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The Costs of Onboarding: 25 Statistics That Will Make You Rethink Your Approach

May 4, 2023
Parker Pell

A positive onboarding experience is crucial in setting the tone for a new employee’s experience at a company: feeling welcomed, valued, and supported can result in higher engagement, motivation, and retention. Conversely, a poorly designed onboarding experience can leave new hires feeling confused, frustrated, and demotivated, causing a higher likelihood of bad morale and high turnover rates. 

As we’ve discussed, onboarding goes beyond just signing documents and getting access to company email: it’s an experience that shapes an employee’s perception of what it’s really like to work at the company. To ensure successful onboarding, HR leaders must create an immersive and impressive experience that consistently and creatively engages new hires. 

In this post, we’ll explore 25 key statistics to help further your understanding of an impactful onboarding experience and how you can start impacting your strategies to make your organization a talent magnet. 

Why it's important to balance “process” and “experience” 

It impacts retention & productivity. Companies with strong onboarding experiences can improve retention rates by 82% and productivity by more than 70% (source)

It can highlight your company culture. 91% of employees who receive company culture training feel more connected to their workplace (source)

Onboarding goes beyond just paperwork. The average new hire has 54 activities (3 documents to sign, upload, or acknowledge + 10 outcome-oriented goals + 41 administrative tasks) to complete during their onboarding experience (source)

It can help create feedback loops. Only 12% of employees strongly agree that their company provides a good onboarding experience (source)

Ways that poor onboarding impacts your team

It influences retention and morale. 80% of new hires who receive poor onboarding plan to quit (source)

It causes rapid, negative change. Roughly 20% of employees leave within their first 45 days of employment (source)

It contributes to your employer brand! Nearly 1 in 4 employees say they’d look for another job if they didn’t receive good introduction or company onboarding (source)

Creating a positive onboarding experience starts with…

Providing new hires a vision. Nearly 7 in 8 employees say they would stay with their employer longer if they saw a career path within their organization (source)

Enlisting your managers. 72% of employees say having 1:1 conversations with their managers plays an important part in the onboarding process (source)

Being proactive and prepared. 43% of onboardees are without basic work tools for more than a week after their start (source)

How to treat onboarding as a continuous journey 

Play the long game. 25% of employers onboard in one day and 26% of employers onboard in one week, with just 11% of employers onboarding in 3+ months (source)

Consider “preboarding.” 83% of high-performing companies begin onboarding before an employee’s first workday (source)

Provide information early and often. 81% of new hires want to receive information about their new job prior to day 1 (source)

Incorporate current employee feedback. The top five areas that employees believe would improve their onboarding experience include: getting their team involved, creating a better welcome, keeping the process simple, addressing career development, and being assigned a buddy or mentor (source)

Understand the investment. New hires typically take around 12 months to reach their full performance potential within a role (source)

Know what your new hires want. Nearly 70% of Gen Z prefers to receive information on onboarding logistics and/or be connected to a group chat with other incoming employees prior to day 1 on the job (source)

Why using the right technology matters

It empowers your team. 36% of companies have insufficient technology to automate or organize the onboarding process (source)

It reduces manual busy work. 2 in 5 HR managers spend 3+ hours (per employee) collecting onboarding information manually (source

It contributes to ROI. When asked to identify the top issues to address with their HR tech stack, companies selected: enhancing automation (61%), obtaining people data and analytics (61%), and enhancing employee experience (60%). (source)

It has massive reach. The onboarding software market is expected to hit nearly $1.4 billion by 2025 (source)

Takeaways of a positive onboarding experience 

It’s directly related to happiness. Addressing career development during onboarding more than triples job satisfaction (source)

It increases how new hires feel about management. Manager satisfaction increases by 20% when their employees have formal onboarding training (source)

It can increase company financial success. Companies with a structured onboarding experience reported a 60% year-over-year growth in revenue (source)

It’s may be expensive... but worthwhile. Employers spend an average of $103 per hour on employee training, and between 62 and 71 hours per year training employees. That’s anywhere from 7 to 9 full days (and upwards of $7,000 in training costs)! (source)

It creates committed employees. Hires who have effective onboarding experiences feel 18x more committed to their workplace (source)


Onboarding is an essential process that can significantly impact your organization’s success. A poor onboarding experience can lead to high turnover rates, decreased productivity, and increased costs. On the other hand, a well-designed onboarding experience can improve engagement, increase retention rates, and boost overall organizational performance. To create this experience, companies should consider the right technology stack to support such efforts, understand the investment of a positive experience, and solicit current employee feedback. By doing so, organizations can set their teams up for success and achieve their larger business goals…with employees who are engaged, happy, motivated. 

Provide a better employee onboarding experience with Abode. For more insights like these, check out our accompanying blog post or request a demo with our team here

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