Bad Timing Will Cost You Good Employees

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Employers are looking for the best ways to retain new employees – an important goal considering how easy it is for employees to jump ship for new opportunities in today’s economy.

However, it can be difficult for many employers to discern between times when they should try to retain an employee and times when they should let the employee go because they just aren’t working out. Some of the questions that keep many managers up at night include:

Should I fire the new person? Have I given them enough time to prove themselves?

Should I be doing more to make sure this new person stays with the company?

How long should I wait before I decide what to do?

According to a study commissioned by educational technology company Fullbridge, 78 percent of executives say employers decide whether to keep or fire new employees within the first three months of the new employee’s tenure. A further 27 percent say this decision happens in the first two weeks!

These statistics raise two important questions: Are employers giving new employees enough time to prove themselves? Are employers and managers effectively onboarding new employees so they can prove themselves in a reasonable period of time?

In this post, we’re going to try to answer those questions:

Employee Onboarding Done Right

Onboarding has a significant influence on new employee productivity, development, retention, and engagement. Unfortunately, many employers think of onboarding as a simple matter of handing a new employee some documents to sign, but there’s so much more to it than that.

According to Aberdeen Group, companies with standard onboarding processes experience 54 percent greater productivity and 50 percent higher rates of new hire retention. Furthermore, employees who go through longer onboarding programs gain full proficiency 34 percent fast than employees who go through shorter programs.

EmptyGiven how powerful onboarding can be in terms of employee retention and productivity, it’s a good idea to make sure your process is what it should be by following these tips:

1. Invest in Paperless Onboarding

It’s 2016. The right employee onboarding software is key to effective onboarding because it streamlines the parts of the process no one wants to deal with! This frees up time for managers to focus on new employee development.

2. Incorporate Trust-Building  Into the Onboarding Process

Inspire new employees by showing them they are valuable parts of the team. Happy employees are 12 percent more productive than unhappy employees, and companies with happier employees outperform the competition by 20 percent. Give employees your trust so you can earn theirs!

3. Immerse New Hires in the Culture as Soon as Possible

This means introducing them not only to their teams, but also organizational leaders and teams in other departments. You should also give new hires the chance to bond socially with their colleagues through team outings and lunches. When an employee can clearly see how they fit into the team, they’ll be more engaged at work and more dedicated to the organization.

Reaching Full Potential

By some estimates, it can take new hires 8-12 months to gain proficiency. And yet, many employers give them the boot if they are not up to snuff in three months. Not only is this unfair to the hires, but it also costs employers a lot of money: The organizational cost of replacing an employee  ranges between 100 percent and 300 percent of the replaced employee’s salary.

If you want to give employees a realistic shot at reaching their full potential – and save your company some money – you should set a standard, reasonable amount of time for each new employee to prove themselves. You don’t have to share this information with the new hire, but do keep in mind that each person will develop at a different pace.

Establishing a Timeline

SnowCompanies spend varying amounts of time on onboarding, but the important question here is this: How much time is enough time when it comes to onboarding?

Here is a basic timeline of each stage of the onboarding process as well as the critical steps that should be taken at each point:

– Month 1: Focus on relationships, team-building, employee engagement, company policies and procedures, and the basics of the job.

Months 3-6: Start having frequent conversations about performance with the new hire. Focus on setting practical goals, building strengths, and ensuring that lines of communication are wide open.

Months 6-12: The employee should be growing in their role and picking up new responsibilities. When a year is up, managers can stop considering this person a new hire and start discussing their future with the company – or lack thereof if things didn’t go so well.

New employee onboarding doesn’t have to be challenging. With the right software, the right outlook, and the right timing, your company can build a stellar workforce that beats the competition every time.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Click Boarding blog.

Christine Marino is the chief revenue officer at Click Boarding.

By Christine Marino