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

Do I stay or do I go? That’s the question employees are asking themselves within their first 90 days.

Sure, there’s a point in every job, when you wonder if this is really the path worth continuing, or is it time to move on. However, as a new hire, it’s natural to think even more about the future and ask yourself:

Where am I going with this company?

Am I happy here?

Can I see myself working here in a year from now?

What about in 5 years?

All of these are questions important to ask yourself and as a manager, it is critical to have a pulse on how new hires feel about their work and what might trigger them to leave. There are tools available to help you create a more positive on-boarding experience so new employees want to stay with you longer.

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.

Based on 2016 retention research, 22% of employees leave in the first 90 days. Many companies see up to 35% turnover in the first six months. According to GetHired.com, it costs $3K to $18K to replace one quitter. This equates to thousands of dollars in rehire costs not including the negative impact on employee morale and staffing.

Employee Retention Best Practices

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

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