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Branding & Recruitment

Quick Wins for Driving Retention During the First 90 Days [Webinar recap]

It’s a scary fact that 3 of your next 10 newly hired employee are likely to quit within 90 days of being hired. Their reasons for quitting can include anything from being unprepared for their day-to-day roles, disliking the company culture, or having a bad incident at the company. This high turnover rate is a waste of your time and your company’s money; and the reality is, high turnover rates can be reduced with an effective onboarding program.

With a strong onboarding program, new hire retention rates improve 82% and productivity improves by 70%. When employees are better acclimated to their role and peers, they are proven to be more successful and happier in their role.

This week, we hosted a webinar discussing how to improve retention in the first 90 days of hiring through the help of effective onboarding. Our webinar included a panel of onboarding experts: Morgan Chaney, Director of Marketing and Culture Committee Lead at Blueboard; Bart Macdonald, Co-founder and CEO at Sapling; Emma Leeds Guidarelli, Head of People at the Museum of Ice Cream; and Arielle Fuller, Head of Curation and Culture Committee Lead at Blueboard.

While each company’s onboarding process is unique to them, our four experts shared their best advice on how to create an effective onboarding program for your company.

Check out the full recording and recap below, and for more great HR Webinars, stay in touch via our Resources page.



In order to set your new hires up for success, we recommend following these 4 key onboarding strategies:

1. Create a Warm Welcome

Onboarding starts before the first day at the office; as soon as the new hire signs their offer letter. This time between the offer letter and the first day of work is a crucial part of making your employee feel welcome.

What to do when the offer is accepted:

  • Have a celebration call from the interview panel and leadership team with the new hire when they have accepted the position.
  • Send a welcome gift box to the new hire’s house before the first day of their job. Or, consider sending a Blueboard reward! Experiences offer the new hire a way to challenge their comfort zone, try something new or relax and indulge before transitioning into their new role, and their stories help the new hire easily bond with their new teammates as they recap their experience.
  • Email a “what to expect” note 48-hours ahead of their first day. This is a great time to build structure and confidence, clarify what to wear, what to bring on their first day, and any other important last minute information.

What to do on their first day:

  • Have a designated person prepared to greet the new hire outside of the office or at your reception desk.
  • Decorate the new hire’s desk, and have everyone in the office or their surrounding team write a welcome note.
  • Make the new hire feel a part of the team with company swag (t-shirts, stickers, pop sockets, etc.).
  • Make sure the new hire has access to the necessary tools and technology to show that you’re prepared for them to be there.
  • Create an agenda for the first week with key meetings, training, and calendar invites.

After the first 30 days:

  • Send the new hire a survey about their 30-day onboarding process, so you can further learn from their experience. If you don’t currently have a designated onboarding program, still send out surveys about the onboarding process. This way, you can truly compare how the new program has helped.    
  • You can see what questions we serve in our own Blueboard 30-day onboarding survey here on the live form.

2.  Build Meaningful Connections and Relationships

Building these connections with coworkers and forming relationships starts as soon as the new hire accepts their offer; but, should continue to grow through their tenure at the company.

What to do when the offer is accepted:

  • Send on-demand content connecting the new hire to your company’s culture, mission, and values.

What to do on the first day:

  • Build connections with the new hire and the employees around them with a buddy system.
  • Plan 1:1s with both immediate and cross-functional teammates to create relationships early.
  • Connect the new hire with ERGs, affinity groups, and clubs.
  • Train your new hire on how your company communicates; whether it’s over Slack, email, etc. Especially valuable for your remote employees.

During the first 30 days:

  • Encourage the new hire to become confident and bring their whole self to work, by enabling them to not just connect with others, but also the company itself

3. Form clarity around their role

This strategy is very important for millennial employees, who want to make sure that they are making a difference and impact in their company.

What to do on the first day:

  • Begin to establish and clarify what success looks like at your company.
  • Identify the objectives and goals of the new hire’s core team.
  • Create a mutual agreement around 30-, 60-, and 90- day goals for the new hire.
  • Create relevant training and shadowing opportunities for your new hire.

What to do during the first 30 days:

  • Strengthen the new hire’s understanding of cross-functional overlap and relationship with connected teammates.
  • Showcase the progress towards 30-, 60-, milestones with the help of projects, initiatives, and training.
  • Have ongoing candid feedback sessions between the new hire and their manager.  

4. Celebrate early wins

Make sure the new hire feels productive and feels they are able to make an impact. This begins with reflections made at 30- days and continues through their first 90 days.

What to do during the first 30 days:

  • Create accountability and continued conversations around 30-, 60-, and 90- day onboarding plan and milestones.
  • Complete the new hire’s first major project initiative at the 30-day mark; have the leadership team and other coworkers review the new hire’s project results and share open feedback around their performance.

What to do during the first 60 days:

  • Make sure the new hire feels seen and valued for their contributions.

What to do during the first 90 days:

  • Recognize and reward the new hire for their accomplished 90- day milestones
  • Distribute employee referral incentives to the referee at the 90-day mark.

Take the time to reflect on your current onboarding strategy. Which stages are you hitting? Which do you need to work on?

For those looking for onboarding gifts or employee referral incentivization, we’d love for you to browse some of our experiential employee rewards here at Blueboard, and check out how we help motivate employee referrals to happen. Employee referrals can also help your onboarding program work better by creating faster hires who are less costly, onboard more quickly, have higher ROI, and are happier in their jobs.

Blueboard is an employee recognition platform that provides company gifts for employees to foster employee appreciation. We partner with clients to fuel their employee referral gifts, anniversary, or spot recognition programs. We empower companies to send their employee on their choice of experiences: white water rafting, terrarium building, or even an adventure to hike through canyons in New Zealand. To learn more about Blueboard and get in touch with our team, simply reach out via the Request Demo button above ^^.

Stay tuned for more webinars and upcoming events here on our Resources page.

Looking for the best way to reward, recognize and incentivize your top people?

Reach out to see the experiences we’ve curated for your market and start building your ideal program.

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