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Your team is growing. And that’s a great feeling from a hiring manager or business owner’s perspective. You’ve got more hands-on-deck than ever before, new skill sets and ideas are being brought to the table. And you’re excited to welcome new talent to the company.

But you’ve got one question. How, do you keep your new hires on-board and engaged?

Once you’ve recruited and hired a new employee, it’s easy to feel like the job’s done.

But after you’ve hired a good employee — you need to take steps to retain and engage them! After all, employee turnover can be expensive. In fact, SHRM estimates that U.S. employers will pay $600 billion in employee turnover costs in 2018 alone.

Looking for ways to improve your business’ retention strategy?

Read on for tips and tricks to refine your onboarding process, make new hires happier, and make your team unstoppable.

1. Stay Connected

Your ideal candidate has accepted the job offer, and you’re both anxiously awaiting their official start date. But don’t wait until they step into the office for their first day to get back in contact.

Managers should be punctual and transparent about the onboarding process in order to keep their new hired engaged, empowered, and ready to take on their first day on the job!

Create an e-book or email template to send to new hires beforehand, including the following info:

  • Office address and contact information
  • Reporting manager bio and contact details
  • HR paperwork
  • Start date
  • When to arrive and what to expect on your first day
  • What to wear if a dress code is in effect
  • Fun facts and information about company culture and history

2. Give Employees a Welcome to Remember

Starting a new job is nerve-wracking for anyone. No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce. Shake new hire nerves by making a point to introduce your new hire to as many other employees as you can, preferably in a casual setting.

Go out for a team lunch, take them out to a happy hour. Or plan a casual team bonding activity! Your first impression will set the tone for your new employee’s happiness and success at the company. Make it a memorable and positive one.

Here are some key points to remember when creating a process to onboard your employees:

  • Brief them on your company’s mission, cultural values, and policies
  • Provide a positive perspective
  • Offer help and 1:1 training
  • Set expectations
  • Be transparent about how performance will be measured

3. Make Way for Growth

Personal Growth

You never want your employees to feel “stuck” in their position. Especially if they’re an exceptionally valuable asset to your team. If you want your staff to continue to feel fulfilled and motivated at work, you need to set a path for promotion. And share it with your new hires as well as longtime employees.

Start by refining job descriptions for each position in the company with detailed expectations and requirements. From there, map out the steps for how employees can transition from one job to the next level up.

Share this plan with new hires so that it’s clear what their job expectations are from the start, and what they need to do in order to grow within the company. Having this information readily accessible can help keep employees motivated and focused at work!

But don’t stop there. Use these creative strategies to encourage employees to grow:

  • Ask about Their Interests — While your new hire has a full set of responsibilities specific to their job title, those tasks are probably not their only interest in life (at least we hope not). Make it a point to check in with your employees regularly to see where their interests lie, and if there are any other areas of the company they’d like to learn more about! This can help boost their professional development and give you a jump start on training for additional skills.
  • Start a Mentorship Program — If your new hire is interested in learning a new skill, pair them up with the company expert and encourage them to tap into their brilliant mind!
  • Set Goals — Standardize a weekly 1:1 meeting with your staff and their relative managers, and use this time to check on progress, set goals, and connect on project updates.
  • Invest in Education — Offer to sponsor related courses and programs for employees to build their professional skills.
  • Give Feedback — Be transparent with employee performance by giving regular feedback throughout their employment. This can help them get a better idea of where they stand, what they’re excelling at, and areas they can improve on.

4. Ask for Feedback

Giving feedback is great — and should be included in your HR processes — but getting feedback is just as essential to long term success.

After you’ve completed the onboarding process with a new employee, send them a survey or ask them directly about how effective the process was, what it was lacking, and where they still have questions. Including this step in your onboarding process can evolve into new ideas which can help improve your process for future new hires.

In addition, checking in after onboarding can give you a better idea of how the new hire is feeling about the transition and if there are any uncertainties or hesitations you need to address!

5. More Feedback

Feedback is important — can you tell? The hiring and onboarding process can be overwhelming for new employees. From learning new company policies to adjusting to their new position, it can feel like information is seeping out of their pores. What’s even more stressful — some managers dump all of this information on their new hires and never end up checking in with them again!

This lack of strategy can lead to confusion and staff feeling undervalued and disconnected. Managers should make sure to continue the conversation with new hires even after the onboarding process is over.

Give new employees the resources they need to get their questions answered, brush up on missed information, and make work-life more enjoyable.

6. Make Work Fun

Happy Hour

Starting a new job is stressful. There are learning curves to catch up to, people to meet, policies to interpret, and a world of anticipation awaiting your new hires. So, how do you combat these anxieties, set the tone for success, and make your workplace a great place to be?

One word: FUN. Making an effort to make your office environment enjoyable has many benefits to your company and employees’ success. From maintaining excellent attendance to reducing burnout and boosting company morale, there’s really no argument against having some fun in the workplace (as long as you do it strategically).

Here are a few ways to make work more fun for new hires, long time employees, and even yourself:

  • It’s 5 ‘O’Clock Somewhere — encourage your staff to get to know each other and unwind by sponsoring company-wide and team-specific happy hours.
  • Pick a Theme — Everyone loves an excuse to take a little break from their desk to enjoy some food, beverages, and themed decor. Host holiday-themed potlucks and parties when you can!
  • Embrace Competition — Put together a voluntary intramural team like dodgeball or soccer.
  • Get Out of the Office — Being cooped up in a stale office environment gets old quickly. Boost employee morale by sponsoring out of office activities like a trivia night, workout class, or visit a local attraction.
  • Laugh It Off — It’s easy to take yourself too seriously during office hours. Make laughing a priority by starting a “Funny Quote of the Day” board or a meme channel on your internal messaging platform.


Onboarding new employees is a learning process for everyone. You might find yourself having to adjust your process and strategies along the way — but don’t be afraid of change.

Encourage managers to make improvements as needed — and ultimately, build your process around feedback and how you would want to be treated as a new hire.

Written By
Emily Banks is a Bay Area Native who got tired of SF’s cold beaches and decided to move to San Diego. She is currently the editor for the HR section of 365 Business. When she is not typing away on her office keyboard, she can be found eating street tacos in the sunshine.

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