Wonder why you continually lose your top talent? It’s no mystery; it’s how you treat employees, starting from day one. Retention begins with selection, and the logical next step is integrating new hires into the company successfully. Unless you take immediate steps to save your onboarding process, your high-potential, high-performance employees are going to walk away from you – and towards the competition.
Retention Issues? Try OnBoarding! Onboarding for Retention
When you onboard properly, new hires are engaged from the start, the learning curve is accelerated, and they start adding immediate value to your company.
1. Send a welcome letter or make a phone call two weeks before the start date. How hard is it to have someone pick up the phone and say, “Hey, we’re excited you’re going to join us!”? This call is an opportunity to give them the down low before they start: who should they see when they first come in? What should they expect on their first day? During their first week?
If you can’t call, send a letter so the new hire knows that their new colleagues will know who they are and why they’re there when they first walk through the front door.
2. Have someone meet them on the first day. Can’t afford to have someone meet the new hire and show them around? More importantly, ask yourself if you can afford to start the hiring process again when the new hire quits. Make sure someone can greet the employee and show them around to acclimate them, ensure they have what they need to get started, and have someone to whom they can direct questions.
Someone needs to be designated as the owner of this process as the company grows. Your company may not have the resources for an extensive or lengthy orientation, but that’s no excuse for failing to implement an efficient, effective process. Organize the first week at the very least.
3. Provide a welcome packet with all the relevant information on the first day. Offer a packet with the information your new hire needs – but don’t make that the entire “welcome” experience. Hiring managers often stick new employees in a corner, filling out paperwork by themselves. Not exactly a warm reception – or a reason to be excited by this company.
4. Schedule lunch with a different department representative each day. This gives the employee a chance to find out more about the organization as a whole and each specific department, as well as to learn how their role integrates with each functional area. They can start to forge connections – and alleviate some of the natural apprehension and anxiety associated with starting a new job.
Go through a coaching report in the first week.Turn the pre-hire assessment into a coaching report. The employee and hiring manager can go through it together, lay out job responsibilities, and set work and communication expectations Assessments can – and should – be used for much more than initial screening and selection. Use them as development tools: include a growth plan and specific areas in which the new hire is expected to contribute and grow.
Something I hear over and over is, “I don’t know why our people don’t understand their jobs.” It’s probably because you haven’t spent any time with them setting expectations and holding them accountable for the results you want. That conversation needs to start immediately.
If you’re not actively working to retain employees from the moment you first hire them, then you’re going to lose the talent race. When you have a solid, organized onboarding process, you’ll start to see that revolving door start to close.