According to a 2014 study, one-third of new hires leave a job within six months of starting. That same study showed that 23% of those who left did so because there was a lack of communication in regards to job responsibilities. What does this lead us to? Well, for starters it will make you take a sobering look at your onboarding and training structure. What are you doing for your new employees to acclimate them to their new role? Regardless of the employee’s hierarchy in the company, training is essential to employee success and here is why.
First Impressions Stick
You’ve heard this countless times, but first impressions are so very, very important, especially when it comes to a job. During an interview it is the candidate's job to win you over, but once you’ve hired them it is your job to convince them they made the right choice in taking the job. From the moment that candidate accepts the position you should be planning their onboarding process. Think beyond the first day and try to visualize what their first month will look like. Beginning a new job is never easy and without training and structure set in place you’re asking your new employee to fight an uphill battle. Start off on the right foot and make sure job requirements and responsibilities are clearly communicated from the beginning.
Don’t Limit Onboarding
Many companies only think of onboarding as a process that happens in the first few weeks of employment and the truth is it can be that short, but it depends on the employee. Employee onboarding isn’t a ‘one size’ fits all process; while there are constants within the process it should be flexible enough to fit the individual. If you brought in a new manager they might need a bit longer to be comfortable in their new role as opposed to someone filling an associate role. Work with your new employees and find out what they need and adjust your onboarding accordingly.
Maintain an Open Line of Communication
Once the employee hits the 90 day mark it’s a good idea to check in with them and see how they are adjusting. Are there any questions that need to be answered? Additional training that should be scheduled? Checking in is a great way to show you care about their success in the company and that they are a valued part of the team. It also gives them a voice to ask for further clarification on things they may have not otherwise felt comfortable approaching.
These are just a few ways to ensure a smooth transition from ‘candidate’ to ‘employee’, but it is by no means a conclusive list. I challenge you to think through your past onboarding experiences and use those to strengthen your company’s process. After all, we’d like to see our new hires stick around.