The First 90 Days: Maximize New Hire Success to Prevent Turnover
Are your employees flocking to greener pastures?
Employee turnover can often be discomforting for employers, especially when it worsens over time. With so much attention on effective recruitment and hiring practices, it’s easy to forget that retaining top talent can sometimes be more challenging than finding high-quality workers in the first place. And the COVID-19 pandemic made things even more complicated, with many employees choosing to remain unemployed rather than return to work or find new careers entirely in some cases.
According to Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days, “Employee orientation centers around and exists to help the individual employee, but it is the company that ultimately reaps the benefits of this practice.” In other words, your bottom line and productivity are directly affected by your ability to retain every employee on your team.
Recent studies recognized by Sapling found that a negative onboarding experience results in new hires being twice as likely to look for other opportunities. Remember that the average U.S. employer spends around $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new employee — if your new hire walks out shortly after coming on board, that’s a lot of wasted time and productivity.
On the other side of the coin, research discovered that organizations with strong onboarding processes improved their new-hire retention by 82%, and productivity went up by 70%. Statistics like these reinforce the importance of investing in an employee retention strategy that begins as soon as employees sign on the dotted line.
With nearly one-third of new hires quitting during the first three months, you need to do everything possible from day one to ensure they get off to a great start.
Ready? Let’s do this:
Focus on your communication.
Too often, employers get wrapped up in the technical parts of onboarding and end up dismissing the power of positive communication when welcoming new employees. Every aspect of communication — from the time you make a written job offer to an employee’s first week on the job — can influence your new hires’ perceptions of you as an employer.
Taking the time to communicate in a way that’s both professional and friendly will set the right tone as your new hires get acclimated to their new jobs. This involves clearly articulating your company’s procedures and protocols in all your training materials, as well as demonstrating positive verbal communication during orientations and introductions.
Furthermore, never underestimate how the simplest gestures can enhance employees’ onboarding experiences. For example, a “welcome note” from a manager or an informal “first day” lunch with new teammates can do wonders to help employees ease into their new responsibilities.
Train your managers on best onboarding practices.
When it comes to retaining your talent, remember your temporary employees deserve just as much attention as your permanent workers. Your managers are essentially front-line ambassadors for your organization and ultimately shape the employment experiences of your workers.
Assignments are often a gateway for securing full-time employees; therefore, how you treat your temporary workers can greatly affect hiring outcomes in the future. Managers can be instrumental in creating an atmosphere in which temporary employees have the guidance and resources to excel in the company for the long term.
One of the best ways to make a positive impression on temporary workers is by engaging your managers in the onboarding process. Training your managers on how to properly communicate and manage contingent workers should be an integral part of any onboarding strategy for a few reasons:
- First, managers are directly involved in helping new employees adapt to their new work environment and learn on the job.
- Second, stronger relationships with managers will ensure your temporary employees are properly trained and productive, improving the quality of their work experiences and attracting them to long-term opportunities within your company.
Whether employees are temporary, full-time, or anywhere in between, onboarding has changed since the pandemic. You’ll need to adjust your process now that the new hire isn’t in a physical office and can’t connect face-to-face with their peers and supervisors. Here are a few tips:
- Plan the first week. Keep the first week full so the new hire isn’t left wondering what to do next.
- Assign a “welcome buddy.” Pair the new employee with an established one to foster a connection and advise the new hire on a successful start.
- Have frequent touchpoints. Checking in frequently is key to success in a remote environment.
- Provide access to essential resources. Ensure the new hire has access to people and systems that they’ll need to be successful during their onboarding and training.
Conduct regular check-ins with employees.
A big misconception about onboarding is that it should only take a week or month to complete. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Effective onboarding should ideally be an ongoing process that actively engages employees long after their first few days on the job.
Conducting regular check-ins with your employees will allow you to regularly address their questions and concerns and rectify any issues they may be having — before they start seeking employment elsewhere! For example, you may implement monthly one-on-one meetings in which employees speak privately with their managers about their performance and how they can improve. This gives your managers an opportunity to hear from workers firsthand and make necessary adjustments to improve their employment experiences.
Ready to reduce turnover at your organization?
Building a relationship with a staffing partner is one of the most powerful ways to proactively reduce turnover within your organization while at the same time improving the quality of your workforce. Through strategic planning, your staffing partner will work closely with your team to meet key hiring and retention goals, as well as ensure optimal productivity and performance in every aspect of your organization’s operations.