Onboarding Effects on Engagement and Retention in the IT Sector
Keywords: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.
Allen, D. (2008). Retaining talent: A guide to analyzing and managing employee turnover. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/special-reports-and-expert-views/Documents/Retaining-Talent.pdf
Bauer, T. (2010). Onboarding new employees. https://www.shrm.org/foundation/ourwork/initiatives/resources-from-past-initiatives/Documents/Onboarding%20New%20Employees.pdf
Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2011). Organizational socialization: The effective onboarding of new employees. In S. Zedeck (Ed.), APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Vol 3: Maintaining, expanding, and contracting the organization. (pp. 51–64). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/12171-002
Cable, D., Gino, F., & Staats, B. (2013). Reinventing employee onboarding. https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/reinventing-employee-onboarding/
Caldwell, C., & Peters, R. (2018). New employee onboarding – psychological contracts and ethical perspectives. Journal of Management Development, 37(1), 27–39. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-10-2016-0202
Cascio, W. F. (2006). Managing human resources: Productivity, quality of work life, profits. (7th ed). McGraw Hill.
Cattermole, G. (2019). Developing the employee lifecycle to keep top talent. Strategic HR Review, 18(6), 258–262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/SHR-05-2019-0042
Daley, S. (2020). Women in tech statistics for 2020 (and how we can do better). Built In. https://builtin.com/women-tech/women-in-tech-workplace-statistics
Eldor, L., & Vigoda-Gadot, E. (2017). The nature of employee engagement: Rethinking the employee–organization relationship. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(3), 526–552. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2016.1180312
Farias, G., & Johnson, H. (2000). Organizational development and change management: Setting the record straight. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 36(3), 376–379. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886300363007
Gillespie Associates. (2016). Why onboarding that new hire will increase your bottom line (pp. 1–5). https://static1.squarespace.com/static/51c9e574e4b0bf9a1f48726f/t/57c098dbe3df28b64a4b8f79/1472241716593/Why
Grillo, M., & Kim, H. K. (2015). A strategic approach to onboarding design: Surveys, materials, & diverse hires. Student Works. https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/student/79
Hallak, D. (2016). Take control of your new job: Proactive development and onboarding success (pp. 1–105).
Harpelund, C., Højberg, M. T., & Nielsen, K. U. (2019). Onboarding: Getting new hires off to a flying start. Emerald Publishing Limited. https://books.google.com/books?id=BbuCDwAAQBAJ
Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692–724.
Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Harvard Business Review Press. https://books.google.com/books?id=xpGX1EWL_EMC
Krasman, M. (2015). Three must-have onboarding elements for new and relocated employees. Employment Relations Today, 42(2), 9–14. https://doi.org/10.1002/ert.21493
Ma, Q. K., Mayfield, M., & Mayfield, J. (2018). Keep them on-board! How organizations can develop employee embeddedness to increase employee retention. Development and Learning in Organizations; Bradford, 32(4), 5–9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/DLO-11-2017-0094
MacIntosh, E. W. and, & Doherty, A. (2010). The influence of organizational culture on job satisfaction and intention to leave. Sports Management Review, 13(2), 106–117.
McBain, R. (2007). The practice of engagement. Strategic HR Review, 6(6), 16–19.
Morgan, L. (2004). Driving performance and retention through employee engagement. https://studylib.net/doc/8745073/driving-performance-and-retention-through-employee-engage
Sageer, A. (2012). Identification of variables affecting employee satisfaction and their impact on the organization. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 5(1), 32–39.
Schaufeli, W. (2012). Work engagement. What do we know and where do we go? Work engagement in everyday life, business, and academia. Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology, 14, 3–10.
SHRM. (2016). 2016 human capital benchmarking report (pp. 1–29). SHRM.
Smither, L. (2003). Managing employee life cycles to improve labor retention. Leadership and Management in Engineering, 3(1), 19–23. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1532-6748(2003)3:1(19)
Snell, A. (2006). Researching onboarding best practice: Using research to connect onboarding processes with employee satisfaction. Strategic HR Review, 5, 32–35. https://doi.org/doi: 10.1108/14754390680000925
Stein, M., & Christiansen, L. (2010). Successful onboarding. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.
Vogt, W. P., & Johnson, R. B. (2016). The SAGE dictionary of statistics & methodology: A nontechnical guide for the social sciences. Sage.
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
Copyright (c) 2022 Wendi Walker-Schmidt, Corina Kaul, Lacy Crocker Papadakis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Revised 7/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed outdated link.