Two economic trends have employers and employees in high spirits:
- Employment rates in the U.S. have flattened at 4.9%, a benchmark economists consider “full employment,” which also has driven up wages.
- Employee engagement rates have risen globally, particularly in Asia.
I’ve worked with major multinational brands to increase productivity and engagement in their workforce and have learned that the reasons why employees stay and why they go often boil down to easy-to-solve problems. Read on to see what you can do for new hires to help ensure that they not only stay, but contribute to the success of your company.
The first 90 days are critical.
You likely know this already. This short window determines whether you have a high-caliber, contributing new hire and whether they stay. What fascinates me about this brief period is how the factors determining success and attrition vary wildly.
The First Week
Superficial factors impact initial job satisfaction, which influences how the employee perceives the company they work for during their tenure. These factors include benefits and perks, understanding the structure of the organization and, and most important, having a mentor.
Maybe the choices in your org’s cafeteria or vending machines leave something to be desired, but that ranks pretty low on your list of priorities. That’s fine. Do what you can. Don’t paralyze yourself or the organization with perfection.
Here’s one simple gesture you can do to ensure your new hire’s success that doesn’t take a lot of time: Assign someone as their mentor or friend. This mentor orients a new hire with seemingly trivial things like the location of the bathroom (believe it or not, I have known people to quit over this!) to more important things like knowing how to communicate with their manager.
Getting started on the right foot matters.
The First Month
Superficial indicators become less important as new hires progress in their role and needs become more inward-driven than outward-driven. During the first month, new hires want to build a solid relationship with their manager. If they succeed, your new hire is more likely to become a high-quality employee who will stick around.
A manager will often spend copious amounts of time with a new hire in their first few days, quickly dwindling to little or no face time outside of scheduled one-on-ones or meetings. Getting to know a new hire on a personal and professional level doesn’t have to take a significant amount of time, just authentic interest in their success. Authenticity will also help you see how to get the most from your people.
The First 90 Days
As your new hire learns the ropes of the organization and their role, their vision of what they can contribute and do in their career continues to expand. Likely they ask themselves if an opportunity for them to grow and progress exists at your organization. Most organizations focus training on the front-end of a new hire’s tenure; continuing to offer opportunities to learn helps employees feel appreciated, motivated and engaged in their roles. Training can be expensive, or you can find creative ways to instill a culture of continual learning. This could be as simple as hosting a book club you believe your employees could benefit from reading.
A manager’s success depends on the success of his or her team, so no time spent investing in a new hire is ever wasted. How do you invest in your employees, given the limitations of time and resources you may face?