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Anna Schosser19.10.202316 min read

7 Reasons Why Effective Onboarding Training Is Important 

7 Reasons Why Effective Onboarding Training Is Important 

Employee onboarding is more than just a task on a management's to-do list and a few days of orientation. Employee onboarding is an ongoing process that helps your organization develop new hires to become key assets within the organization who are committed to the company's success.

31% of new employees leave their jobs in the first 90 days at a new company due to poor onboarding, and 38% of employees stated that their managers did not play a major role in their onboarding experience or provided sufficient support.

Moreover, 76% of professionals believe that organizations are underutilizing onboarding programs.

These statistics are disappointing, considering the amount of time, money, and resources that companies invest in sourcing, interviewing, and training their new hires. Therefore, having comprehensive onboarding programs where managers play a critical role in supporting the training onboarding process will be the first step in retaining top talent, and witnessing better outcomes in both the short term and long term. 


What's in this post:


What is onboarding training?

There is a fine line that goes between onboarding and training. So what does it mean when the two are combined?

Onboarding is the process of introducing new hires to a company's culture, values, facilities, and people. The process usually involves activities that new employees participate in to help them acclimate to their new positions, and understand their roles and employer's expectations.

The onboarding process can typically last up to 12 months. During this time, new hires will receive the training, knowledge, and resources needed to help them succeed in their new position. Doing so helps managers foster high employee engagement, increase job satisfaction, and increase retention rates.

On the other hand, training is the process of management providing continuous education to new hires. A new employee does not experience training only once. It is a continuous program that goes on long after a new hire begins their job. Training helps to keep new hires updated on the emerging trends and skills of their industry.

New hires take part in training programs that show them the inner workings of the company and their role and begin the process of developing new skills and capabilities that help them succeed at their tasks and achieve their goals.

But when it comes to onboarding training, think of it as the two processes combined to create a powerful elixir. As you onboard a new team member, you are simultaneously training them to perform their tasks to meet the expectations of their manager and organization effectively, and continuously improve their performance.


Why is onboarding training important?

Statistics have revealed that 69% of new hires are likely to stay with a company for at least three years if they had a great onboarding experience.

Onboarding training is important for numerous reasons. Not only does it allow new employees to become well-integrated into their team right from the start, but it also helps boost the efficiency of your employee onboarding process.

Onboarding is an opportunity for companies to communicate their expectations to new hires and share what they have to offer in return. This communication can lead to companies experiencing lower turnover rates and higher levels of engagement.

What company wouldn't want new hires to quickly become well-versed in their role and more independent in their tasks? Exactly.

Here are a few more reasons why onboarding training is vital for the healthy development of your new hires into top-performing employees.

Decreases turnover rates 

Having low turnover rates is what all companies strive to achieve because having loyal, and committed employees means that you are doing something right. There has to be a reason why new hires are motivated to stay and contribute to your organization's success.

That reason might just lie in the effectiveness of your employee onboarding program that offers the right training to keep them equipped and engaged in their work and responsibilities.

Onboarding training shows new hires exactly how they should perform their tasks and allows them the space to raise questions or concerns regarding any aspect of their responsibilities. It is always best to let new hires ask their questions from the get-go and clear up any potential misunderstandings that may arise. Doing this will also help new hires feel more comfortable speaking up and make them feel like an integral and valued part of the organization.

Onboarding training can also involve on-the-job training which automatically puts new employees into a collaborative learning experience with other team members that will help build on employee satisfaction and improve employee experience.

Therefore, never leave new hires in the dark without giving them the guidance, training, and knowledge required to perform well in their role and understand their manager's expectations. The absence of this is a leading reason for potential employee turnover.

Boosts employee engagement 

Statistics from LinkedIn have revealed that engaged employees are 88% less likely to leave the company.

An increased level of employee engagement is a result of good onboarding experiences. This is because onboarding training enables new employees to cultivate supportive and close relationships with management and their coworkers.

Throughout the training process, engagement levels are heightened as new hires learn more about their role in the company and the facilities and resources that will help them perform their tasks easier and more efficiently.

For example, when new hires undergo training, whether it is on-the-job training or an off-the-job training method, companies will benefit from the speed at which new hires learn new skills efficiently, and become well integrated into the company's work dynamic. 

This gives companies the opportunity to prove that they care for and invest in their employee's professional development by continuously empowering them with new skills, capabilities, and knowledge. It shows that your company likes to see new hires perform well, which boosts morale and creates a more engaging work environment.

Improves employee retention 

Employee training, especially for new hires is an important foundation to establish and keep running.

Research conducted by Brandon Hall Group confirms that organizations that have a strong onboarding training process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

Another report shared that 51% of employees agree that they would go "above and beyond" for their organization if they had a good onboarding training experience. A poor onboarding training experience can leave employees feeling confused and dejected.

