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Are You Using Onboarding To Retain Your Top Talent?

Are you worried about keeping your top talent?

Today’s talent landscape is competitive…but you already knew that. In fact, if you’re like most managers, HR professionals, or company leaders, keeping your best performers in today’s marketplace is something that keeps you up at night.

But what if I told you that if your worries about retaining your top talent began once you heard rumblings that they’re dissatisfied, you’re already too late?

If you’re worried about how to keep your best people, that means you’re not secure in their happiness and relationships at work. Strong team and interpersonal relationships are one of the most powerful indicators of whether a high performer will stay in their position, and those relationships and dynamics can’t be suddenly forced into being when that employee has one foot out the door.

Strong team relationships are best built deliberately, over time. How do you do that?

Simple - you start during onboarding.

Onboarding is a missed opportunity

Most workplaces view onboarding as a simple process of getting someone up to speed on the policies and practices of their new position. They might throw in some background on the company or organization, but usually the “welcome” in onboarding consists of “here’s your keycard, there’s the bathroom.”

This approach, however, is a massive waste of opportunity.

Onboarding isn’t just a chance to bring the new hire up to speed on passwords and best practices. It’s a chance to develop strong relationships within the team and make the new hire feel valued and secure in their position. A chance to make them see and feel how they can contribute to the company culture.

To build a workplace where you don’t stay up worrying about retention, you want to foster relationships centered around trust, a shared team identity, and curiosity about each other. Part of successful onboarding is creating the opportunity for these relationships to develop. Again, you can’t force trust-based, positive team relationships into being…but you can create an onboarding process where fun, teamwork, and mutual curiosity is built into the process.

Games as part of a successful onboarding process

One of the ways you can foster engagement and relationships from the get-go is through games. Games are great onboarding activities because they can encourage people to share stories, create collective memories that build a shared team identity, and make it easier for new hires to interact with existing colleagues.

It’s much easier for a new employee to ask a teammate for help with something if they were laughing together about a shared challenge the day before. And when it comes to keeping your top talent, beginning their tenure with positive, relationship-building experiences is much more effective than trying to backfill a sense of camaraderie when they have one foot out the door.


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