Having bagged your dream candidate, it’s important that employers make sure that the new hire does not have a nightmare experience after he or she joins the company, which has been shown to happen in many cases and is evidenced by the findings of a study by The Wynhurst Group. It showed that 22 percent of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days, which suggests that the new hire, bedding-in period is inherently problematic. And since the break-even point for new managers is thought to be around six months, these new hire failures are especially costly to the business. It’s vital that you build a new hire experience and onboarding process that welcomes, invigorates and retains the employee. Research from the Wynhurst Group suggests that employees who have structured onboarding are more likely to be with the employer after three years. Here’s how to build a dream new hire experience.
Welcoming the employee
I refer to an illuminating and comprehensive study on what constitutes a positive candidate experience as prepared by northcoast99.org. They interviewed 448 new hires working for organizations that were recognized as excelling in the attraction, engagement and retention of top performers. And they found that the new hires who were most satisfied with their onboarding had the following positive things to say about their employer’s onboarding process:
1. They felt their employers were prepared and organized and provided them with the required resources, technology and tools to do their job.
2. They felt encouraged and supported and commented regularly that managers and co-workers were approachable, responsive, encouraging, checked in with them regularly and went to great lengths to help familiarize them with their new role.
3. They were not left to sink or swim; rather they were trained and developed and their employees invested significant time and resources in their training and mentoring over the first few months.
4. They were welcomed and accepted. This meant that new hires felt warmly welcomed during their first days and felt that their organizations valued them and were excited to have them on board.
This may seem like common sense, but many employers fail to do this, which is a shame as it is a simple way to create a dream new hire experience, which should not be neglected but rather prioritized.
Invigorating the new hire
The other aspect of a dream onboarding involves invigorating the new hires so they get up to speed quickly. This should be paid serious attention as a Mellon Financial corp study found that lost productivity resulting from learning curves for new hires was between 1 percent and 2.5 percent of total revenue.
So, what is the best way to invigorate your new hire and get him or her up to speed quickly. Well, a research paper from the MIT Sloan Management Review shows that new hires who managed to build information relationships with co-workers more quickly than others who joined at the time were not only higher performers, they were also more satisfied in their work.
So, what the research actually showed is that getting new hires up to speed is not just about providing information; it is actually about putting an emphasis on relationship development and identifying the go-to people. This can be achieved by having a socialization program helping new hires to meet staff, which should include planned introductions to key staff, especially senior staff as research showed that new hires were especially reluctant to approach senior co-workers. You could also develop an internal social network with profiles, forums and wikis to help new starters. Surprisingly, the research paper noted that employees who are placed in central locations, making them accessible, have many more opportunities to collaborate and are more rapid onboarders. Making use of mentors and buddies can also decrease onboarding time.
Also, try and give the new hires a small, manageable assignment where they can achieve a quick win. A classic AT&T study showed that these quick wins correlated with the individuals’ performance and promotion level years later. It helps them to establish positive work habits and to prove themselves, giving them confidence. Also, the MIT Sloan Management Review paper showed that if the first assignment required them to build relationships, they would get up to speed faster than someone working on an isolating project.