For many employees, starting a new job can be an intimidating experience. Not only is the position new but the corporate culture, co-workers and even area of town are unknown to employee just joining the team. An effective onboarding program helps ease the transition, which improves retention, but many organizations fail to do so.

In fact, according to a report by the Society of Human Resource Management Foundation's Effective Practice Guideline Series, half of hourly workers resign from their positions within the first four months while half of senior outside hires do the same within 18 months. However, effective onboarding leads to higher job satisfaction, organizational commitment, lower turnover, higher performance levels, career effectiveness and reduced stress.

When an employee first joins the organization, the onboarding process should be a joint undertaking, says Lisa Orndorff, manager of employee relations and engagement for SHRM. Some organizations tend to rely only on HR to perform the entire onboarding process, but managers should also be involved. HR is typically involved in basic onboarding taks, such as orientation and enrollment of benefits, but it's the manager's job to ensure the new employee understands what to expect from his or her role, including objectives, timelines and responsibilities.

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