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How Retail Companies Can Crush It Through Their Onboarding

4min read

Whether you’re hiring a casual, part-time, or full-time worker, you need to be able to have a strong onboarding process. According to Octanner, it’s been found that new employees who go through a well-planned onboarding program are 69% more likely to stay with the company for three years.

On the other hand, retailers that don’t have a strong onboarding program will find new employees dropping out more often than not, with some reports of up to half of senior workers being super prone to leaving within 18 months, and half of all hourly workers leaving within 120 days.

In order to ensure that you have a strong retail onboarding process for your company here are three very simple rules to follow: 

Keep it clear

In the retail industry where many positions are designed to be either be part-time or seasonal, it’s no surprise that there is such a high turnover rate with employees. Which is why it can be easy to dismiss the importance of having a proper onboarding procedure.

Although, when you consider the fact that the average cost of finding and hiring a new employee costs you $11,000 then you might not be so quick to deny the importance of onboarding.

The biggest mistake many retailers make with their own onboarding procedures is poor communication. Oftentimes, you’ll find employees being given a stack of papers, a quick tour of the workplace, and then left to their own devices. Not only does this leave a new employee confused about what to do, but it’s also actively costing your business money.

Your new hire should be able to put to work from the first minute they clock in.

Achieve that by making sure your onboarding instructions are as clear as possible. Everything from the responsibilities of their role to the overall vision of the company. Create a checklist or guideline where the new hire and manager can easily follow.

This way you ensure that less mistakes are made, and that all your employees are ready to work.


Keep it digital

One of the most challenging aspects of hiring new employees, especially during the holiday seasons, is all the administrative work involved. Traditionally speaking, the majority of that work deals mainly with keeping track of all the paperwork associated with that new hire.

Depending on where you’re based, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to gather all the necessary paperwork from a new hire. On top of that, it’s difficult to be able to keep track of every single employee, let alone new hires, if you have to sort through a mountain of folders and filing cabinets.

Avoid that problem entirely by updating your onboarding process to the 21st century and going digital.

By creating a digital onboarding process not only will it be easier and faster for new hires to be brought up to speed, but it also significantly reduces the workload of your human resources department. Not only will you be saving money on costs such as paper and postage, but you’ll also be able to instantly send and receive essential paperwork and notices.

A digital platform also allows you opportunities to personalise your onboarding process. Whether that’s utilising video to help new hires learn faster, or making sure that all employees are being given a great first impression of the company as soon as they sign up.


Keep updating

The best way to ensure that your successful onboarding process continues to be successful is to make sure that you never stop updating it. There will always be room for steps to be tweaked, or streamlined, or changed entirely.

It’s not necessary to overhaul your onboarding process every single time you have a new hire. In fact, that’s a deadly waste of time. You do want a system in place where you can review your existing onboarding at least once a year, ideally once every three or so months. Another benefit of having a digital onboarding process is that it’s very easy for you to review and implement any changes you make.

Always be on the lookout for new technology you can use to further streamline your onboarding process, as well as the content within the procedure itself.

One way to ensure that your onboarding procedures are always kept up to date is to regularly gather feedback from your employees. Find out what steps they enjoy, what they find confusing, and what areas you can improve. Don’t let it stagnate – that’s going to be incredibly damaging, believe that. 

While it might be easy to treat onboarding as a “set-and-forget” kind of exercise, it’s important to remember that the goal of onboarding is to save the company important time and resources.

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