saving a drowning man Most of us know that employee engagement levels are in a shocking state, with around 13 percent of employees being engaged in the workplace. It might seem logical to blame employers for this problem, but it’s not all their fault as I believe recent economic factors have a part to play in the current low levels of employee engagement. But, if employers want to get the best from their employees, they have to take full responsibility for fixing it.

What is particularly interesting about modern employee disengagement is when it starts to kick in. It seems that, and as you would imagine, employees enter an organization all fresh faced and starry eyed, yet by 9 months the honeymoon is over and rot starts to set in, according to this 2014 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey. Their survey showed that someone hired today will be less productive in just three quarters. That’s why it seems that you have just 9 months to save your new hire from corporate disenchantment.

One of the chief means of saving news hires from the 9 month corporate cliff seems to be improving onboarding programs. Their survey revealed that 38.21 percent of employers were considering adding to their onboarding program in 2014, making it the number 2 priority for HR/hiring teams in 2014, second only to social media management (40.33%), and a long way clear of the third placed priority, developing the employment website (34.91%). The question is whether you are ahead of, on, or behind the curve of improving your onboarding program, especially in a year which has already been earmarked by Hay Group as especially volatile for staff turnover.

Of course, upgrading your onboarding program is not the only way to keep your new hires from the 9 month corporate engagement cliff. It seems that putting an emphasis on line manager skills could also have a great impact. We already know that lack of skills is not the main reason that people leave organizations; it’s down to bad employee attitude, or if you look at it another way, it’s down to a breakdown in relationship and trust between employee and manager. This is reflected in the McQuaig study, which found that the main reason that people leave is down to their boss. This means that despite the pressures and issues that may be arising in the areas of lack of career development, inadequate pay, and lack of trust in the senior management of the business, an effective direct line manager has the power to keep an employee engaged and loyal by managing the employee’s expectations well.

The McQuaig study shows us that placing an emphasis on hiring effective line managers, along with investing in training and coaching hiring managers can have a significant impact on employee engagement levels and help to save your new hires from the 9 month corporate cliff of disenchantment.

Now, there are plenty of interventions that can help to raise engagement levels – and the type of intervention may differ according to your unique business environment – but this McQuaig study suggests that in the current climate, enhanced onboarding and line manager training promise to make the biggest all round impact on new hire retention.

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