Why should a comprehensive Human Capital Management (HCM) strategy prioritize employee retention? Hiring and training new employees is expensive and takes time. Every day a position goes unfilled can leave critical work and client satisfaction at risk. When you're ready to learn about retaining talent, consider that it begins on day one of employment with a strong onboarding strategy. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has defined onboarding as a "systematic and comprehensive approach to integrating a new employee with a company and its culture, as well as getting the new employee the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team." Here's how putting the earliest days of the employer/employee relationship to work through a carefully crafted HCM strategy may help you improve employee retention in your own organization.
Clarify Company Goals and Values
Each company has a unique vision, culture, and set of strategic goals. Employees are better able to make meaningful contributions when they understand what these are. Having a clearly stated vision and mission statement is a good start. Further, many companies find that having senior executives and long-term employees meet with new hires to communicate the vision—and their passion for the company—helps new employees really internalize what that means. Strive to help employees understand how the vision, culture, and goals should influence their day-to-day contributions in a concrete way.
Establishing Clear Performance Expectations
During the onboarding process, companies can lay the foundation for success by establishing clear performance expectations. Does your HCM strategy and onboarding process focus on the measures you'll use to evaluate an employee for their regular reviews? Develop shared guidelines for each position and then spend time helping employees understand what those responsibilities are and why they're important to the company's mission and goals. Each employee should walk out of the onboarding process with a concrete understanding of what they need to do to succeed.
Help Foster Strong Relationships
It's also important to establish relationships during the onboarding process. Set aside time to help new hires forge connections throughout the company, whether it's getting to know the support staff or making a one-on-one connection with a company leader. Some companies extend this networking beyond the onboarding process by establishing formal mentor/mentee relationships that can help new hires become more successful at the business and provide an avenue for ongoing collaboration over time.
Use Technology to Streamline Logistics
One element of every company's onboarding process is the need to complete benefits and compensation-related forms. Spending a half-day reviewing information and signing documents isn't a good use of onboarding time. To help eliminate these hassles, you can invest in HR technology. An effective HR system can enable companies to automatically share information with new employees and collect signatures. Employees can then spend their time asking targeted questions and learning more about the deeper aspects of their jobs.
Employee retention can result from a carefully designed HCM strategy that helps companies establish long and successful relationships with new hires. Remember, investing in employee retention starts with the onboarding process. Use that time wisely by helping new employees understand the company culture and performance expectations, as well as foster relationships with their colleagues and supervisors.