Here’s something that should put trepidation in the hearts of employers: 31% of new hires quit their jobs in the first six months. Ouch! What’s going on here—why can’t employers keep their new employees? Here are several reasons I think contribute to new hires leaving, dubbed the seven deadly sins of employee onboarding.
1. Lying about the employee’s responsibilities in the interview and application process.
Unless you’re interested in earning a bad reputation for your company, tell them the truth about what they’ll be doing in the position you’re hiring for. That means working preemptively to make sure you’re hiring the right candidate for the right position.
To do that, make sure your hiring process includes the following:
- A complete and detailed job description.
- An ideal candidate profile.
- Targeted recruiting sources for the position.
- Appropriate and measurable interview questions.
- A system to compare candidates based on job requirements.
Check out our article, How to Avoid Common HR Mistakes, to learn more about the necessities of making sure you’re creating the right job application so you—and your new hires—can avoid frustration.
2. Dropping an employee in their new job with no one to help them understand what they’re supposed to do.
I thought this infographic from LinkedIn spoke to the importance of designating a person to help orient your new hire. According to the infographic, new hires say they want that person to be their manager—not someone from another department or an HR manager. Is that something your organization makes a rule?
3. Not having an onboarding program and process in place.
Along with dropping a new employee in their position and giving them no one-on-one guidance, dropping an employee in a new job (even with a mentor) but not providing a plan of how to help them learn what they need to do for their job is a huge mistake. The fix? Create an onboarding program and then write it out—in detail—as a process for the new hires to follow.
That way, you can follow the steps beforehand to make sure nothing’s missing and have a measurable “test” to make sure your new hire is learning the things they need to know to get up to speed.
4. Not having paperwork ready for them to fill out when they arrive.
Want to make things a lot easier on an already-nervous and possibly overwhelmed employee? Have all of the paperwork they need ready and waiting for them— or, if you can, send them paperwork in advance. Sometimes completing paperwork takes a while, so easing a new employee into it instead of overwhelming them with hours-worth of paperwork on their first day will help them complete it more efficiently. You can also benefit, too; when the paperwork is done ahead of time, you won’t have to scramble to make sure their benefits, payroll, and other accounts are set up, and they can get to work faster.
5. Not explaining the “rules of engagement.”
I loved this explanation from Entrepreneur on the importance of explaining the rules of engagement at your company:
Whether this is the new hire’s first job or he or she has worked in the industry a long time, you must spend time explaining the rules of engagement, otherwise known as the corporate and team etiquette that ensures success. Don’t assume that your listener knows or will work it out individually. This may eventually happen, but there’s usually a cost. Better to articulate “how business gets done” from the outset. Topics may include the cadence of meetings, the etiquette of dialing into a meeting, decision-making, and difficult topics or issues, etc. (10 Tips for Successfully Onboarding Your New Hire)
Without any help from an “insider,” it’s hard for a new hire to know who does what. Ultimately, this explanation helps an employee understand their role, and understand the company culture, faster.
6. Not having a “welcome wagon.”
No matter what kind of environment you work in—a “normal” office, remotely, or a mix of both—don’t neglect having an official welcome for your newest employee. Get your whole team on board to make the new employee feel welcome. And after the initial greetings, make sure more seasoned employees are offering their wisdom to your new hire through one-on-one meetings.
7. Not offering a chance to review how things are going in the first weeks and months.
Finally, it’s crucial to provide ample opportunities to check in with your new hire in the first weeks and months after they begin working. I recommend a two-week, month, six week, two month review, and 90-day review. It seems like a lot, but keep in mind that this is a crucial opportunity to make sure things are going well (and fix them if they’re not).
By taking care of your new hire in the onboarding process, you can help eliminate the expense, hassle, and headache of a revolving door of employees. For more help with onboarding, check out our article, Tips for a Killer On-Boarding Process.