Onboarding effects on employee engagement and retention : a mixed methods study exploring extending onboarding and its impact on long-term employee engagement and retention.

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This problem of practice study explored extending onboarding of new employees to increase their engagement and retention. There is a tremendous need to decrease turnover in organizations because of the high financial and productivity costs to businesses. Replacing one employee costs 90–200% of the employee’s annual salary (Allen, 2008; Cascio, 2006). This study examined the correlation between extending onboarding and its long-term effects on engagement and retention. The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4CP) states that organizations which create an emotional connection with employees early in the process are likely to have higher levels of engagement and retention. Ultimately, this connection impacts productivity and new employees reach production efficiency at a faster rate (Martin, 2018). The New Employee Recruitment and Development (NERD) Program prepares employees for success by providing the best tools, knowledge, and resources to ensure a successful transition from school to work. NERDs engage in a facilitated transition from school to work by engaging in various activities that includes training, as well as receiving 1:1 life coaching. Additionally, NERDs have direct access to Senior Leaders that will empower them to become the creators and innovators of tomorrow. The primary audience for this research is stakeholders impacted by employee engagement and retention. These stakeholders include any leaders with an interest in retaining their best employees and having them engage in effective work. This problem of practice study centers on the premise that if the NERD program demonstrates that longer onboarding periods are more impactful on engagement and retention, it can influence the ability to recruit, develop, and retain top talent. Other organizations can adopt this model adjusting to their organizational competencies and ensure employees create connectedness with their teams and job and bring their best selves to work. This mixed methods study examined extending onboarding and its effects on engagement and retention. Quantitative findings demonstrate engagement was slightly lower for NERDs. Additionally, retention showed a statistically significant relationship between extending onboarding and retention. Qualitative data revealed engagement and retention themes from the NERDs point of view. These themes centered around the facilitation of learning and building community.

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Onboarding. Engagement. Turnover. Employee turnover. Retention. Employee retention. Employee onboarding. Organizational development. Employee engagement. Talent retention. Talent management. War on talent. Extending onboarding. Organizational change.
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