You spend large amounts of time crafting detailed job descriptions and posting them on all of the relevant boards. You call in several qualified candidates to interview for the position. You finally hire “the one.” The one that you believe has what it takes to fit in with your company’s culture and atmosphere. The one who has a great amount of potential and all the right qualifications.
Things go well for a while. Everyone seems to be settling in and getting used to a new daily groove. But after just a few months, or maybe even up to a year or year and a half, your perfect candidate isn’t reaching the potential you saw. There’s rumor of conflict. Your new hire seems unhappy. You think , things don’t seem to be working out. Then just like the others, “the one” leaves the organization again leaving you with trouble with retention.
So now you’re back to square one and investing time and resources into finding a new candidate to fill your open position. So what went wrong? On paper your candidate seemed perfect. But when it came down to it, the fit wasn’t right. But don’t jump to the conclusion that the candidate was the wrong person for the position. The problem could very well be with your onboarding strategies, which is causing you trouble with retention.
What does research say about trouble with retention?
According to Gallup, only 12 percent of employees strongly agree that their organizations and leaders do a great job onboarding new employees. The Society for Human Resource Management finds that employee turnover rates can be as high as 50 percent during the first 18 months of employment.
Rehiring costs are extremely costly and disruptive for both organizations and team dynamics. SHRM estimates the cost of finding and onboarding new employees to be roughly six to nine months of an employee’s salary. Other’s estimate this cost to be higher especially hiring onto project teams. With this research in mind, leaders need to take the onboarding process seriously and view it more than just a formal orientation day to avoid trouble with retention.
To avoid trouble with retention, onboarding is not orientation.
Unfortunately for many organizations, employee onboarding is viewed as a one-day or one-week checklist:
- Have employees filled out the necessary paperwork?
- Have administrative and HR processes been explained?
- Has someone given the employee a day of on the job training?
- Does the employee know about the probation policy?
- Does the employee know when benefits kick in?
This practice leads to a strain on the employer and employee relationship because employees often feel that they are thrown into the deep end without proper training or culture context. Many times employees aren’t even introduced to other employees, let alone given the opportunity to socialize with them. This restricts people getting to know one another on a somewhat personal basis.
More often than not, managers are not meeting with the new team members early and often to provide valuable feedback on how the employee is performing in their new roles. They do not emphasize group norms of behavior that help the new employee succeed as opposed to behaviors that make the organization uncomfortable.
Leaders, on the other hand, who view the onboarding process as an integral and exciting time with new employees build relationships. This foundation leads to long-term commitments rather than a short-term obligation. Likewise, the employee understands how to belong in the company rather than having to feel it out. Those who feel they have been punted into the deep end, make mistakes, are viewed as a trouble makers or clueless and this eventually results in their quitting. The result is more trouble with retention and the rehire process continues
Make a genuine connection to avoid trouble with retention.
The start to successful onboarding practices is genuine connections between leaders and their team members. Ultimately, leaders who get to know their team members on a one-on-one basis and understand their drives, desires and long-term goals build retention.
This helps leaders place team members into the roles that are best suited for their passions and talents. The result benefits both the workplace and the new employee’s engagement level.
There are tools available that facilitate this process for managers. One training that comes with a tool that may be used repeatedly is the TIGERS® Success Series Manager as Facilitator Training™.
In this facilitation training, TIGERS coaches teach managers how to create department or company-wide norms of behavior that employees are involved in creating and signing off on. With seasoned groups, this often corrects team conflict while showing employees how to be in relationship with one another. This frees the manager to monitor the agreement rather than dealing with upset and upheaval so they can actually do their job to grow the company. Then when new employees are hired, this same tool shows the facilitator what the true communication and leadership style is of the new employee. It also lays the ground work for real life discussions of group norms of behavior that show the employee how to belong and fit in.
This way, the sink or swim outcome of orientation is eliminated by clearly coaching the employee on how to be in the organization. The employee learns what makes existing teams comfortable and what behavior makes them uncomfortable. In this way, the relationship development of new employees is enhanced so they are anchored more fully into their work and relationships with co-workers resulting in less chance of turnover.
Trouble with onboarding review
Employee onboarding is an essential step for retaining top talent once they are hired. Many leaders and HR executives, however, view it as simply paperwork and the review of office policies.
Effective onboarding goes far beyond this initial first step. It encompasses everything from group behavior norms to regular performance coaching and so much more.
Research finds that only 12 percent of employees strongly agree that their organizations do a great job at employee onboarding, and the first 18 months of employment are crucial for establishing employees in their positions and within the organization. To reduce trouble with retention, leaders need to recommit to onboarding strategies and foster one-on-one relationships with their team members.
The following are additional resources to add to this conversation:
- Why the Onboarding Experience Is Key for Retention
- Failing Onboarding Practices Leave Employees Disengaged
- TIGERS Manager as Facilitator Training
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton
About TIGERS Success Series Group Norm Facilitator Training
TIGERS Success Series provides a Manager Facilitator training with a tool box that engages employees to identify the group norms that improve both department and company work culture. It helps organizations to re-engage employees, resolve conflict behavior and builds work relationships. These same resources and tool box can be used to onboard new employees and contractors onto existing teams so behavior is understood and normalized from the get-go. The training and tool box are brought to you when eight or more of your managers are enrolled.
Call 1-877-538-2822 US or 1-541-385-7465 international to inquire.