Onboarding Effects on Engagement and Retention in the IT Sector





onboarding, engagement, turnover, organizational development


Employee turnover is costly to businesses; replacing one employee costs 90–200% of the employee’s annual salary (Allen, 2008; Cascio, 2006). Business leaders know that ineffective onboarding may be a component of the problem. This quasi-experimental study compares results from three annual cohorts of Associate Software Engineers who participated in a nine-month extended onboarding program (n = 184) and those who did not (n = 261). Specifically, this quasi-experimental study used a chi-square test to compare retention. The extended onboarding group had significantly higher one-year retention than the control group. The results of this study suggest that longer onboarding may be a solution for the human resource community regarding long-term engagement and retention.

Author Biography

Wendi Walker-Schmidt, Baylor University

Wendi Walker-Schmidt serves as learning and organizational change consultant in Ft. Worth, TX.  For over twenty years she has been responsible for all stages of the learning and development cycle including design, delivery, and evaluation.  As a key leader, she develops strategic learning and development programs, while and managing day-to-day training activities.  Wendi conceptualizes creative learning and execution solutions and leads projects through to successful completion.  In previous roles she has led successful learning and organizational development programs that include leadership development, engagement performance interventions, psychometric evaluations, professional enrichment, and executive and management coaching. Wendi has two Bachelors degrees from Houston Baptist University, a Masters degree from Texas Christian University, and is currently working on her Doctorate in Learning and Organizational Change at Baylor University.  She holds certifications in instructional system design, mediation and as a certified facilitator.  Additionally, she holds a position as a CLO Learning Elite judge, serves on the TCU Alumni board and is on the Talent Management Human Capital Executive Research Board.


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Walker-Schmidt, W. (2021). Onboarding effects on employee engagement and retention: A mixed methods study exploring extending onboarding and its impact on long-term employee engagement and retention [Unpublished manuscript]. College of Education, Baylor University.




How to Cite

Walker-Schmidt, W., Kaul, C., & Crocker Papadakis, L. (2022). Onboarding Effects on Engagement and Retention in the IT Sector. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 7(4), 8–15. https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2022.220