How to Keep New Employees from Quitting a Job in the First 90 Days

You just hired a new employee last month. They just finished onboarding and are finally settling into their role. Everything seems to be going well, but to your surprise, they quit.

So, what’s the deal? Why would new hires accept an offer at a company, only to leave within the first few months?

Well, it turns out that the first 90 days on the job are crucial. The first three months are when most employees are at risk of early turnover. According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report30% of employees leave during the first 90 days on the job. 

Yikes. What could be going so wrong that they make the choice to leave?

What Causes Employees to Leave

Everyone chooses to leave a job for different reasons, but there are a few that come up frequently. Data from the same report mentioned above found that the number one reason employees left in the first 90 days was because the day-to-day role was not what they had expected, with 41% of respondents marking this as a reason for leaving.

Other top reasons include:

  • 35% – Bad experience or incident
  • 34% – Company culture was not what was expected
  • 32% – Unsatisfactory company leadership
41% left a job within the first 90 days because the day-to-day role was not what they expected.

It’s critical to have a pulse on how employees are feeling about their work and what might trigger them to leave. A person’s experience on the first day of their job sets the tone for the rest of their tenure. You must be intentional about the environment you create.

All too often “work”, day-to-day commitments, and deadlines get in the way of the human aspect of our work. It can be tough to take the time necessary to build productive, meaningful relationships. For most people, personal life and work life aren’t mutually exclusive, but integrated. After all, most of us spend more time at work than we do with significant others, family, or friends. Taking the time to ask how things are going and how you can help goes a long way to keeping people engaged and motivated.

How to Stop Employees from Quitting

You can make a positive impact on new employees by following the best practices listed below for increased employee retention and engagement.

  • Set clear expectations upfront – Provide a clear and realistic picture of the job during the hiring process. A realistic job preview should communicate both the good and bad aspects of the job and company including work environment, duties, culture, etc. A realistic preview will help engage people in their work from day one, and minimize any surprise factors or feelings of mistrust if expectations are not met.
  • Have a strong onboarding processOnboarding is extremely important if you want your employees to stay for the long haul. Don’t leave your new hire in the dark and hope they’ll figure it out. Chances are, if they aren’t able to adjust to the role smoothly, they’ll start to look for a new job right away. Give them the support they need from the start to help get past the 90-day turnover hump.
  • Encourage employee voice – Engage new hires in an open dialogue and encourage them to share their concerns, ideas, and suggestions for improvement. Use this feedback to take corrective action to make improvements and create an environment that promotes employee engagement. Organizations that support and facilitate an employee voice have a higher likelihood of retaining talent and driving behaviors that improve organizational results. A streamlined way to collect feedback is through employee surveys. Consider deploying new hire or onboarding surveys after the first few weeks to get a pulse on your newest team members.
  • Schedule regular check-ins – Check in with new hires often. A consistently scheduled check-in allows for one-on-one interaction to get to know each other better, clarify expectations and provide feedback. Have a conversation about what’s working and what’s not; don’t ignore small issues or they can turn into big issues when left unresolved. The reality is that an employee who has only been on the job 30 days has much different needs than someone who has been there one year.  These needs should be considered when planning for how to best onboard new hires.
  • Recognize their contributions and value – Tell your new hires how much you value their efforts. Recognize specific things that you appreciate. Take the time to write a note of appreciation as a way to show you care. A sincere Thank You note or shoutout instead of a quick ‘Thanks’ often leaves people feeling positive and supported.

Even if you only implement one of these best practices, you can significantly impact the new hire experience, improve retention, and drive positive change in your organization.

Ready to stop losing people in the first 90 days? Pinpoint exactly what caused them to leave and how it can be going forward with new hire surveys. Automatically send them out when new employees hit their 2-week and 5-week milestones with the help of the People Element survey platform. 

If this sounds right for you and your team, request a quick demo or discovery call with the experts to get started.  

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