An effective employee onboarding program can help you recruit and retain top talent for the long term. An ineffective one will suck your talent pipeline dry, force your new employees to embrace a revolving door policy, and make it virtually impossible for your team to thrive. So, how do you know when your onboarding program needs help? Here are some common signs of an employee onboarding process in distress.

1) Your new hires do not stay put.

According to SHRM’s “Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success”, employees who feel welcomed and take part in a well-structured onboarding process are 69 percent more likely to stay with a company. If your new hires are mysteriously disappearing from your organization within a few months of their hire date, your onboarding likely leaves something to be desired.

2) You assume the new guy can get up to speed within a week.

ThriveTRM’s “Why Effective Employee Onboarding is Critical to Success” notes: “Though your instinct may be to get new hires to jump right into major projects, it is important to invest the appropriate time in training them for success. Superior training practices result in superior employees.”

Onboarding is a gradual process, which can take up to a year, depending on the nature of your business. Rushing through essential training and failing to take steps to gradually immerse the new hire into your company culture is basically like throwing a non-swimmer into a deep pool and expecting Olympic-caliber swimming. If you are lucky, the new hire will swim. However, do you really want to depend on luck?

3) You have no formal feedback process in place.

Checking in periodically with a new hire is an essential part of an effective onboarding process. There should be both informal and formal check-ins, in which both you and the new hire can provide feedback about the way things are going in his or her first weeks and months.

Top talent must be accorded due respect, and ensuring that your new employee’s voice is heard is one main way to demonstrate that respect. Similarly, setting your new hire up for success by providing the appropriate feedback at reasonable intervals also shows respect and, in turn, engenders respect for your organization and management personnel in your new employee.

4) Your new employees evidence a lack of engagement.

According to’s “New Hire Onboarding as a Driver of Employee Engagement”, organizations who invest time and money into effective onboarding processes reap large rewards in terms of employee engagement. Reporting on a 2014 Talent Acquisition Study, the article observes that 54 percent of organizations making such an investment saw measurable increases in employee engagement.

If you find that the luster has worn off for your new hire before his or her first anniversary with your company, it is fairly safe to say that your onboarding process is lacking in some area.

5) Your onboarding process is one-size-fits-all.

While it is true that some aspects of employee onboarding are the same regardless of the position the new hire will take, to distill onboarding completely down to a rigid set of processes that do not take into account the actual people involved is both foolhardy and largely meaningless.

Much of your onboarding can be automated with modern technologies. However, even within automated systems there can be a level of personalization involved. The more personal the onboarding experience is, the more engaged and welcomed the new hire will feel.

The Bottom Line

Effective employee onboarding prevents talent management problems such as high turnover rates, a lack of employee engagement, and communication problems organization-wide. It protects your company culture and fosters a spirit of collaboration that drives business growth.

ThriveTRM’s talent management solution includes onboarding automation which supports an effective onboarding process for your firm. To see this robust talent management solution in action, schedule a demo today and bolster your employee onboarding efforts to best effect