone. Often times, the new employee is worried about what they will be doing during the lunch hour. This is the company’s time to learn more about them as a person. Make it a Team event and make it fun.

Plan their first small successes. If you can help your new employees have some small wins early on, it will accelerate the process of them becoming a strong contributor to your company and a part of your competitive advantage. Quick successes also give them the confidence needed to excel in a new role and help them earn respect from their colleagues. Make it a high priority to discuss their initial goals on the first day, asking them what they think it will take to accomplish them.

Coworkers in the office practicing alternative greeting to avoid handshakes during COVID-19


It can be tempting to try to provide a lot of information to a new employee on his or her first day, but it’s a good idea to stretch it out into a longer period of time. The reality is that for a lot of new hires, too much information will be overwhelming and tough to retain.

If there’s a lot of work to be done at your company, you may be tempted to have your new hires start fighting fires with you as soon as they walk through the door. But helping them take a slow, deep dive into your organization through lots of quality face time with managers and colleagues makes for more engaged employees. And helping new hires strategically plan for early success will encourage engagement even more, helping them become high-performing, loyal contributors to your team.

Design the first week to provide the basics, such as time spent shadowing others. Most importantly they should understand objectives and what is expected of them. And make sure they understand the larger mission. ‘Give the employee a look at the company through the customers’ eyes.

You definitely want to do an even deeper dive into the who, what, where, when, and why of the company. Communicate high-level information about the organization’s history, structure, and culture. Get into the core mission of the new hire’s team or department, including who they will be working with and how to interact with coworkers.

Finally, make sure the employee understands the organizational chart. Who will play a role in their performance? Who those key people are and how a new hire can reach out? For example, who do they call about payroll or how do they reach IT for a computer question.


The most crucial part of a successful onboarding process is checking in with the new employee regularly. Managers may schedule formal, daily meetings, or they can simply stop by the employee’s workspace to part of a successful onboarding process is checking in with the new employee regularly.

Ask candid questions: Do you feel you understand your job description? Is what you’re doing what you feel you were hired to do?
You should create 30-, 60- and 90-day plans. The manager should go over expectations and provide touch points. These should be a formal sit-down meetings, with the new hire’s overall objectives broken down into digestible chunks.

Communication and support keep employees engaged. Engaged employees will buy-in to your culture and will produce far better results.

If you need the tools and/or training to ensure your new employees are set up for success, I’d be happy to help.