It’s a real problem when you spend huge amounts of time recruiting only to find a new employee giving in their notice and saying that the job and/or company isn’t for them. We know – from research – that the first few weeks are critical to engage with new employees. The cost of losing a new graduate you have recruited is estimated at €35,000.
We outline below some tips from major multi-national companies:
1) Get on boarding right: Onboarding is a new buzz word – really what we are saying – have a structured induction programme for starters that they can refer to and understand. We dont need to be L’Oreal – they have a 2-year, six part integration programme called ‘L’Oreal Fit’! However we need to make new employees feel valued immediately – some companies give a laptop to starters even before they join, company information and employee handbooks are sent out before they arrive so that they have a good idea of what they are coming into – and ensure that they have their desk ready and welcoming.
2) Involve them in your culture: The first few weeks are critical for engaging and collaborating with new employees. As a company, you need to impress your starters, get them to buy into the organisation and understand what is important.
3) Benefits: You may not be able to offer stock options, or huge bonuses, however if starters have to wait for perks it makes them feel lesser than others. Start them on any benefits on day 1, and make sure that they realise that this is because they are valued.
4) Buddy up! Assigning a buddy to a new employee is not a new idea – however it can really make a difference. Particularly for new graduates or school leavers coming into the workforce, having a buddy to answer basic questions (without feeling embarassed) can make a huge difference.
5) Set performance targets: Don’t overdo this but NOT defining what a new employee’s role is and what is expected will leave them unsure of what is expected. So a few clear, simple targets gets them focussed on what they can do to impress you, and where they can add value. Some companies use the ‘first 90 day’ approach to positively push their starters.
The main reasons why employees walk out in their first year are (Michael D. Watkins):
– Inability to meet expectations 32%
– Role did not meet expectations 19%
– Poor fit with corporate culture 18%
– Inability to integrate with team 10%
– Offered higher remuneration elsewhere 9%
– Other 12%