50% of new employees already have plans to quit their jobs, and that number is skyrocketing to 80% of new hires feeling that they were undertrained in their onboarding process. With that being said, having an effective onboarding program builds a stable foundation for new hires to understand the company's goals, and company policies, and attend introductory meetings that foster comfort and confidence in each new employee.

New hires rely on strong onboarding processes to increase their competency and chances of professional growth with your company. Thus, when organizations are able to offer this, it will increase their chances of retaining new employees and nurturing their talents, not to mention how much more productive and insightful each performance review will become when a new employee progresses fast and efficiently in their role. 

Strengthens company culture 

79% of new employees agree that onboarding programs have helped them integrate and understand the company culture well.

Think of having a strong, and harmonious corporate culture like having a good brick foundation for your house. Therefore, having a weak foundation can cause the house to crumble after just a few turbulences.

In this case, by not having a strong corporate culture, both new hires and employees are more prone to feeling anxious, and easily stressed in the workplace which can cause their performance to dip and eventually lead to turnover.

When a company's social and environmental purpose is treated as a priority rather than an afterthought, it generates a positive and constructive feedback loop in which new hires and employees internalize your company's culture and values. This encourages new hires to act in ways that will reinforce and promote your corporate culture by showing their commitment and loyalty to achieving organizational objectives.

Onboarding training prevents this scenario from happening by allowing new employees to understand the company's mission, vision, and values. By having a better understanding and insight into their team's dynamic and the goals that everyone is working to achieve, they will feel more motivated and reassured knowing that leadership is genuinely interested in their development and growth.

One way to help new hires quickly become part of your culture and strengthen it is to partner with an employee who personifies the organization's culture. This will initiate proactive dialogues and interactions that build bridges between new employees and management whilst providing new hires with the valuable support they need - whether it be through mentoring, coaching, or having a confidant who can guide them through their onboarding journey.

Attracts top talent 

Moving on to the next big reason why companies should have effective onboarding training - attract top talents. Emphasis on the "s" at the end of talents.

Top candidates are top performers for many reasons, with one reason being that they value their professional development and growth. Therefore, having a good onboarding training program will show potential candidates that your company cultivates a growth mindset and invests in the continuous development of each employee, including new hires.

When candidates know that your organization is ready to provide them with high-quality training right from the get-go, they will be more encouraged to apply. Top talents want to know that they will be acclimated to their new work.

Also don't forget that your welcome package to new hires (including the training!) is a strong reflection of how you take care of your employees, your culture, and your company's image. Having an effective onboarding training process helps your company to attract top talent, whilst also building a powerful reputation for investing well in their employees.

Reduces management stress 

We can all understand the stress that managers go through when it is time to onboard a new employee. First comes the stress of preparation for onboarding training, and then comes the worry of not investing enough time to welcome new hires.

Onboarding training is supposed to make the lives of management so much easier, but only if it is done the right way, hence why the efficiency of the process is important.

This is what an effective onboarding training entails:

  • Training rituals have been established early on.

  • A clear and concise onboarding training checklist of all the skills, knowledge, and abilities each new hire must know for their new work.

  • There is a clear structure during the initial stages of the training to provide support to new employees.

  • Check-ins are scheduled for feedback.

  • More importantly - the process is automated.

Managers and HR departments already know that running a fully-fledged, welcoming onboarding training initiative requires a lot of manual effort. Therefore, having an automated, effective onboarding training program will provide management with a much easier and more efficient process.

On another point, onboarding training reduces management stress by training new hires to learn how to be productive with their tasks from day one. This saves managers heaps of time from correcting multiple, recurring mistakes due to a lack of onboarding training, and helps managers build a more trusting and positive relationship with new hires when managers feel confident that they are able to perform well without being constantly lost and confused with their tasks.

And of course, managers will build more productive team players when everyone has been trained to perform their job well and produce high-quality work.

Reduces costs 

Onboarding training is, without a doubt, one of the best ways a company can save costs.

A study from SHRM estimated that the cost for onboarding and training new employees is around $7,500 - $28,000 in hard costs. The majority of the costs that go towards onboarding training lie in the soft costs such as loss of productivity due to repetitive errors and mistakes, and constant skill gaps within new hires that can plummet your efficiency rate at work.

Therefore, having effective onboarding training will ensure that new hires are trained to perform their job well, and can clear any doubts and concerns right from the start to avoid recurring errors in the future.

Onboarding training techniques such as on-the-job training reduce costs significantly since all training takes place within the company even with in-office coaching or mentorship. Onboarding training also saves time as much as it saves costs. Companies get to experience efficiency and growth right from day 1 by immersing new hires in training strategies that allow them to complete their tasks at the same time.

Believe it or not, efficiency does not always mean more costs. It means that you are reducing costs by getting rid of unnecessary processes and preventing future challenges by tackling them now.


