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On boarding staff should be more than just a welcome.

13th Jan 2015

On boarding, new hire, induction, orientation, whatever your organisation choose to call it is vital to retain employees. In fact a study by professional services firm PricewaterHouse Coopers (PWC) suggests that failure to retain talent costs British businesses around £42 billion per year.

Never more so than now in this tough economic climate, the need to grow and retain talent is moving to the top of the strategic agenda, and the retention of knowledge is now as vital to your business as other functions such as finance and marketing.


It can be tempting to close our eyes because of the implied cost of training, but the stats make for sobering reading. Aberdein Consulting in the US argues that those organisations who provide on boarding will retain 91% of their employees, compared with 30% of organisations who don’t. Despite this, only 37% of companies invest in formal on boarding programmes. With employees leaving within the first six weeks and then the first year it stands to reason if you are not being supported or developed then you aren’t going to stay.


It is in all our interests to ensure we nurture and retain employees whatever the size of our organisation. Whatever way you calculate it, losing staff is costly. The study also suggests that replacing a competent member of staff equates to approximately one year of that person’s salary, in addition to all the costs associated with lost skills and productivity, replacement and the training of a new person. Also to be considered is the new ideas, practices and ways of working new staff can bring, and the impact on staff morale and team culture turnover can bring.


With a push to reduce cost to drive better operational efficiencies and as a competitive strategy, the business case for creating on boarding IT programmes and skilled higher performing staff is never more valid than now. This is one area where you can win and add value to the bottom line.


Getting new employees up to speed and fast to a minimum standard of performance and competency is a practical solution that will drive tangible commercial results. This may include competency using IT system, tools, applying processes and procedures as part of their roles and ensuring they can function without day to day support.


So how can training help?


There is no one right answer but here are some things worth considering that will help:


Do Something Rather than Do Nothing It doesn’t matter whether you are a large organisation or a small one, do ensure you put some time into creating an experience for new joiners to make them feel welcome and supported. This doesn’t just apply when times are tough – make it a consistent item on your business agenda. For smaller organisations, skills are essential. In not doing so you can endanger ongoing success.


Plan For the Future On a practical level you need to get new employees up to speed and working to a minimum standard of performance using the technology or processes you have embedded. Also consider ongoing career development and related competency by putting together a training competency matrix. Don’t underestimate the impact this can have. Give your employees the big picture and a way forward.


Relevance A one size fits all approach suits no one. Learners have different ways of learning, styles of learning and bring different experiences and knowledge to the table. This all needs to be taken into account when creating an on boarding programme.


Super Users Have super users embedded in your organisation who can help top up or support continual day to day informal learning of your new recruits.


Appetite can help to solve this problem; getting the new hire learning experience right is one of the most important things we do.


Do you have an on boarding experience you’d like to share with us?

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