Leverage Your Onboarding (Or Your Staff Are Going To Leave)


Your staff decide on their first day whether or not they’re going to stick around.

That’s likely true for most businesses.

Because the first day is when you understand how you fit in, it’s when you decide whether you hate or love your new job, and it’s when you meet the people you’re going to work next to day after day.

It can be an absolute shock to the system when you walk into a completely unknown environment and open yourself up to whatever happens next.

This is why onboarding is the key piece to keeping your staff happy, keeping your staff on the same page and you know what, keeping your staff in the first place.

If you can get the initial experience right, it goes a long way. People will walk in wanting to know and be taught a shopping list of info, and they’re going to feel uncomfortable about bombarding anyone with a bunch of questions.

They’ll want to know the simple things – how do they take their leave so they can go visit their folks, what happens when their dog gets sick and they need to do a vet run, how will they get paid, when will they get paid, when’s the lunch break, when do they clock off?

The first touch point will have far reaching consequences and impact.

The first touch point will be a mark of your company’s strengths, values and approach to people.

Some of this is especially true based on the demographic of the staff you’re hiring. The data from organisations like SHRM shows a lot of movement among millennials, heavily influenced by their first interactions with a new job:

This is particularly true of impressionable Millennials who may be new to the workforce and unclear about what to expect. Rather than setting new employees up for success, organizations with poor onboarding processes are setting the stage for an early exit. This is both a cross-generational and an intergenerational problem. As demographics continue to shift, Millennials are likely to make up a significant number of new hires. But premature leave-taking can happen at every level and at every age. Nearly one-third of all new hires quit their jobs within the first six months. At Lawrence, 28 percent of new hires leave at the half-year mark.

One of the team members at Flare likes to tell a story about his first day in the company.

As he went through the onboarding process before he started, using our platform, we had some fun questions lined up, asking him about his favourite pastry and his favourite coffee.

When he walked in the door on his first day at the company, our CEO was waiting for him, with a cup of coffee just the way he wanted it and the best brownie we could find. Years later, he still remembers how that made him feel, and he’s still loving being a part of the team.

That’s what onboarding can do, when you do it right.An employee who gets onboarded is an employee who is on board – with the manager, with the product, with the goals, with the vision, with every single part of the company.

When you have someone kick off their career with you, and their first experience is chaos, or not being able to find their desk, having no clue when they’ll be paid, awkwardly trying to find out how to take leave for that holiday they’d already booked and not even knowing where the best coffee is in the neighbourhood, it has the complete opposite effect.

It starts to drive them away. It’s because they’re walking in feeling like an outsider, and that gives them absolutely no motivation to want to be an insider.This is something we’ve talked about a lot, and we’re still inspired by it.

The right way to do it?

Make sure you give out as much information as your new staff are going to need
Don’t overload them with too much paperworkAdd a personal touch, and remember that people are more than “new starters” on a spreadsheet
Give them time to absorb, learn, and get to know the folks around them

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