February 28, 2017

How to Hang on to the Employee You Just Hired

By Paul Bieber

Most employees who leave their jobs do so during the first 60 days. They decide the job isn’t for them, or there was no clear path to grow on, or they were not given the training to help them succeed.

You spent a lot of money to hire the next Superman and, just like that, the money goes up in smoke. So, you call up the second choice from your ad, he is still available, and 60 days later the same thing happens.

Unless you are the owner of Google or Apple, read on.

John Doe arrives at 7 a.m. on Monday morning. Big or small company, have someone designated to meet him at the door and help him to get acclimated. Walk John through your company introducing him to all section leaders and all of the people who will be working with him. Show him where his locker is, or where he can hang his hat. The lunch area, or simply the microwave. Whatever your amenities are, make him aware.

Next, sit down with John and go over your employee manual page-by-page. Give him his copy and get a signed receipt that he has the manual. Be specific with him outlining his responsibilities and the company’s. Explain his pay rate, benefits beginning date, vacation scheduling, sick day or personal day policy and work scheduling. In other words, go over these points now, not in 30 or 60 days when it is not what he remembered from the interview. If there is confusion, it is better to straighten it out now, and lose him now if necessary, rather that two months down the road when he asks for a day off and can’t have it.

Give him a strong sense of the history of the company and where it is going in the next couple of years and how he will fit into these plans. Build up his excitement to be part of your team.

 Do his I-9 paperwork on the first day of work, or at the latest the second day. If suddenly he doesn’t have the right documents, you want to know this now, not three weeks in.

Assign him a ‘work buddy’ who will be his mentor for the first month or two. Every new employee needs this at every level of your company. John Doe and his buddy should meet for ten minutes every day during his first week, five minutes daily in his second week, and 15 minutes weekly for the next couple of weeks.

You hired John because of his current skills or his trainability. Set weekly goals for the first six weeks, have his direct manager give him daily and weekly feedback on how he is doing. If he needs help, do it now, not when he is struggling and feeling lost four weeks in.

The biggest reason people leave new jobs in the first 60days is they do feel lost and uncared for. Sounds like you are dealing with a little kid. Accept it, you are. Take care of John like you would with a teenager going to high school for the first time. And you will reduce your early-employment turnover, a real cost saver and productivity issue.