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How Effective Employee Onboarding Drives Worklife Success

Onboarding can make or break an employee’s experience with your company. And your organization’s future depends on your ability to engage employees and nurture worklife success. 

The connection between effective onboarding and engaged, productive employees seems clear. Yet organizations still need to improve employee onboarding, with only 12% of employees strongly agreeing their company does a great job.

Onboarding is a critical step in building a connection with your employees and sets the stage for how successful they will be with your company. Research shows that committed employees work 57% harder and are nine times less likely to leave your organization. 

Every business is working to achieve goals that they can only meet with people. And companies that focus on people along with performance are over four times more likely to outperform other organizations.

In this blog post, we’ll explore: 
  • Why it’s so critical to onboard employees effectively
  • How to examine the true costs of your current employee onboarding
  • Why pairing onboarding with coaching can drive worklife success

Why is onboarding so critical to get right?

On average, companies spend about a third of their revenue on human and organizational capital. Getting the most out of this investment can significantly impact your bottom line, but getting it right is the exception. 

Employers tend to think of onboarding as a necessary step and a cost to bear, but many are missing the significant role it plays (or how expensive it is to get it wrong). Investing in effective onboarding is not just a wise choice—it’s necessary. 

Replacing an employee can cost you one-half to two times their annual salary. This number can become a staggering total when multiplied across an entire organization. For example, research from Gallup shows that a company of 100 people with an average salary of $50,000 could have turnover and replacement hiring costs ranging from over $600,000 to $2.6 million per year. Imagine the enormous impact it would have on your bottom line to rein in those costs.

How to examine the real costs of your onboarding process

Now that you have a clear idea of how vital onboarding is to the success of your employees and your business, it’s time to assess the actual cost of your onboarding process and how to improve it. 

Employees mostly find onboarding unpleasant and overwhelming. Instead of setting them up for long-term worklife success in the company, it often does the opposite. However, successful onboarding can increase an employee’s discretionary effort by more than 20%, with a 15% increase in performance. 

According to McKinsey & Company, companies are “facing an exodus of employees” who have come through the pandemic and are weighing their employment options carefully. As a result, there are already significant challenges ahead for organizations that must address growing skills gaps to prepare for future growth and transition. 

Ensuring the employees you hire right now are onboarded thoughtfully is crucial to holding onto talent you will need in the future. 


Here are three steps to improve your employee onboarding:

1. Streamline the process

You’ve likely taken time to ensure your customer experience is as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Now compare your employee onboarding experience to that of your customers. 

Is your onboarding process a long list of forms and tasks for your new hire to complete on their own? How could you simplify these items or stagger them with interactions with their new manager or coworkers?

2. Humanize the experience

Employees aren’t robots; you can’t simply run them through automated processes without human interaction. However, you can improve how your employees feel about onboarding by ensuring you treat them like people through each step of the experience. 

Offer support as they complete steps, empower them to connect with others in the company, and encourage mentorship within the organization to help them fully integrate into the company.

3. Normalize feedback

Knowing how important it is to create a positive onboarding experience for employees should motivate you to check in with new and recent hires. Find out what your employees want and need by asking them for feedback on the process. 

Remember that every improvement you make to your onboarding process could help you avoid losses. Ensure you make it safe and comfortable for them to share genuine feedback.


Creating an effective onboarding program shouldn’t be an afterthought for companies looking to lead. After all, according to Gallup, “exceptional employee outcomes require exceptional onboarding.”

Pair onboarding with coaching for employee worklife success

The next area to explore is what happens after onboarding your employees. Only 29% of new hires feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their new roles after being onboarded with a new company. That leaves more than two-thirds of employees in new roles who don’t feel ready.

Providing them with a coach who can partner with them, offer support, and help them build the necessary skills can change their entire employment experience. Coaching is a “super tool” that can positively impact myriad areas for employees, including purpose, clarity, wellbeing, empowerment, connection, and opportunity for growth.

When coaching is paired with the onboarding process, managers can focus on connecting the employee’s role to the overall goals of the company. When employees clearly understand this connection, and feel like their roles and contributions are valuable to a company’s long-term goals, you can forge a stronger bond with your team. 

As a result, employees feel more purpose in their work and are more likely to see their future with the organization. Worklife success goes beyond what employees are paid to do each day and instead is the result of people feeling like their work has meaning on a larger scale. 

Committing to properly onboarding your employees can positively impact all business metrics, from productivity to retention. This investment can protect you from costly turnover that hurts your bottom line, and build a culture that encourages employee wellbeing and success. 


For the cost of losing one employee, our human capital development platform can coach and facilitate learning for multiple employees for an entire year. Learn more about our Growth Suite for Companies.