It may only be a few weeks, but how you handle an employee’s first few days on the job can have ripple effects that last long throughout their tenure.

Positive onboarding experiences have been shown to improve engagement, increase retention and boost long-term productivity. Despite the clear benefits, many businesses still struggle to structure the employee introductory period sufficiently.

If you’re still on the fence about investing in onboarding, read on for a closer look at the numbers and how other businesses stack up to get a full picture of the advantages.

benefits beyond day one

A positive onboarding experience is important because it represents the first opportunity for the hiring organization to personally deliver on the career promise as communicated in its employer brand during the recruitment phase. From the perspective of the new employee, the onboarding experience directly reflects on the character of their new employer — how dedicated the organization is to their success, and how satisfying a career they are likely to have.

A great onboarding experience does more than just get a new hire up to speed. In fact, a great onboarding experience improves new-hire retention by 82 percent and increases productivity by 70 percent. In other words, not only does a positive onboarding experience mean that new hires will stick around longer, it also means they get more done.

A bad onboarding experience, on the other hand, results in new hires being twice as likely to look for other opportunities.

stand out from the competition

53% percent

best-in-class companies are 53 percent more likely than others to start the onboarding process before a new hire’s first day.

58% percent

fifty-eight percent of companies say their onboarding programs are mostly focused on paperwork and processes.

88% percent

eighty-eight percent of companies admit they don’t onboard well.

effective onboarding fosters employee engagement

These figures point to a need for employers to create stronger bonds between new hires and their organizations. An effective onboarding process can go a long way in transforming new employees into long-term, satisfied and engaged company ambassadors — and we’ll walk you through the process of building your own program in the next article in our onboarding series.