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Onboarding programs help develop and retain talent

Posted on October 30th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

Effective onboarding programs – those that help new hires adapt and become productive workers – promote employee engagement and retention, according to a recent study.

Research and consulting firm Best Practices, LLC conducted research to determine the characteristics of highly effective onboarding programs. "Commercial Onboarding Excellence: Bringing New Employees Up to Productivity Quickly and Effectively" evaluated program duration, class elements and values, performance measurements and technology training at 33 organizations.

The study found that while onboarding programs often have the potential to influence employee engagement and retention early, HR services often fail to take advantage of these benefits.

Best Practices profiles companies from a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, consumer products, construction, telecommunications and automobile. According to the study, most onboarding practices last more than one week and live classroom instruction was determined the best venue for most training topics. The study found that direct interaction with an employee mentor and providing clear expectations were among the best practices in these programs. Other aspects of successful onboarding included thorough technology training and collecting new hire feedback on the organization's processes. 

Meanwhile, the study also found that most organizations lack the sufficient tools to measure the effectiveness of their new hire programs. Many only use a post-training interview with new hires to determine the quality of instruction.

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