Here is a quick comparison and summary of the impact of onboarding training:

Effective onboarding training program  Ineffective or no onboarding training program
69% of employees are motivated to stay for at least 3 years.  Companies experience 20% of employee turnover within the first 6 weeks. 
58% of employees are motivated to stay for more than 3 years. Replacing a lost executive costs an organization up to 213% of their annual salary. 
New hires who have been successfully onboarded are 50% more productive and 54% more engaged in their work.  Organizations lose 25% of their new employees within the first year. 


How does onboarding training benefit employee performance?

The struggles that HR departments experience when it comes to manually handling all the new hire paperwork can be avoided.

Currently, HR professionals who manually organize and collect onboarding information have experienced 37% heavier workloads, 35% higher stress, 28% have stated that they misplace or lose important paperwork, and 22% reported a delay in onboarding start dates.

Here are a few ways that AI can help streamline the onboarding process:

  • Provides faster resolutions and customized training options for new employees that directly align with their strengths and areas for improvement.

  • Reduces the number of customer inquiries.

  • Saves time for managers to dedicate to other important tasks.

  • Creates more opportunities for forming strong human connections with other team members.

  • Takes charge of training completions and tracks progress.

Read more to find out how AI helps companies to improve their employee's development here


Four employees sitting around desk into looking laptop screen and smiling

Learn how you can expedite your onboarding process with AI, begin to nurture your top talents effectively and attract new hires who are guaranteed to be committed to your company's success.


How can AI streamline the onboarding training process?

The struggles that HR departments experience when it comes to manually handling all the new hire paperwork can be avoided.

Currently, HR professionals who manually organize and collect onboarding information have experienced 37% heavier workloads, 35% higher stress, 28% have stated that they misplace or lose important paperwork, and 22% reported a delay in onboarding start dates.

Here are a few ways that AI can help streamline the onboarding process:

  • Provides faster resolutions and customized training options for new employees that directly align with their strengths and areas for improvement.

  • Reduces the number of customer inquiries.

  • Saves time for managers to dedicate to other important tasks.

  • Creates more opportunities for forming strong human connections with other team members.

  • Takes charge of training completions and tracks progress.


Generative AI in the onboarding process

According to IBM research, "Generative AI refers to deep-learning models that can generate high-quality text, images, and other content based on the data they were trained on."

Within the onboarding process, generative AI helps in personalizing employee experiences, more specifically personalized onboarding plans and career roadmaps for new hires when starting at a new company.

This level of customization is tailored to meet the needs, preferences, and goals of each new employee which will help to boost engagement and retention rates. This is because generative AI within the onboarding process allows you to invest an equal amount of time into every single employee.

Generative AI can also provide more valuable insights into the onboarding process by identifying skill gaps and monitoring the training progress of new hires. HR leaders and managers can utilize these insights to make more informed decisions about the onboarding process, individualized to each new hire as well as the employee life cycle.

So imagine creating onboarding training journeys for new hires that include personalized interactions as well as online and adaptable learning environments. It is time for companies to get rid of the one-size-fits-all onboarding approach because not every hire you welcome to the team is the same, and if you want to nurture their talent successfully, be sure to keep your onboarding programs personalized and address the diverse learning styles of each individual.


When it comes to anything employee or leadership training related, Retorio's AI Coaching platform knows what it's doing.

Retorio's AI Coaching platform provides companies with high-quality AI-powered training that is customized to meet the unique needs and learning preferences of each individual. 

Not only does it deliver tailored, real-time feedback on current performance, but it also allows everyone to train in a psychologically safe space that is accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world. 

Dashboard of Retorio's leadership training platform

Retorio's leadership training platform harnesses the power of AI to develop transformative leaders and unleash their true potential. 


Retorio also immerses individuals in AI video role-play training that allows leaders to experience several real-life scenarios that they may come face-to-face with in their everyday work lives. This is a hands-on approach that trains every leader to respond and handle any given challenge professionally and efficiently.  

Try it out yourself and see how you turn your managers and leaders into even better performers than they were yesterday. 

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The role of Human Resources (HR) in the onboarding process is to oversee and facilitate the operation of onboarding or training, as well as the preparation of important documents required for compensation, benefits, wellness, policies, and any documents or preparation essential for welcoming a new hire. HR also takes part in supporting management on orientation programs for new employees and supports the planning and execution of the onboarding process.

The best way to onboard new employees is to first be welcoming. New hires may already be nervous about starting at a new place, so it is vital for companies to greet them warmly and dedicate enough time to show them around the workplace, introduce them to their team and HR department, and of course their workspace. Don't forget to also set up a meeting with their respective manager and allow space for questions or concerns. Let them know you care and are willing to make their onboarding experience a positive one.


Anna Schosser

I create engaging and informative content about the importance of artificial intelligence and video-based AI technology for recruitment. I discuss cutting-edge AI developments and new technology with storytelling skills.