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  • Keith Meadows

How to Lose Employees in a Hurry - The Newbie Treatment

Reducing employee turnover is a central goal of any organization. For each employee lost, turnover costs can easily amount to $5K+, depending on the position. Just think of the cost of new job postings, recruiting fees, training, increased OT from other employees filling the load and lost productivity. It adds up quick with turnover taking a significant bite out of profits. When analyzing turnover, organizations often take a top-down perspective, focusing on existing employees and ensuring their ongoing happiness and satisfaction. This is certainly a beneficial practice, however, a critical piece is often missed – the new employee. If organizations want to truly improve their turnover, managers and co-workers need to double down on the onboarding process and work place integration to ensure their new hires are getting the attention and resources that they need. Demanding More with Less Support – A Recipe for Turnover Since the recession, many companies have streamlined their workforce. Employees are responsible for a multitude of roles and tasks that were once spread out among a larger pool of workers. This consolidation has caused managers, leaders, supervisors to be stretched thin on time and resources. Consequently, when a new employee begins work, it becomes a “sink or swim” culture or an “I don’t have time for new people right now” mentality. This is a short-sided stigma of the business world. Look around you and you’ll see this type of dysfunctionality everywhere. I’m guessing that for many of you, this describes yours or someone you knows’ situation quite well. Being new at a job is daunting enough, with new hires asking themselves daily if they made the right decision. Taking that a step further though and not being properly integrated into a company can set up an employee for failure; starting the process of their eventual departure from your organization. Here at Disability Solutions, we work to employ individuals and veterans with disabilities all across the U.S.. What we’ve observed, is a consistent fear of the unknown from these individuals. Many of our jobseekers have not worked in the recent past and are terrified that once they start working again they will be an outcast. It’s safe to say they have the exact same fears as the rest of the job seeking population. What if I don’t fit in? What if I don’t know what I’m doing? Starting Off On the Wrong Foot The majority of new hire turnover happens in the first 60 days of employment. Of course some of this is natural as there will always be people hired who end up not being right for the position. However, too much unnecessary turnover happens in these first 60 days that could have been avoided if companies had simply invested in the one element that is so amazingly scarce to all of us – time. Too frequently in companies, new hires have absolutely no connection to the organization’s leaders until they are out of training. In many companies, there are clear barriers to free communication. Managers may not talk to new people because they have not earned their “stripes” yet or they are not really a part of “us” yet. Chances are that all of those companies have one common denominator – high turnover. Setting Up New Hires for Success To properly integrate a new hire, it is imperative to pair new employees with strong mentors, trainers and leaders. It’s not enough to simply distribute the employee handbook, share a collection of corporate slogans and go over the rules. Rather you must make connections for your new hires, ones with individuals they truly feel comfortable sharing and communicating with and who can connect with them on an authentic level. To build the level of comfort required to set a new hire up for success, your managers, team leaders and supervisors need to connect with new employees one on one. Focusing on dispelling the fears of all new hires, those central questions of “What if I don’t fit in?” or “What if I don’t know what I’m doing?” can help a new employee feel welcome, letting them know that they are not alone. Creating these connections and starting conversations earlier increases a new hires confidence and lets them feel that they are important. That focus on building a new hires confidence will help them identify a long-term path to growth and success and in the process, dramatically reduces the organizations turnover costs. Every person who has ever had a job still remembers how it felt to be new. For many of us, the feeling of being new was not a good one and we could not wait until we were not new. Companies that succeed are the ones who transform the words “new employee” into something to be celebrated rather than stigmatized.

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