Five Suggestions for Retaining New Hires

By Harvard Business Review
February 7, 2019

These tips — from the organizational, technical and social realms — can help people develop comfort with their new job.

In 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States hit a 49-year low of 3.7 percent. One report suggests that employee retention is the No. 1 issue on the minds of CEOs today. With up to 20 percent of staff turnover occurring within the first 45 days of employment, a standardized onboarding process is essential.

Here are a few suggestions on where to start.

Organizational Onboarding

Teach them how things work: Beyond giving new employees basic information, such as where to park their car and get an ID card, teach them your workplace “language.” Decoding cryptic terminology can be distressing. Simple tools, like glossaries of terms, go a long way.

RELATED: Got a New Job? Take Control of Your Onboarding

Help them assimilate: Help new hires adapt to organizational values and norms. At key intervals — three, six and nine months — hiring managers should formally engage them in conversations about the organization’s history and brand, how performance is measured and rewarded, and how growth opportunities arise.

Technical Onboarding

Define what good looks like: Provide your new hire with a job description that includes well-defined responsibilities and any boundaries around authority or available resources. Clearly outline where their autonomy begins and ends. Schedule weekly coaching sessions.

RELATED: Five Ways to Retain and Engage Your “B” Players

Set up early wins: Giving new hires clear goals allows you to share realistic expectations. Start with targets you are confident your new hires can meet.

Social Onboarding

Build a sense of community: New hires, in partnership with their manager, should identify seven to 10 people — superiors, peers, direct reports, and internal and external customers — whose success they will contribute to or who will contribute to their success.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

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