How to Keep Your Employees: A Lesson in Onboarding

WIPRO, one of the most successful call centers in the world, was having issues with employee engagement and retention so they did what most companies do.


They boosted salaries, added perks, and emphasized all the reasons why they were named one of the best places to work.


Yet employees kept leaving.

So, they ran an experiment. Several hundred new hires were divided into two groups plus the control group. Group one received standard training plus an additional hour that focused on WIPRO’s identity.  These trainees heard about the company’s success, met a “star performer” and answered questions about their first impressions of WIPRO. At the end of the hour, they received a fleece sweatshirt embroidered with the company’s name.


Group two also received the standard training, plus an additional hour focused not on the company but on the employee. These trainees were asked questions like what is unique about you that leads to your happiest times and best performances at work? They were asked to imagine they were lost at sea and to consider what special skills they might bring to the situation.  At the end of the hour, they were given a fleece sweatshirt embroidered with their name alongside the company’s name. 

Seven months later the stats came in!

Trainees from group two were 250% more likely than those from group one and 157% more likely than those from the control group to still be working for WIPRO. 


There were noticeable differences in their level of engagement and focus with the company and their job!


So, what was the significance of the hour that group 2 received?


Belonging Cues!


They received a steady stream of individualized, future-oriented messages which told them you belong here – right from the beginning!


A personal touch that instantly gave them a message which said, “We want you here. We see you.”  


This specific connection is everything.


When interviewing an employee in group two, the employee couldn’t even remember the specifics of that first day but remembered he felt motivated, and he was happy in his current role.


First impressions as we know go a long way so as you are thinking about your onboarding process or even on-going engagement with your team, remember the individual focus goes a long way.


You might be eager to share about the company's success, the culture, and working dynamics but remember they want to know how they fit into the bigger picture you are laying out.


They want a piece of the puzzle you are building so be sure to show them where and how they fit!

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