Employer Insights

Retention Starts from Day One

Posted by Tanya
min read

After ten years in the recruitment industry, I have seen it all. And the question I get asked most from my clients is, “Tanya, how do I ensure my newly hired staff member stays with the business?”

As we are all aware, hiring new staff members, regardless of whether you use a recruiter or not, can be an expensive exercise. By the time you factor in the cost of advertising the position, the time it takes to review the potential candidates, interview your shortlist, reference check and then present offers, coupled with the costs of training and onboarding that particular new hire, you have spent a lot of money before your new employee has started adding value to the business. I believe the best way to ensure your newly hired staff member stays committed can be influenced in the early days, and it all starts on, and even before, DAY ONE!! “But Tanya, my new employee has only just started, surely there are going to be no issues in the first few days?”

Well, to be honest, often there aren’t any issues in the first days, but it’s how the new employee feels in those early days that impact the remainder of their time with your organisation. So, what simple changes can you make to increase the chances of ensuring your employee stays long term?

1- Have they received all relevant documents before their first day?

Ensure your new employee has received their contract before their first day.  It gives them an opportunity to read through it and have any questions prepared before they start. Make sure they know if they need to bring anything in, such as tax file information, bank details and so on. Often new employees worry about the little things and having all relevant information reduces the initial new job stress.

2 - Ensure their workspace is all set up.

We have all been there, day one in a new job, we turn up and go to our desk, and suddenly there are more IT issues than you can shake a stick at. The computer isn’t set up correctly, there are no logins for the new employee, and they spend the best part of their first day waiting or on the phone to IT. A simple solution is to make sure everything is ready on their first day. Is the computer set up? Do all their IT logins work? Is there anything they need in the form of stationery that will help them prepare for their first week? By ensuring these simple tasks are undertaken before the employee commences can impact their feelings about their new role.

3 - Make them feel welcomed!

Nothing sets the mood more for a new employee than starting on their first day and having a card, a bunch of flowers or a morning tea arranged to welcome them to the business. It’s a nice simple gesture that sets the tone for making your employees feel valued. Here at people2people all new employees are given a gift pack, with coffee mugs, notebooks, a drink bottle and compendium on their first day. Something simple that really makes a lasting impression.

4 - Set clear expectations with regards to reviews.

During their first week, it’s a good idea to sit down with your new employee and open the lines of communication. Let them know, as their manager, that you are approachable and happy to chat about any issues they may be facing. Ensure they feel comfortable approaching you. It’s also a great time to communicate review periods. Book these dates straight away so your new employee can see you are committed to their career. These review meetings are great opportunities to speak about how your new employee is finding the role and offer any solutions if there are any issues.

5 - Team Lunch

During the first week schedule a team lunch. It doesn’t have to be at a fancy restaurant it could just be ensuring everyone is in the lunchroom at a certain time and ordering some pizzas. It’s a nice nod to welcoming the new employee and also building your team culture within the organisation.

6 - Provide training, education, and career progression.

Promoting from within is an excellent way to incentivize employees and allows them to feel valued and a part of the organisation’s growth plan. It also allows the company to have clear succession plans in place. By sitting down with your new employee and highlighting team success stories and the pathway to ongoing promotion, it allows your new employee to feel a part of the team and know there are potential career progression opportunities available. Highlighting any ongoing training and education your business provides encourages your new employee to be excited about an organisation investing in their career.

These are just some suggestions I have found can help organisations ensure their staff stay long term.  Ultimately, your employee may still leave you one day for their dream role, but at least you can feel good knowing you have taken the relevant steps in the initial stages to ensure you have given your employees the best opportunity for long term staying power.