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The Importance of Onboarding and How It Increases Hiring and Retention

Apr 13, 2022

Everyone feels the sting of the labor shortage – there’s more work than workers. You have products to move, but if you don’t have the people, then customers and partners are left waiting and waiting for what they need. However, is the solution as straightforward as simply hiring more people? Once you get workers in the door, you also have to keep them engaged in their work.

With worker engagement, have you considered the importance of your onboarding process? If you onboard people successfully, they can begin their roles quickly and efficiently, committed to their production from the very beginning. By creating an exceptional onboarding program, you can increase both hiring and retention for your supply chain organization.

Onboarding – What it is and how it keeps employees engaged

Having a clear pathway plays a significant role in the acclamation of new workers. You want to engage them well from the very beginning. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average turnover rate across industries in the U.S. is approximately between 12% to 15% annually. However, employee turnover in the warehouse industry is significantly higher - it stands at a whopping 46.1%. But, if you can pinpoint an efficient recruitment process, you can carry that same effectiveness into your onboarding.

When an onboarding process is fine-tuned, you are able to integrate your new employee seamlessly within the company culture, getting them the necessary tools and information to hit peak production in a shorter timeframe. This brings to light an important question: From day one, what plan do you have in place for your new employees? And what would they have to say about that process?

On a 5-point scale, employees who give the onboarding a "5" are twice as likely to tell their managers they feel fully equipped and supported to excel in their new position. If employees are refraining from giving your onboarding a "5 out of 5," and are constantly giving less than satisfactory ratings, take note. That translates to a key trend leaders may need to examine – a majority of new staff members do not feel prepared in their role.


One way to combat this struggle is to hire an onsite manager to oversee their preparation. A staffing agency can offer an onsite manager to be the main point of contact for new and/or temporary workers. The manager operates onsite at your facilities and provides consistent support for questions and feedback for the workers, addressing questions right away and clearing up miscommunication from the start. This takes the weight of hiring responsibilities (recruiting, onboarding, payroll, safety, training, etc.) off leaders’ plates, maintaining open lines of communication to foster an engaged workforce. This framework supports the entire business.

How Do You Create a Good Onboarding Process?

Companies offer a variety of ways to construct a helpful onboarding process. A one-size-fits-all option may not exist, especially for the ever-changing supply chain industry. However, the next four suggestions can be the building blocks for you and your company to discover and create just the right springboard for your onboarding program to leap forward on the right foot.

Develop an onboarding program or portal with helpful content
New-hire portals benefit HR through dashboards that manage and track tasks and log the completion electronically, such as W-4 or I-9, benefits, and payroll forms. Just as candidates keenly awaited the status of their application, so too they’ll excitedly anticipate the details of when they start, specifics of their job offer, and training schedules. Keep them in the loop of important details as much as possible.

Implement a reward system

Companies can find many creative ways to execute a reward system. You can try introducing incentive-based pay to encourage employees to stick around. This could range anywhere from gift cards, lunches, trips, more paid-time-off, or extra compensation. People like working towards a goal, so set objectives and reward staff for achieving them. Allow employees to control their level of performance and ultimately their potential rewards.


Support employee work-life balance

Allow for flexibility. Employees are searching for a positive work-life balance. Through schedule options, mentoring, or even team-pay structure, you can create a system that encourages teams to work collectively, feeling supported while they reach towards and meet their productivity goal.


Create a culture that lasts

How would your employees describe your current company culture? How are their relationships with co-workers? Do they feel included as an individual in the progress of the company? Paint an inviting picture of culture from day one: clear communication engages people to work better, faster, and safer.


And consistency plays a major role in that clear communication. Ask for consistent feedback from team members. For example, you could send out simple surveys on a consistent schedule to gain a pulse of how everyone is feeling about their workloads, schedule, and team dynamics. Make the time to celebrate accomplishments and support their challenges. When you take care of your employees, they, in turn, take care of your clients and customers. This creates the best possible experiences for everyone involved and builds-up the well-being and success of the entire company.

The supply chain industry requires quick acclimation. The possibilities to create and improve an evolving framework for an outstanding onboarding program are endless – the key is to create one. The more you support and train your people, the more you can meet the labor shortages or the delays in raw materials and increase the opportunity to grow your business.

We understand how challenging hiring and onboarding can be - that's why employing a staffing agency can be an immense help to your business. Our flexible and efficient labor solutions and onboarding processes scale at speed to meet flex demand. We deliver accountability and staffing expense visibility, eliminating disruptions and ensuring better performance without increasing costs. With the right team in hand, you can produce and succeed to meet today's demand.

Learn more about our workforce solution to find out how we can assist with your supply chain needs.


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