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Retail Employee Onboarding: Tools, Tips, and Pitfalls

Posted on April 25, 2020

Employee onboarding in the retail sector is often viewed as challenging, with the constant struggle to find and retain the right talent. Statistics show that 30% of new retail employees leave within the first year, highlighting the need for a strategic approach to onboarding.

employee onboarding

The Pitfalls of Inadequate Onboarding

Effective onboarding can significantly impact employee retention and productivity. With the right onboarding process, there’s a compelling 91% chance of retaining new hires, compared to 30% without it. Additionally, well-structured onboarding can lead to a 54% increase in productivity and a 34% faster learning curve.

However, time constraints often hinder the implementation of comprehensive onboarding strategies in the fast-paced retail environment. The challenge lies in balancing the need for thorough training with the demands of day-to-day operations.

The Onboarding Process: A Comprehensive Overview


Before the official start date, maintaining communication with the new hire is crucial. Sending congratulatory messages and addressing team interests creates a sense of involvement. Explaining administrative details should come later, ensuring the initial interaction is engaging and positive.

First Day

The first day sets the tone for the new employee’s experience. A warm welcome, possibly accompanied by a welcome gift, establishes a personal connection and helps the newcomer feel at home.

Following Days

Moving beyond the initial welcome, conveying the importance of the employee’s opinion and acknowledging the inevitability of mistakes fosters a supportive environment. Continuous access to help ensures that assistance is readily available.

First Weeks

Detailed product and service training during the initial weeks is essential. Microlearning, a concise and focused training approach, effectively presents company information and efficiently manages time.

First Months

Regular check-ups on the employee’s knowledge contribute to sustained learning. Leveraging mobile learning platforms ensures accessibility and engagement in the learning process.

retail employee onboarding

Tips and Tricks for Successful Onboarding

1. Embrace Microlearning

Microlearning, involving short 3 to 5-minute sessions with captivating video content, is a powerful tool. It efficiently delivers information without consuming excessive time and resources.

2. Personalized Messages from Leadership

Integrating personal video messages from top executives, such as the Managing Director, adds a personal touch to the onboarding process. This enhances engagement and connection with the company’s leadership.

3. Fun Trivia Integration

Incorporating trivia about the company or team into the learning platform adds a fun element. Personal details, like team members’ preferences, create a personalized and enjoyable learning experience.

Conclusion: The Power of Onboarding Done Right

A robust onboarding process brings numerous benefits, including smoother learning experiences, increased productivity, faster work processes, heightened job satisfaction, improved staff retention, and transforming new hires into company ambassadors. Microlearning emerges as a key enabler in achieving these outcomes.

As Ray Riley, CEO at Progress Retail, aptly puts it:

“The culture of the retail firm needs to embrace continuing education and lifelong learning.”

In this context, MobieTrain provides an invaluable solution to enhance the onboarding experience, aligning seamlessly with the evolving needs of the retail sector. Discover more here.