10 to 25 Percent of New Employees Leave Within the First 6 Months

Recent Research Amongst Executives And The Case For Structured Onboarding

In early 2017, Korn Ferry’s Futurestep division surveyed around 1,800 executives. They found that:

  • 90 percent of executives said that retention of new employees was an issue in their organisation.
  • Between 10 percent to 25 percent of new employees left before their first 6 months.
  • 98 percent of surveyed executives stated that Onboarding programs were central in retaining their staff.
  • 69 percent of executives polled stated they have formal Onboarding programs for all employees.
  • Only 23 percent mentioned their Onboarding programs lasted only one day,
  • Just 30 percent said their Onboarding program only lasted a week.

Their study concluded that Onboarding must be about more than merely basic administrative processes such as entering time, submitting paperwork and logging onto the intranet.

What Onboarding Is and Isn't

Onboarding often gets confused with Employee Orientation and Employee Induction. Onboarding however is neither.

Orientation and Induction:

  1. both provide a basic awareness of the employer.
  2. are often done over a relatively short time period – both of which describe the basics of the employer.

Structured Onboarding:

  1. provides empowerment for the new employee.
  2. is a process that lasts longer than orientation.
  3. provides the skills, knowledge, context and tools needed for new employees to fulfill organisational objectives and fit into their new role.

Best practice overwhelmingly supports the case that Onboarding should be an in-depth, structured process.

It should introduce the new employee to the company culture, its vision and strategic priorities, and should also help new employees understand available development opportunities to help them succeed in the organisation.

What are you doing that emulates best practice?


Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.