Most HR practitioners are fully aware of the benefits of having a well-thought-out onboarding process. With all the research pointing the same way – that those who onboard new employees properly boast higher employee retention rates and save on recruitment costs – taking onboarding seriously should be a no brainer for employers.

However, it seems that much less attention is given to inboarding – arguably an equally important process which focuses on the retention of existing talent rather than on new hires, but with the same goals in mind: greater job satisfaction, better job performance, and less employee turnover.

But what do we mean by inboarding, and why should HR practitioners ensure it’s high on their list of priorities?


“Employee’s aren’t just set it and forget it machines. The need for input is ongoing…if onboarding is like an inoculation, then inboarding is like booster shots” writes author and consultant Larry Cassidy. In other words, inboarding is a process that helps ensure employees receive the support they need to succeed within the organisation, making sure they feel appreciated and not forgotten about and happy to go the extra mile.

How often do your longer-serving employees receive training, or the opportunity to learn more about what your company stands for, for instance? It may be common practice for new hires, but training more experienced employees, especially on softer skills, is often side-lined, the assumption being they know everything already. But considering your organisation is constantly evolving, it’s a dangerous assumption to make and can be disheartening for longer-standing employees if they feel that you aren’t interested in giving them the same opportunities as their newer colleagues.

The importance of managers frequently touching base with their team, and giving consistent, constructive positive feedback, should not be underestimated either. A study by Healthstream of 100,000 participants, found that 79% of those who had quit their jobs cited ‘lack of appreciation’ as a reason for leaving. And, with a ‘war for talent’ already underway , it’s vital you hold on to experienced employees, who let’s face it, are best placed to capitalise on the skills shortage. Employers often don’t realise how key these employees are until they’re gone, and the repercussions could be huge if you let them slip through your fingers.

So, with this in mind, ask yourself: when did we last discuss career opportunities with employee X? What are the skill sets he or she needs to thrive in their role? Do we know what really motivates them? When did we last offer them a stretch assignment or training opportunity, or even just a chance to go to a conference and network with their peers? Have we offered them mentoring, or a opportunity to chat to someone from the senior management team? Where do we see them being in two, three or five years’ time, is that where they want to go, and how do we help them get there?

By frequently engaging with your more experienced employees as part of a structured ongoing inboarding programme, you’ll keep valuable employees happy, and reduce flight risk.

Inboarding programmes similarly benefits employees moving internally; to a new role or to a different department, maybe even abroad. Taking the time to help managers fully appreciate what’s expected of them in their new role, including understanding the company culture from a managerial, not just an employee, standpoint can make a huge difference to their success. Having some insight into the cultural and operational differences of a different part of the business or location will ensure relocating staff settle in faster.

See more information about our onboarding software here.

To learn how Cezanne HR can help you better onboard and inboard your workforce why not book a free demo with one of our consultants today.

Chris Wells author image

Chris Wells