Bringing a new person into your team is a great time of change for both your team and the new hire. Despite the adjustments that need to be made, it's usually an exciting time full of new conversations and new information flying around. Even still, a survey by Bamboo HR showed that 31% of their respondents had left their new job within the first six months. So why is it that so many employees decide to leave their new workplace so quickly and what can we be doing about it?
Why do so many managers miss the mark?
When we onboard new employees, it's natural for managers to be rushed and to want their new hires to be integrated as soon as possible - after all, the hiring process can be draining and time consuming and it's important to get a fully-functioning team as soon as possible so that no productivity is lost. However, there are too many managers out there who place importance on early productivity - this approach can mean that productivity fizzles out in the long term, especially when employees don't feel as though they fit in.
While managers are worried about productivity, the new employee is more concerned about learning the ins and outs, making friends with their new colleagues knowing who to ask when they need help and being comfortable in their new setting. Without those needs being met first, their concern for productivity is almost non-existent. All managers and employees need to make sure that their onboarding experience caters to the emotional needs of their new hires.
The fact of the matter is that the cost of rehiring is high - for everyone! No manager wants to go back to training yet another new employee and no employee wants to go back to looking for jobs, so you know that if they make the decision to leave, they are almost certainly unhappy. It works out better for everyone if the onboarding process is smooth, accommodating, and positive.
It's clear that the onboarding period can be make or break, so how do we improve the onboarding experience?
Utilise emotional intelligence - any new job is nerve-wracking, so it's good to consider those nerves as you onboard a new employee. Anticipate their needs and be proactive in meeting them. Catering for emotional needs is crucial in the onboarding process, so allow time for new employees to form friendships and get to know their colleagues - the number one reason that employees stay in a role, according to a survey by the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) is because of their positive relationships with colleagues.
Trust new employees to make decisions on their own and to work in their own way. It's important that new employees feel guided but also feel empowered to bring their knowledge and skills to the table.
Give them the opportunity to ask questions and ensure they know where to go and who to ask. In a survey conducted by AHRI, 27% of employees said they left their role because they had a poor relationship with their superior/manager - whether it's because of a personality disconnect or a lack of access, it's clear that the manager/employee relationship is crucial.
Always be clear when you’re conveying expectations. Whether it’s in the standard of work, what time employees take their lunch or what they wear, it’s important to be clear and straightforward.
At the end of the day, rehiring is costly, expensive, and exhausting. Getting it right the first time means you can keep your employees for longer and build great, productive teams.
If you're ready to refine your onboarding process, CareerSupport365 can help.
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.