It seems like an endless cycle for HR professionals; you search far and wide through the skills gap to find someone who could be a great fit for your company. You spend the time to recruit, hire, and get them started, only to see them leave the company within a short amount of time, costing the company money, creating tension within the culture, and leaving you banging your head against the wall trying to fill the position…again.
With up to 20 percent of employee turnover happening in the first 90 days of employment, it’s imperative to figure out how to effectively onboard your new hire, bringing him or her from day one to full productivity for the good of your company and their career. Consider this, 1 in 5 new hires will leave within 3 months or less. Repeat this frequently, and it’s a recipe for financial and cultural disaster for your organization.
Here are some of the things that BREAK your new hire:
True story…I had a friend who started his first day on the job for a very large organization. They had prepped his arrival for a couple of months as he relocated his family across the country. On his first day, as he was going up the elevator to see his office for the first time, his boss told him, “I have something to confess. I’ve been competing with you, and I don’t want to do that. I really want us to work well together.” My friend’s first thought was, “oh no, what have I gotten myself into that this guy is competing with me, and I haven’t even been here?” (his real words edited for your reading pleasure). Sure enough, it only took a few weeks for his boss to reveal a tremendous underside of jealousy and lack of self esteem. He undercut the decisions of his staff, and was always asking his staff to reinforce that they liked working with him. There was no ongoing onboarding process for new employees, and the company had a 70 percent turn over rate. Yes, you read that correctly. It was an abysmal place to work, and much of it stemmed from the tension between management and new employees.
While not all managers are as vocal about their misgivings of the new guy, the reality exists that the number one reason people leave a company on negative terms is because of manager/employee relationships.
More and more, people are not only looking for jobs to make money, but they are looking for jobs where they can make a difference. Being the “new guy” only lasts so long. If there is not an intentional process to integrate your new hire into the culture of the company long-term, the effects of feeling left out, unwanted, and unwelcome will certainly break the spirit of your employees.
Lack of Clarity
Only 58 percent of companies provide clear job titles and identify expectations for employees, while only 39 percent of companies establish milestones and set goals for new employees. Lack of clarity in these areas leaves a new hire lacking vision of their current role, as well as for their future.
It requires more than “awareness” to retain top talent. Retention requires intentionality, and a clear-cut plan that can adapt to the quickly changing landscape of the workforce. What’s good for one company may not be what works for another, but the desired end result is the same…to find and keep good employees who are productive.
Here are some of the things that MAKE your new hire:
Best-in-class organizations begin communicating with their new hire before their first day on the job. It’s a great opportunity to begin the conversations of expectations, clarifying job responsibilities and goals. Some would call this pre-boarding, but the reality is that this is actually the first step in an efffective onboarding process.
Easy Does It
By setting clear objectives, goals, and expectations, you can set a pace for your new hire that is comfortable for him or her, without overwhelming him with too much to do upon beginning. Take the time to introduce him to the staff over a period of weeks, so that he can begin to build real relationships. Help her understand the culture, and give her time to learn, adapt, and engage. Create an environment that rewards patience with consistent work and engagement over time.
According to O.C. Tanner, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with the same company after a great onboarding experience. Most HR professionals believe that employees make up their mind whether they will stay long-term within the first 6 months of employment. Yet, most onboarding programs (for those who have actually have them) end within 30 days at most. A sustained onboarding program that lasts months, can help assimilate a new hire, and assure that he is fitting-in to the culture, as well as receiving what he needs to excel in his position.
The one thing that can absolutely not fail, is communication. The typical M.O. is to talk with a new employee when he starts, and then not much happens from there on, until there are issues. Schedule regular points of contact to ask the employee how he or she is doing. Are they understanding their job responsibilities? How are they feeling about the culture? Do they have any communication issues with their manager? While some of these questions may feel intrusive, and at times may be difficult, they can save you, your new hire, and your company a lot of heartache. The vast majority of issues can be handled if communication is present, but it must be established early and maintained throughout. Keep asking, keep checking in, keep evaluating your process, and keep getting feedback. It will make everyone around you better for it, and you will see increased engagement, retention, and profitability.
A stellar onboarding program will help you keep track of all the things that need to be done, in order to give your new hire and company the best chance at success. We offer our revolutionary, HR Software Solution, Xenqu. With a mobile-first approach, we take the stress out of onboarding, and put the power in your hands! Contact us today for a demo of Xenqu!
Ben Olson is the Chief Technology Officer of Essium, a premiere software company that has developed a revolutionary, customizable, workforce management solution named Xenqu. Essium’s Xenqu Software leverages our Smart Content Technology to organize everything related to your workforce in one secure, digital file using the latest cloud-computing technologies and architectures.