How to Improve the ROI of Your Onboarding Program

If you aren’t thinking about your company’s onboarding program in terms of return-on-investment (ROI), then you’re missing out on an opportunity to improve the organization in a way that truly makes an impact on the bottom line.

Far too many organizations think of onboarding as a “necessary evil” where time and money are spent training new hires to–eventually–do their best work, but a necessary cost of doing business doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to improve if you think about it with a real sense of curiosity and willingness to change and adapt.

After all, every dollar (or minute) saved during the onboarding process just gives more room in your budget to spend on marketing, development, or even just saving cash-on-hand for an emergency or economic downturn. So here are some ways to improve the ROI of your onboarding program and bring your business to the next level:


Reduce up-front costs


Onboarding is, at its core, an up-front cost to any new hire you make. Think of onboarding as the HR equivalent of an acquisition cost: it’s money you spend on a new hire in order to turn them into a fully productive employee.

Nobody is perfectly productive on their very first day on a new job, if they’re doing any work at all! A new hire is likely to spend the first day or even week just filling out paperwork, touring the office, and getting up to speed with the tools they’ll be using, rather than creating meaningful output for the company.

But by designing a personalized onboarding program and utilizing up-to-date onboarding technology, you can reduce these employee acquisition costs dramatically. For example: A set of computer-based, self-directed onboarding training modules can free up management or trainers to get back to their primary work duties. Or, online intake forms a new hire can do prior to their first day allows your HR team to spend more time working and less time walking someone through a giant set of paperwork.

We encourage you to add up how many payroll hours are spent with otherwise non-productive onboarding work, and once you calculate the ROI of your onboarding program, we think you’ll be shocked (and excited) to see how much you can save!


Increase long-term revenue generation


In addition to giving you opportunities to save on up-front onboarding costs, thinking of your onboarding process from an ROI perspective will also make it clear how you can increase your revenue in the long-term.

The purpose of onboarding is to get a new hire up to full productivity as quickly as possible, and if you can cut down on that time (either by shortening the formal onboarding process or making it more informative so an employee gets up to speed more quickly), your organization will reap the benefits that employee brings in that much faster.

To use one example, if you’re onboarding a new account manager, you want to train them both quickly and effectively. By creating a more efficient, condensed onboarding process, you can increase your ROI by setting them loose more quickly so they can start bringing in new clients right away. Alternatively, by training them more thoroughly with a consistent, systematic onboarding program, you can increase that ROI by ensuring that the account manager hits the ground with more competency and is less likely to lose clients they otherwise might by learning “on the job.”

Simply put, a great onboarding program that’s both time-efficient and deeply informative will help make sure that your new hires are doing their best work as soon as they can, bringing in more revenue in the long term for your company.


Limit employee turnover


Imagine for a moment that your company had zero formal onboarding process. A new hire just shows up at the door on the first day with no training process, nobody going out of their way to meet them and show them the ropes, and no guidance whatsoever.

On one hand, the company would be saving money, right? No payroll hours “wasted” on showing the new person around, no budget allocated to training programs, etc. But you’re smart, and you know that if your company worked this way, most of your new hires would be out the door as quickly as they arrived, forcing you to go through the whole hiring process again.

An effective onboarding program will offer a great return on investment by limiting employee turnover through a process that’s approachable, efficient, consistent, and sets every new hire up for short- and long-term success rather than leaving them running for the door. Just like everything in business, it does require investment, but it’s investment that will pay off by putting your company in a more successful position than you’d be without it.


RedCarpet onboarding technology sets your team up for success


SilkRoad Technology enables people to thrive in a changing workplace, and SilkRoad’s RedCarpet onboarding technology is an industry leader in engaging, training, and developing new hires and existing employees to ensure that your organization is running as efficiently and productively as possible every single day.

For more information on calculating the exact ROI of your onboarding program, download our ROI Onboarding Guide. And to learn more about our talent management software and see how RedCarpet onboarding technology can help you hire, train, and retain the top talent in your industry, contact SilkRoad Technology today.