I once showed up for my first day at a new job only to find that my desk hadn’t been cleaned out — or even dusted. I spent my first hours at work finding the kitchen, unearthing cleaning supplies, wiping down my desk and sorting through (aka throwing out) someone else’s files.
How do you think I felt about my decision to take that job? What if I told you this has happened to me at every single tech job I’ve ever taken, at big and small companies? And, incredibly, it keeps happening to new hires at tech startups every day.
Gallup found that only 12% of U.S. employers do a great job of employee onboarding — the rest are lackluster or downright bad.
A good employee onboarding program can improve employee retention by as much as 25% and make new hires 69% more likely to stick with an employer for three years. In an incredibly tight market for hiring tech talent, retention matters a lot. But onboarding is unfortunately an after-thought for busy tech companies today, which are scaling so rapidly, they often think the recruiting process ends once a sought-after hire accepts the offer.
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook can spend lavishly on employee onboarding (in addition to offering sky-high salaries, of course). But any company, big or small, can create a five-star onboarding experience without breaking the bank. Below are some suggestions that can help your company get new employees engaged from their first day — and, most importantly, help them stick around for your startup’s journey.
1. Start the onboarding process before your new hire shows up