Mar 29, 2024  |  By Wei Sun, CEO

Four Secrets of Highly Successful Frontline Onboarding

45 days.

That’s the sink-or-swim point for new employee turnover. If an employee is going to stick around, the decision will usually be made within the first month and a half at a new company.

So, what happens in the first 45 days?

Onboarding, training, meeting the rest of the team, getting to know their manager, and figuring out how to meet time-to-productivity benchmarks through trial and error by applying training material to IRL action.

It’s not cheap to have a revolving door for your new hires. Some industries have a higher cost-per-employee-acquisition rate than others, but studies estimate it’s between 20% and 25% of an employee’s annual salary.

However, the good news is that a well-designed onboarding program can dramatically improve these outcomes, improving long-term job satisfaction by more than 2.6 times. New hires who go through a formal onboarding process are 58% more likely to still be with the company after three years. They're also more likely to hit performance goals and contribute to a more positive work environment.

Frontline Onboarding FAQs

What is the difference between onboarding and orientation? And do I need both?

Orientation covers the "what." It's a one-day event that focuses on new hire paperwork, key tasks, company culture, policies and benefits.

Onboarding covers the "how." An effective onboarding experience equips new hires with the skills and knowledge to succeed in their roles through training, mentorship, and opportunities to apply learning in real-world scenarios.

Is it possible to onboard remote or virtual teams effectively?

Onboarding remote teams can be just as effective as in-person onboarding so long as you listen to needs, communicate openly about weak areas, recognize individual strengths, and partner with a learning solution that tracks onboarding success rates, like Upduo.

Failure to do so may trigger an increase in employee turnover; only 39% of remotely-trained employees felt adequately supported, while 18% received no support whatsoever.

Have a question to ask us about frontline onboarding? Book a call with our team here.

Secret #1: Set Clear Benchmarks and Goals

Onboarding success hinges on a clear roadmap. Setting specific benchmarks and goals for new hires guides them through the process, reducing uncertainty and boosting confidence.  People want to know what you're expecting from them; don't leave them hanging with ambiguity.

Keep in mind that new hires reach only 25% of their full productivity potential in the first month, with their efficiency gradually increasing by another quarter each following month.

Defined goals let them focus on acquiring the right skills, leading to better performance. Regular check-ins against these benchmarks allow tailored support and ensure they're on track.

Three common goals or benchmarks you should be tracking are:
- Results of simulated sales calls
- Employee satisfaction (regarding training processes and materials)
- Time taken to reach a specific sales quota

Want to take onboarding success tracking to a higher level? Download Upduo's Guide to Actionable Metrics.

Secret #2: Foster Socialization to Build Relationships

Successful teams are 53% more likely to pre-board new hires. What does that entail?

It begins with building a foundational relationship from the moment you issue an offer. Introduce the new hire to the team workflow to ease first-day jitters, boost engagement, and jumpstart productivity.

Don't make it just about paperwork.

Building relationships is a social event that extends beyond learning materials. Team-building activities, interactive work events, and peer-to-peer discussions create a positive and collaborative atmosphere.

Practice makes better, not perfect.

Knowledge retention allows new hires to learn from each other's experiences, ask questions in a safe space, and solidify their understanding through practical application.

This focus on social learning benefits trainers as well. Observing interactions and challenges faced by new hires can provide valuable insights for refining training materials and delivery methods. Tracking key onboarding metrics like skill development and time-to-efficiency can help identify high-performing new hires with strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Secret #3:  Provide Ongoing Learning and Development

Engaged employees crave continuous learning and development opportunities to keep them motivated and equip them with the skills they need to adapt and thrive in today's ever-advancing work.

Here's where the "forgetting curve" comes in. We can forget up to 90% of learned information within 30 days if we don't revisit it.

Upduo's learning model leverages the power of spaced repetition through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. Imagine microlearning content delivered in bite-sized chunks, followed by opportunities to discuss and apply that knowledge with colleagues. This collaborative approach reinforces learning and fosters a sense of community and shared purpose within your teams.

By prioritizing continuous learning and development, you empower your employees to stay sharp, motivated, and adaptable – a recipe for long-term success for your people and your business.

Secret #4: Roleplaying is Vital

Roleplaying injects valuable realism into onboarding, particularly for high-pressure or information-rich roles. It allows new hires to apply their skills in simulated real-world scenarios with their peers.

Have you ever worked over and over on a problem, and after a conversation with a friend or mentor, it just *clicks*? This is a common side effect of role-playing.

Be prepared to hear more statements like, "This makes so much more sense now!" and "Wow, that just clicked for me!"

Make it *click* for your team

What does successful onboarding training look like for you?

Here at Upduo, it looks like:

  • Immediate, actionable feedback can be directly applied to employee roles
  • Measurable results in 30 days
  • 18% increase in upsells 
  • 14% increase in close rates 
  • 80% increase in sales lead awareness
  • Happy and supported new hires, internal team, and decision-makers

Effective onboarding has a positive ripple effect across your organization. Keep more employees, attract high-value future hires, and retain ROI with Upduo's peer-to-peer learning solution.