With the gig economy burgeoning across the world and the Great Resignation looking like a stark reality, it is clear that professionals now have more than one way to live the life they envision. It has, thus, become imperative that companies do more on their part to retain employees.

Onboarding is an employee’s first legitimate gateway into the organisation they would be working for. This process greatly influences an employee’s early experiences and ultimately their productivity and contribution to the company.

Why onboarding experiences matter for new hires

Harvard Business Review reports that a formal onboarding programme led to 50% higher employee retention among new recruits and 62% greater productivity within the same group.

Further, workplace consulting group Gallup finds that employees who had a positive onboarding experience were nearly three times as likely to feel prepared and supported in their roles, consequently, experiencing higher confidence levels and an improved ability to perform well.

Speaking specifically about the investment banking industry, it is no secret that the roles are demanding and stressful.

It is, hence, even more crucial that employees enter an organisation feeling welcomed, included, and heard in order to stay for longer periods.

This requires that human resources turn the dial up on an effective onboarding programme that is favourable and memorable for new hires. It also directly benefits HR and management.

Equifax reports that “40 per cent of employees who left their jobs voluntarily did so within six months of starting in the position, with another 16 per cent leaving within 12 months – meaning more than half of voluntary turnover happens within a year of the employee’s start date.”

Why onboarding matters for investment banking new hires

Continuously soaring attrition rates spell bad news for a company and its reputation. This is especially concerning in the current professional climate as the world experiences labour shortages.

The reality is bleaker for the investment banking industry where talent scarcity is ballooning. According to The Economist, a Hays survey of 267 financial services employers discovered that 83% experienced a severe skill dearth in the past year.

How to ensure effective onboarding

With it being a key process for employees and employers, here are some ways to ensure an effective onboarding experience for investment banking new hires:

A warm and special welcome

Banks hire new employees every day but not each employee joins a new bank every day. Hence, any shift in employment is a significant deal for investment banking new hires. They place their trust and hopes in the organisation in order to flourish professionally.

So, their first few days carry immense weight. While you may not need to go overboard in welcoming them, the day must count as special for the employee.

This could be in the form of a small breakfast, a meet and greet session, a written message, a gift bag and so on. Remember that this should be in line with the bank's values.

A chance to connect with managers and colleagues

An employee will need to work in close parternship with their managers. They shouldn’t feel that they have been simply thrust into work without knowing and connecting with their teams.

Your onboarding programme should allow the new hire to schedule conversations with all relevant managers and team members to warm up for the first week or two.

These meetings may not need a set agenda as the point is to build a rapport with each other. Further, this humanises the process for all those involved.

Focused early careers training programmes

Regardless of an individual’s experience, a well designed early careers programme will help investment banking new hires to adjust from an academic mindset into their new work environment. This could be on multiple fronts including your bank's values and culture, their field of work, interpersonal and organisational tools, etc.

As a committed bank, developing well-rounded interpersonal and techncial skills so they can contribute effectively to the organisation’s goals from day one. This process need not be mechanical and should include interactive and experiential workshops and simulations that engage new hires in the learning and keep them interested.

Explore MDA Training's experiential learning solutions for new hires, employed by some of the world’s leading investment banks.

At MDA Training, we offer an alternative to the all-too-common approach of slide-driven training. Instead, we offer learner-focused programmes centred around 'learning by doing' that draw on our unique mix of banking workshops, simulations, activities, games and digital learning experiences.

Our learning solutions are regularly used by investment banks to help:

  • Attract diverse young talent through highly interactive recruitment events
  • Enhance existing school leaver, apprentice, graduate development and intern programmes.

Additional support during breaks

Lunch and coffee breaks can feel slightly intimidating for new hires in an investment bank. As a HR manager, you can organise informal sessions during this time to encourage delegates to network.

While an individual will interact most closely with their teams, it is always a great idea to introduce them to other teams.

This allows cross-departmental networking, provides knowledge of the company structure and offers an opportunity to learn about other key organisational functions.

Regular check-ins

The only way for you to measure the success of your onboarding programme is to talk and gather feedback from delegates.

You can conduct both formal and informal check-ins at regular intervals and slowly reduce their frequency.

Informal check-ins would allow your new hires to speak more openly with you while formal surveys would allow you to document their experiences and draw conclusive data from them.

This would then be useful in making any necessary changes to your onboarding programme or scaling it as required.

Final words …

Onboarding is an indispensable process today especially as employees needs widen to include flexibility, autonomy, working for a purpose-driven organisation, and so on.

With the current workplace trends, investing in an onboarding programme translates to lower attrition rates, high employee satisfaction, productivity, and gains for the company.

To initiate impactful onboarding solutions, you should focus on a engaging and memorable welcome, a chance to network with key team members and managers, early career training programmes, lunch and coffee breaks that encourage networking, and a regular and dynamic feedback process.