There are numerous reasons why new hires decide to cut their time short:
Unmet expectations created during the recruitment phase
A lack of clarity about their role
Poor or overbearing management
Limited opportunities for self-development
Other reasons leading to dissatisfaction or discomfort with their new role
This impacts your existing staff as well. When a new hire leaves, the rest of the team starts questioning their roles within the company.
Once dissatisfaction sets in and disappointment lingers, the call of better roles in greener pastures can be hard for them to ignore. Glassdoor reports that 84% of employees would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that has an excellent corporate reputation.
Remember the excitement you felt when you first accepted your current role? Emotional momentum refers to maintaining that excitement as your new hire journeys from candidate to new employee to seasoned staff.
Being aware of and maintaining emotional momentum will stave off disappointment and disillusion, and hopefully convert them into long-term, genuine advocates of your organization.
So, what kills emotional momentum and turns a potential advocate into a detractor? Silence. Disengagement. A disconnect between the promises during the recruitment stage and reality.
The Broken Band Promise
When a company first engages a candidate, it can be tempting to paint an overly rosy picture of the organization and the role.
“When employees don’t have the experience they were promised, they will likely make their unhappiness known — in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. They may start looking for new job opportunities, or they may become actively disengaged employees, meaning they develop such a distaste for their organization that they take deliberate steps to undermine its progress.” — Gallup, State of the American Workplace
What’s the Solution?
Cue onboarding (ta-da!). Employee onboarding is the process of engaging with and preparing your new hires right from the point of role acceptance, and maintaining that engagement through their critical first day of work, and into the foreseeable future. Beyond that, onboarding is also an opportunity to make your new hires feel valued, respected, and appreciated — all crucial components of positive employee experience (EX).
Engaging onboarding is the key to massively improving new-hire retention and decreasing turnover, minimizing the loss that comes with attrition.
Preboarding: The Hidden Opportunity
According to Zach Lahey from Aberdeen Research, the period between accepting a job offer and the first day of work is a great opportunity for “new hires to become engaged and excited by immersing them in the company culture before they formally start.”
Examples of good actions from compelling pre-boarding programs we have observed:
Send the new hire personalized messages from their manager welcoming them on board
Send a video introducing them to the organization and the team
Connect the new hire with peers and experts internally so they can ask questions and prepare themselves for the role
Provide early access to the company intranet so they can start to consume relevant onboarding content
Allow the candidate to choose their equipment using an online survey
As Day One approaches, explain any expectations and relevant logistics for the role so the new hire is as comfortable as possible when they arrive
According to the 2017 Brandon Hall “Evolution of Onboarding” study, 51% of organizations report most new-hire attrition occurs during the first six months of employment.
That’s why most HR leaders today see onboarding as covering a period beyond the first few weeks. In fact, organizations classified as world leaders in onboarding continue beyond the end of the probation period and even beyond their first-year anniversary.
Using the same approach to pre-boarding, it’s good to set milestones, reminders, and nudges for the new hire and their manager to continue prioritizing employee experience and engagement.