Wisdom//

This Is Why Employees Quit Within Their First Three Months (and What You Can Do to Stop It)

Your onboarding process needs a closer look.

The Devil Wears Prada / 20th Century Fox
The Devil Wears Prada / 20th Century Fox

The first 90 days of a new job mark many beginnings, but no one wants or expects them to be the beginning of the end. Yet research shows that 28 percent of employees quit within those first three months on the job, and overall turnover rates have only been increasing. That has a lot to do with the onboarding process

A new hire’s onboarding process can make or break their experience at your company — and play a major role in their decision to stay on or seek out other opportunities. In fact, a study from the Society for Human Resources Management found that 69 percent of employees who participated in a well-designed onboarding program were more likely to stay in their jobs for up to three years. As a manager or a member of a new hire’s team, you can have a direct impact on your colleague’s transition and longevity at your company. Check out these simple, yet significant ways to improve their onboarding process. 

Start with an entry interview — but don’t stop there 

Work life would be a lot less stressful and a lot more personal if we took the time to lay everything out on the table — our strengths, weaknesses, stressors, priorities, all of it. And if new hires are encouraged to do so as early as their first day or week, it will set the tone for your working relationship, and their work lives in general. A great way to start the conversation is with an entry interview fueled by compassionate directness, as we do at Thrive. Getting to know your colleague and what helps them thrive both inside and outside the workplace will give you the information you need to provide adequate support and help them manage their workload. And after that first discussion, make sure to schedule regular check-ins to stay in the know about how your colleague is doing and provide feedback (studies show that regular feedback can boost learning and task performance). 

Help new hires with names and faces 

It’s easy to lose track of all the new names and faces when you’re just starting out at a new gig. Think back to when you were first getting acclimated to your team, and felt the pressure of getting to know so many people at once. A simple, and often overlooked, strategy to ease this kind of anxiety is by playing an active role in your colleague’s introductions and “so-nice-to-meet-yous.” As a manager, you can take these informal meetings one step further by bringing your new hire around the office to meet everyone on your team and other employees they may interact with in some capacity. Don’t hesitate to reiterate team members’ full names and positions when talking to your colleague throughout the following days or weeks (hello, information overload). 

Keep them engaged — without overloading 

Engagement is key to keeping employees satisfied in their roles. Research shows that unchallenging work that lacks meaning puts employees at a greater risk of quitting. With this in mind, aim to give your new hire work that will speak to their purpose at the company (and even other interest areas they’d like to explore), but avoid adding too much to their plates in those first few weeks. To garner a better sense of what they can and can’t handle, try adding to their workload in increments, and be sure to ask how they are doing in those regular check-ins.

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