Watching one of my favorite television programs opened my eyes to how little effort some companies put into their onboarding processes. “Bar Rescue” is a Spike TV show in which Jon Taffer, a successful bar consultant, helps bar owners find the reasons their businesses are failing. One of the issues Taffer finds often is a lack of onboarding. Sometimes, the manager is to blame for lack of training and, sometimes, even the manager never received adequate guidance. Whatever the case, the results are always the same: miscommunication leads to bad customer service, loss of money, and unhappy employees.
Onboarding can be as difficult for the person in charge of planning and carrying it out as it is for the new hire. That “first day on the job” feeling is difficult to handle, but so is this terrifying statistic about how many employees quit within the first few months: 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months, while 25% leave the company within the first year. Of course, an exited employee costs more than the time it takes to replace him or her: with all the little pieces accounted for, an employee who walks could cost a company as much as 150% of their annual salary. That’s enough to make any hiring manager nervous.
Start with Transparency
When someone is hired, it’s because there is a need within the company that has to be filled. Unfortunately, it’s not fair to the new employee to expect a hit-the-ground-running start. The first day on the clock should be spent familiarizing the new hire with the company, the perks, and their responsibilities, answering as many questions as possible.
The first step to starting off on the right foot is providing some type of orientation. It’s always tempting to believe that a new hire with experience in the field won’t need as much of an introduction as one that is inexperienced, but that belief does a disservice to your team: 75% of new hires believe that orientation is beneficial to their success.
Orientation should cover company policies, missions, and values, as well as the needs and importance of the position the hire is filling. In fact, 73% of new employees want a review of company policies. Businesses with this type of effective and open communication are 50% more likely to have lower turnover rates.
Training for All
Though the new hire may have a grasp on the practical and intricate parts of the job after an orientation and introduction to company procedures, they still can’t be expected to perform as the rest of your more tenured team does. Again, expecting anything else hurts everyone involved. A third of new hires want on-the-job training. There needs to be a grace period where a new employee can make mistakes, ask questions, and just become more comfortable in their position.
Training is a chance to teach a new employee what makes your company work, but it is also a chance to reacquaint current employees with the habits that make them great at their jobs. It’s both a boost in morale and a reassurance that your team is as great as they can be.