Did you know that a new hire’s first six months can mean the difference between success and running for the hills? In fact, according to a poll by BambooHR, roughly 17% of new hires leave within the first three months of employment. Too often it’s because employers don’t support those crucial post-hire moments and the new hire’s excitement fizzles into frustration.
That’s why a few days or weeks of average onboarding just won’t cut it in today’s workforce. If you really want to prevent months of recruitment from going down the drain, you need strategies that help your company avoid the quicksand-like traps that kill employee engagement. Here are five top tips for an effective onboarding process that holds on to valuable new team members.
Tip #1: Put your goals front and center
95% of employees are unaware of or don’t understand their company’s goals and strategies, according to Harvard Business Review. As much as you’d like to imagine that this statistic won’t apply to your workplace, we hate to break it to you… without providing your new hires a connection between their job and your company’s goals, you’re asking them to take a trip without a destination. They’ll get lost faster than you can say “Christopher Columbus.”
It’s understandable, they’re new to the organization and likely have no clue about the company’s overall direction. Provide them with a roadmap so they know exactly where the company is headed and how they fit into that master plan—use these six actionable tips to help new hires connect with your company purpose and find meaning in their career.
Tip #2: Don’t let employees sit on their hands
Now that you’ve helped new hires gel with your company’s purpose, work with them toset essential objectives. After all, employees can’t gauge their progress without any mile markers along the road! (Okay okay, that’s the last travel analogy, we promise.) It’s not surprising that the number one thing most new team members want is clear job duties and expectations.
The right goals ensure that team members stay motivated in their first few weeks and months and don’t become frustrated about a lack of responsibility or progress. Check out this guide for creating successful employee objectivesso you can go into goal-setting meetings prepared.
Tip #3: Start training earlier rather than later
Waiting too long to provide education or training opportunities is a recipe for unanswered questions, missed deadlines, and preventable mistakes. Nearly 90% of Millennials consider professional development very important to them in a job and more than half of all candidates believe that in-demand skills are hard to come by at work due to inadequate on-the-job training.
In short, failing to train your new employees will put you on a quick detour back to the recruitment stage after your new hires call it quits. Swerve! Avoid that trap by:
Providing one-on-one time between the new hire and his/her direct manager (bonus if you can connect them with someone who fulfilled their role in the past or is familiar with best practices for success)
Not assuming that new hires know how to use everyday company programs or technologies, such as the company intranet, help desk ticketing software, and project management programs. Leaving employees to flounder will only make them disengaged
We hate to sound like your mom, but no one likes to be the only kid at the adult table. Employees are disoriented enough by having to figure out their new job and office, they don’t need to worry about a lack of friendly faces on top of that—but you’d be surprised by how many companies get caught up in the nuts and bolts in onboarding that they forget what it feels like to come into work as a stranger.
Play matchmaker andset your new hire up with some buddieslike mentors or other new hires that help them feel more connected to your company culture. Promote these relationships by creating peer and mentoring programs among new and existing employees during the onboarding process. It’s good for the new hire and helps to elevate the office cultureas a whole.
Tip #5: Act like a doctor
The point of regular doctor check-ups is to ensure that everything works properly. Put on your doctor coat and perform regular check-ins with new hires for the first six months (and get managers on board as well). That way, problems can be addressed before they turn into dreaded resignation letters.