Blog Post

The Big Bang: Smarter Learning and Development Starts Here

What if we told you, there’s one thing that critically impacts your ability to unlock the best from your people long-term – but it’s probably not even in your remit.

And it should be, if you want to deliver proven returns in retention, engagement and productivity. Even workplace diversity starts here

So where’s here?

Employee onboarding. Something a third of businesses are doing badly, while 80% aren’t proactive enough to enjoy maximum returns.

Returns like 34% faster time-to-productivity, and 54% greater new hire productivity. Or like 50% greater new hire retention.

Because here’s the rub.

Employee onboarding is the spark that lights the bonfire of an employee’s career with you. Will they fizzle out, smoulder softly or explode into life?

(Of course, that’s not to say you can’t overcome a less-than-perfect start. A damp bonfire isn’t a write-off – but a bonfire that instantly catches is easier for everyone.)

But let’s leave the analogy. The point is this.

Get employee onboarding right and new hires make a bigger impact more quickly. And you make an impact on new hires more quickly. That’s why manager satisfaction increases 20% when employees are properly onboarded.

Because employee onboarding isn’t just about the short-term. It’s how you empower employees to realise their full potential with you, long-term.

Let’s unpick that.

Employee onboarding is the spark that lights the performance bonfire


Offer accepted; contract signed; you’ve just hired Jenny as your regional sales director, to boost performance across a struggling division. You’re thrilled; you can see her potential, even though she’s a little shy (or maybe she has imposter syndrome…). She’s thrilled; she’s emotionally invested in your brand and believes in the opportunities you’ll help her seize.

Then things go one of two ways.

One: Employee onboarding gone wrong.


A week passes. Two. Jenny’s saying her goodbyes; tying up loose ends; training her replacement. She’s totally absorbed – her notice period passes quickly.  

Then the nerves kick in. Who are her new team? How can she make a difference? What if she’s bitten off more than she can chew?

And the first-day details. Where should she go when she arrives? What time do you start? Should she bring lunch?

Her first day arrives, and passes in a flurry of new names and paperwork. The first week is over before you know it. Then the first month. Then the first quarter.

It’s too late to meet her first targets (which is unsurprising, given that 49% of new hires who miss initial performance milestones lack formal onboarding training) but she’s on track for next quarter.

But then next quarter comes, and she’s feeling the pressure but isn’t sure who to confide in. She pushes on but the next quarter isn’t where it should be either.

And suddenly you’ve lost faith in Jenny and Jenny’s lost faith in herself. And you. And she becomes one of the 25% of new hires you lose within one year. Which is an expensive oops, given that turnover costs a median 21% of each employee’s salary.

Luckily, there’s a better way.

Or two: Employee onboarding the better way.


The day after signing her contract, Jenny logs into your branded onboarding app and sees an onboarding roadmap so she knows exactly what to expect. Plus testimonials from her new colleagues reinforce her excitement and silence any doubts.

You get her feedback on your hiring process now, while it’s still fresh in her mind and most useful to you for the future.

You make pre-introductions to her new team and key contacts. She pre-fills any forms, and starts learning all about the company and role so she can hit the ground running.

When she wonders where to go; what time you start; what you do for lunch, those questions are answered instantly. She’s prepared and excited.

She’s still saying her goodbyes, tying up loose ends and training her replacement – but she’s looking forwards. She can’t wait to start.

Her first day arrives. She spends an hour putting faces to names, then gets cracking with a team meeting. Her team already know her and she them: she slots seamlessly into the business.  

By the end of her first week, she’s shifted the team attitude and implemented new targets. By the end of the first month, team KPIs have improved. By the end of the quarter, the pipeline’s strong – and early successes boost her confidence to implement new strategies.* (Again, unsurprising. Nearly 80% of new hires that hit early performance metrics had formal onboarding training).

* Or say she doesn’t have a great first quarter and her confidence suffers. Smarter employee onboarding lets you easily spot and serve development opportunities, to help Jenny overcome hurdles. And because she’s integrated into your culture she knows how to ask for help, so you can get her back on track quickly.

Fast-forward a year, and Jenny’s is your top performing sales team. She’s wholly committed to your business and her passion elevates the people around her.

Everyone’s pulling in the same direction. Results across the board increase. (Find out by exactly how much in our onboarding ROI whitepaper).

Jenny’s gone from shy to superstar – and what’s the moral of the story?

Because Jenny always had the potential for both scenarios. But your employee onboarding programme sets the tone for which Jenny you empower.

Future leaders are groomed not born – and that’s the job of your onboarding programme. Fantastic employee onboarding is the platform for fantastic employee management, throughout their career journey.  

Employee onboarding software makes sure first impressions define future success


You do a great job empowering your people, but do you start early enough in the employee lifecycle? Employee onboarding software is a natural extension of what you already do, but starting the moment new recruits come on board.

So you set the tone. Not just for their first day, week or month - but for a more successful career with you, for many years to come.

Discover more about the onboarding journey here to see our easy-to-use employee onboarding app in action, and understand why the likes of Bacardi, KPMG and Deloitte harness Talmundo to empower their people.  


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