Why Building an Onboarding Training Program is Key to Retaining Top Talent

By Matthew Nelson
Mar 30, 2023
Why onboarding is important for retaining top talent

Employees are nearly three times as likely to be extremely satisfied with their employer if they have an exceptional onboarding experience, according to Gallup’s “Creating an Exceptional Onboarding Journey for New Employees” report. And yet, only 12% of employees would strongly agree their organization does an excellent job of onboarding. Given the dismal state of the current labor shortage in the insurance industry, compounded by The Great Resignation exodus, keeping top talent is critical to maintaining a competitive edge.

Insurance companies with the best talent management strategies know the importance of properly onboarding new employees. Onboarding programs help keep new hires motivated and set them up for success faster, which also begins to establish a supportive company culture where everyone is more engaged. With the Great Resignation cloud hanging over so many industries, a critical part of attracting, acquiring, and retaining top talent rests with giving new hires the tools to be successful. An effective onboarding program does just that.

Here’s why companies struggling to attract or keep top talent should take a closer look at their new employee onboarding training programs.

Here's What Makes a Quality Onboarding Program so Important for Insurers:

Best-in-Class Onboarding Programs are a Competitive Edge

Imagine how productive your business could be if everyone wasn’t scrambling to fill vacant positions while juggling multiple roles just to keep up. Finding the right talent is as crucial as keeping it, particularly in the insurance industry, where a new employee with an insufficient, unorganized onboarding experience may simply give up on the industry altogether. Supporting a new employee motivates them to work harder by empowering them with the tools they need to thrive.

All the hard work put into finding the perfect fit for a vacant position evaporates if that person does not feel supported and quits. Effective onboarding exudes a culture of support, that the employee is not just there to work, but that the company is also invested in developing that employee’s skills and knowledge for the long haul. As each employee grows, so does the company—and their competitive edge.

Increases Employee Satisfaction, Productivity, and Engagement

The average onboarding program lasts approximately three months, but Gallup reports employees typically take around a year to reach their full performance potential. In fact, only 43% of employees reported a new hire onboarding program longer than a single day. Considering nearly a third of new hires quit within the first three months, the early onboarding process for new hires ought to be standardized with data-driven insights to identify training gaps. Finding and addressing gaps in training can improve mentorship and leadership skills while strengthening company culture and fostering teamwork.

Offering employees the tools to succeed early through effective onboarding also sets new hires up for success sooner, makes them ready to thrive, frees up tasks for others, and helps the business run more efficiently and effectively. This is of course why we hire, but the trick is to keep top talent around so this dream comes to fruition. Onboarding is an integral part of this process.

Improves Employee Retention

Improving employee retention saves money. What’s at stake? One rather conservative estimate from Gallup estimates the cost of replacing an employee at one-half to two times that employee’s annual salary. That means “a 100-person organization that provides an average salary of $50,000 could have turnover and replacement costs of approximately $660,000 to $2.6 million per year.”

New hires are typically excited about a position, but poor onboarding leads to a bad first impression that could sour into a resignation. Having a plan in place offers the sort of structure and definition most need when entering a new work environment, with roles and expectations clearly defined. The warmer and more effective a business makes this experience, the more likely an employee is to settle in—and ideally help them see the position as a long-term career.

Improves Company Culture and Reputation

Building a strong employer brand—even becoming a Best Place to Work—is one way to attract top talent. Onboarding fosters company culture, teamwork, and engagement, leading to happier employees who feel supported and ready to succeed in their role. With a team full of happy employees, word always gets out.

The best onboarding programs make a positive first impression and help establish a supportive culture. By showing new employees you are focused on their success, they feel welcomed and empowered to tackle the challenges their role presents. Curating an effective onboarding experience encourages new hires to thrive earlier, helping them reach their full potential sooner.

With enough support in place, new hires who have an exceptional onboarding experience will also become great representatives of the employer brand.


Close the Growing Insurance Talent Gap

There’s a growing talent gap in insurance. Among the hardest hit industries by The Great Resignation, competition for top talent will only increase as 68% of insurers plan to grow their staff in 2023. Talented applicants with a poor onboarding experience could jump ship to any one of the many other vacancies throughout the industry.

Closing the talent gap at your organization begins by creating a structured onboarding program that focuses on specific product knowledge to give new hires the tools to succeed sooner. The sooner a new employee experiences a company’s supportive culture and finds success in their role, the more likely they are to form visions of a long-term future.

So many new hires are quickly discouraged by the challenges of insurance and leave the industry altogether, compounding the talent shortage. Imagine if every insurer had in place an effective onboarding program to develop top talent, keep them in the industry, and help them thrive. Wouldn’t the entire industry be better for it?

The new world of work requires a new way to exceed. WebCE’s unique EXCEED® platform onboards faster using micro-learning courses with interactive content and real-world scenarios. Written by industry experts, EXCEED simplifies complex insurance concepts quickly. Combined with WebCE’s trusted Exam Prep, EXCEED offers the perfect solution to ensure your staff retains the information and passes their licensing exam—the first time!