The Engagement Experience: Unleashing Employee Retention

Posted in Talent & Onboarding

Is it really possible to solve your attrition problems with better onboarding?

When we say ‘better onboarding’ we’re talking about onboarding that’s engaging, exciting, informative, rooted in human connection and sets your new hire up for success.

You see, experience-driven onboarding is like a gold-flake-topped welcome cupcake to traditional onboarding’s month-old, stiff and stale banana bread.

But perhaps you enjoy your banana bread stiff because you like doing the same thing you’ve always done.

Perhaps you just don’t understand why gold-flaked employee experiences are the new benchmark.

Perhaps you were just the annoying kid who kept incessantly asking ‘why’ until you were told a defeated “just because, that’s why”.

Either way, we’re dishing up four intelligent, future-focused, business-profit-affecting reasons why employees are demanding engagement onboarding.

#1 The tech industry is a candidate-driven market

If you work in the technology sector, this isn’t news to you.

While your employer branding has worked wonders at sparking a desire to work for your company, there’s a skill and talent shortage for the jobs you require.

While more students than ever are graduating from university, but employers are still reporting a skills gap in areas like coding, for example, because graduates aren’t considered ‘job-ready’ and only a small number of the existing workforce has the technical proficiency required to perform certain jobs well.

Further, with the fast pace of technology disrupting the way we do work and where, new roles are being created each year – many of the roles we see out in the market today didn’t exist 5+ years ago. But of course, it takes time for people to skill up and gain the experience needed to perform those roles to a high standard.

Then there’s the added problem that every other tech company seems to be offering the same employee perks that bolstered your employer branding in the first place.

We all know that high performing tech employees have the luxury of choosing their employer, and have greater control over their role and their salary. So how on earth are you meant to attract and hold onto your top talent?

How does experience-driven onboarding help with recruitment?

Given the recruitment market conditions, how do you gain the edge for attracting the talent that will take your organization to the next level?

Employee engagement is one of the key differentiating factors on the talent acquisition market today, and it all starts with onboarding.

An engaging onboarding experience helps sell your employer brand, your team culture, and your opportunity, so you can impress your talent and cultivate their loyalty to your brand from contract signing.

#2 Employees are disengaged

According to AON Hewitt, thirty-five per cent of the global workforce is considered disengaged. Or, if you prefer Gallup’s heart-stopping State of the Global Workplace statistics, it’s more than two-thirds of the workforce.

Disengaged employees are psychologically unattached from their employer and role. They show up, but they aren’t productive or enthusiastic about the work. If you’re stuck with actively disengaged employees, these folks aren’t just unhappy, they’re resentful and so set out to undermine the organisation.

AON suggests the top engagement drivers globally are

  • Enabling infrastructure
  • Employer values proposition / brand
  • Reward and recognition
  • Career opportunities
  • Learning and development

How does experience-driven onboarding help stem the tide of employee disengagement?

Aberdeen Group says 86% of new hires decide how long they will stay with a company in the first six months.

Further, some studies report that up to 20% of new hires will leave within 45 days. They’re the brave ones.

A poor onboarding experience plants the seed for disengagement and dissatisfaction amongst those who remain. Onboarding is your first chance to connect with employees and integrate them into the organisation; to align them with your values and culture, and help them find purpose.

#3 Techy-savvy millennials demand a better experience

Millennials are considered the “Me Me Me” generation, and also happen to be the least engaged in the workforce. But truth is, they’ve grown up with technology and living online – they’re digital natives who prefer to function efficiently in partnership with their favourite tech.

If you consider the seamless experience of consumers today, you can see why they expect personalisation from their employers.

By the way, it’s not just the Millennials. Don’t expect Gen Ys and Zs to just hang around at an organization with slow or inadequate systems, and processes. Nor can you expect them to thrive under a manager who doesn’t emphasize feedback, communication, team culture, and personal development.

Another issue many employers have with Millennials has to do with the fact that because of the employment and economic conditions they grew up under, they are always looking for the next great thing.

Indeed, in GradConnection‘s recent survey, 62.5% of graduate responders indicated they would renege on an offer if a better one came along.

The Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE) 2018 Candidate Survey identified that 17% of 2018 graduates reneged on an offer they had accepted.

So, what are the main reasons graduates join an employer?

  • The quality of the training and development program (28%)
  • The opportunity for career progression (25%)
  • The quality of their work (19%)
  • The company culture (16%)

(source: AAGE Candidate Survey)

So, the sooner you’re able to connect younger employees with your employer brand, EVP, mission, development and progression ethos, and their social fit, and purpose in the role, the sooner you can nurture brand loyalty. And, they will be loyal.

Which means an engaging, experience-driven pre-boarding program could be the one thing that determines how well you are able to retain first choice millennial talent. Considering they’re set to be 50% of the workforce this year, and potentially, 75% of the workforce by 2030 (according to U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics) – Employers need to step it up.

How does experience-driven onboarding help you connect with Millennials?

Simply put, experience-driven onboarding works because it focuses on the individual’s experience. It –

  • enhances the quality and quantity of communication via automation,
  • supports personalisation so communication channels can be tailored to individual needs and preferences,
  • streamlines processes for a frictionless and enjoyable onboarding experience (this is the part where you ditch the pesky paperwork and Day 1 Operation Manuals), and
  • invests in the mapping and creation of an intentional experience-designed journey.

Of course, it’d be remiss of us to not talk about Enboarder’s tech, which enables you to wow new hires with an efficient, user friendly, web-based, mobile-first, customisable platform that exceeds even the digital native’s expectations.

But the tech is just a tool for engaging with your hires on a platform and medium that they are already actively using. You can expect the technology approach to evolve as new forms of communication and platforms emerge.

#4 How do you motivate your people?

One of the more commonly used theories of motivation is Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory. Hertzberg identified that;

  • Motivating factors (for example, progression, recognition, purpose in our work) lead to satisfaction and can motivate employees to work harder, whereas
  • Hygiene factors (for example, salary, culture, office environment and systems like onboarding) can lead to dissatisfaction and demotivate employees if they’re absent.

Employees are motivated by a culture where feedback is valued, open communication, reward and recognition, workplace values-alignment, and purposeful and meaningful work that supports the organisation’s mission.

However, it’s equally important you understand the intrinsic motivators of each employee – there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.

Some of us are motivated by money and will work longer hours to get it. Others are motivated by an integrated work-life where flexibility, and trust, and opportunity are more valued. To succeed, managers must make time to understand these individual drivers.

“Businesses that orient performance management systems around basic human needs for psychological engagement – such as positive workplace relationships, frequent recognition, ongoing performance conversations and opportunities for personal development – get the most out of their employees.”

Gallup, 2017, State of the Global Workplace

How does experience-driven onboarding help motivate your people?

Experience-driven onboarding allows you to play to the individual’s strengths. There’s an emphasis on increased communication, so managers can unearth new hire skills, motivators, and strengths from the beginning, and then provide them with a stimulating work environment that meets expectations and helps them achieve their personal goals.

Experience-driven onboarding is your golden ticket

Today’s workforce is a multi-generational mix, so it’s important you can personalise the onboarding experience and tailor your communication to meet the needs of individual employees and their team.

Further, with economic growth and an increase in new businesses entering the marketplace, your organisation needs employees who are strong brand advocates, committed to your organisation, and thriving in their roles for optimum productivity and engagement.

Experience-driven onboarding, with the right technology, is your golden ticket.

We’re convinced! But if you still need some ammunition to help you win your talent war, check out our business case for onboarding tech.

Become an Enboarder insider!