As business owners and leaders, you know how important it is to hire qualified, professional people for your team. Retaining those employees starts on day one with onboarding that not only welcomes new employees but nurtures them in such a way that they understand office expectations and procedures. How can onboarding be done in a way that allows your business to maintain its best and brightest employees?

Before we examine how onboarding can help you retain skilled and experienced employees, here are some stats about why employees leave companies prematurely. According to a study of current business professionals completed by BambooHR, a third of respondents reported that they had left a job within the first six months. The reasons behind this early departure ranged widely, but many noted that they had not received clear guidelines about their job responsibilities (23 percent), that they wanted better training (21 percent), and that the employer did not provide effective onboarding (15 percent). About a third said they had almost no onboarding or none at all. 

Those statistics alone should be enough to compel businesses to beef up their onboarding process. Here are a few ways this process can help make new hires evolve into loyal team members. 

two men working on laptops

Start with Preboarding 

In the days leading up to your new hire starting at the office, take some steps that will make that first day less stressful. Start by setting up a workspace that has everything needed including the hardware, software, and office supplies that will be needed. 

Have a computer login with a password ready to go and access to all business apps that will be essential to getting work started. Create a list of coworkers and what their job titles are so that names will be easy to remember and he/she will know who to go to for each task. Include a company handbook which can serve as a guideline for security protocols, best practices, and human resource items. 


Part of your onboarding process should include matching the new hire with a mentor who can be a great source of information. Not only can a mentor help with understanding the requirements of the job, but can also be a buddy to assist with making friends, knowing the ins-and-outs of the office culture, and generally be a familiar face in the office. 

According to the previously mentioned study by BambooHR, fifty-six percent of new hires say an assigned buddy is important to retention. The supervisor, HR professional, and mentor, can be three people your new hire can depend on for questions ranging from “what coffee place nearby is best?” to “how can I submit my timesheet?” 

woman working and writing

Supervising and Teaching 

Onboarding should not stop after the first week of work. In fact, most new employees will need assistance for the first few months of any new position. Questions will pop up that will need to be answered. If onboarding is continued with the HR, supervisor, and a mentor, a new employee will feel that they are being taught how to do the job the right way. This can allow for stronger loyalty and a better retention rate. 


For more resources on onboarding, check out our resources pages at North Shore Career Center and MassHire North Shore