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  • Writer's pictureSusan & Renée

What Being A Student Teaches About Retaining Employees

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Do you remember what it was like to be in school starting a new class with a new teacher? Whether it’s elementary, high school, or college you probably started most new classes wondering…

Will I be able to succeed?

Will I fit in?

Will I like this teacher?

Will the teacher like me?

You entered the class with a lot of unknowns. That uncertainty can be stressful.

But in the very first class you start collecting information to answer these questions. The teacher spends the first class giving you information to – hopefully – help you feel welcome, secure, and that you will find the class interesting and worthy of your time. You learn about the teaching methods that will be used, what assignments you will have and how you will be graded.

Your first impressions of the class influences how you show up to the next class meeting, if and how often you skip class, how much or how little you participate, and even where you choose to sit.

Most importantly, your initial experience will impact the attitude you bring to the class. If the teacher does things that create discomfort or confusion you will be less motivated to engage with the material, take part in class discussions, or put effort into your assignments.

What you experience as a new student is not all that different from what new employees experience on their first day of the job.

Just as a teacher spends the first class outlining how things will go, as a company leader you need to be deliberate in how you onboard new employees and introduce them to the organization.

Having a thoughtful and thorough onboarding process benefits both company owners and workers.

A good onboarding process is often spread out over time to give new hires time to process the information and ask questions that arise from their work. It may last from a few days to a year.

Onboarding includes a variety of components including:

  • An orientation to your values and the culture of your workplace

  • An introduction to the core principles and practices you want employees to keep top of mind as they work

  • A personal touch with the boss and other company leaders

  • A big picture view of the company and the importance of each position in the company’s success.

  • A review of the employee handbook and important policies and procedures

  • A clear understanding of job expectations throughout the onboarding process

  • A combination of mentoring and hands on training

By providing this information from the beginning you reduce the stress and uncertainty new hires bring to the job.

Upon completion of the onboarding process, employees understand:

-how they fit in the organization,

-the requirements of the job and what is expected of them,

-that it is psychologically safe to ask questions and collaborate with others,

-that they are welcome and valued.

A good onboarding process results in employees who are clear, confident, and ready to work.

To some of you, this may sound like a lot of extra work that you don’t have time to do.

In the scramble to find workers and keep up with demand, many small business owners feel they can’t afford to invest time or resources in an onboarding process. They reason that it’s more important to just get them started on the work.

Skipping this step, however, has a cost.

Studies correlate a quality onboarding process with increased employee engagement, improved job performance, and less turnover.

It also influences the attitude employees will bring to their work, the effort they will expend on job tasks, and the overall dedication they show to the company.

Does your onboarding process for new employees need some tweaking?

G2 Solutions can help! Contact us for a free consultation.

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