Why Onboarding is Key to Employee Satisfaction and Retention

3 minutes read
A great onboarding program can increase employee performance up to 11%. The driving force behind this increase? Employee satisfaction. 

An employees’ time with your company is cyclical - it begins with them submitting a job application and ends with a cake-filled send-off (or even a retirement) party. But the time between them hitting submit and them eating cake in the company cafeteria varies drastically. For some, it could be decades, while for others, it could be just a few months. While many factors go into shaping employment longevity, it is hard to argue that a critical component in shaping this experience comes down to getting off on the right foot. And in the world of HR, recruitment, and employment, getting off on the right foot really means one thing - proper onboarding.



At its core, a successful onboarding program is designed to set a new hire up for success in their current role. Setting someone up for success ranges from making sure they have the tactical toolbox to perform their job and the soft skills and psychological safety to feel comfortable in their role and at the office. At a high level, employees who start off on the right foot tend to experience the following:

  • 18 times more likely to feel highly committed to their organization

  • 30% more likely to feel highly integrated into their workplace culture

  • 30 times more likely to have high job satisfaction

For the company facilitating excellent onboarding, these benefits translate into the following:

  • 38% more employees who were confident in their ability to do their job

  • 69% more employees who rated their organization as a strong performer

  • 33% more employees who felt engaged




These hard and soft skills work together to benefit two sides of the same coin: increased employee retention and satisfaction. Although satisfaction and retention are conceptually different, the two go hand-in-hand. In fact, when you break it down, employee satisfaction is a critical predecessor of retention. And when you break it down even further, onboarding is a crucial predecessor of employee satisfaction. Not to mention that these three factors work together to contribute to a plethora of additional benefits such as employee engagement or the emotional commitment an employee has towards an organization and its goals. Employee satisfaction is in the middle of onboarding and retention, but where exactly does it originate? While it may differ from employee-to-employee, most of the time it comes down to a deeply rooted understanding of their role and how it contributes to the bigger picture. from And where/how do new employees connect to an organization's bigger picture? From a well-crafted, personalized, and structured onboarding experience.

When combined with higher engagement rates, the trifecta of onboarding, retention, and satisfaction come together to impact every corner of the organization. While the relationship between these three factors may seem rather obvious and straightforward, how exactly do you streamline training across different job roles and departments while also cultivating a sense of inclusion, safety, and room for curiosity? Throw in the growing pains that come with rapidly scaling tech companies, and designing and executing an exceptional yet scalable onboarding program quickly becomes something that is much easier said than done. But when considering the benefits that come with a solid onboarding program, the intricacies that come with actually designing it are well worth it.

Still curious to learn more about employee satisfaction? Check out our Ultimate Guide where we dive into retention management from sourcing to burnout. If you want to learn more specifically about retention, head over to this page to download our free e-book Employee Retention 101.