An Employees First Year. It’s Make or Break Time

An Employees First Year. It’s Make or Break Time


In a recent issue of HR Magazine, a company CEO said his most vexing challenge over the next several years will be attracting and retaining talent. Attracting talent is subject matter for another blog. This blog is about retaining talent, specifically keeping talent in the first 12 months. Surprisingly, even in countries with high unemployment rates, many companies lose a significant number of people in the first year—upwards of 25% in many cases.

The cost of hiring a new employee can be upwards of $10,000 so it’s important for HR professionals to pay close attention to the performance and happiness of employees in those first few months on the job.

The word ‘onboarding’ may seem like “jargon”, but it’s an important concept. Onboarding essentially refers to the process of bringing an employee into the company – onboarding starts the second an employee walks in for the first day on the job and can last up to 12 months—sometimes longer. The ‘perfect’ onboarding programme will include:

  • Highly structured training.
  • Setting milestones and benchmarks.
  • Providing the employee with the right tools.
  • Nurturing.
  • Feedback from the employee.
  • Frequent communication.

If a new employee feels lost, overworked, and instantly underappreciated, they are likely to leave for an environment where they feel comfortable. Many companies spend very little on ‘onboarding’ programs—and then pay the price when the employee walks out the door.

Some quick steps to successful onboarding.

  • Set realistic goals. How long will it take for an employee to be productive and working at full speed?
  • If a lot of employees are leaving within the employees first year, find out why.
  • Make sure there’s a program in place to help employees feel welcome.

Competition for outstanding employees is tough and increasing so it’s vital to keep employees in the organisation. One method is to improve the onboarding process. One key to improving HR skills is to get a Diploma in Human Resources Management. This course provides HR professionals with an excellent suite of resources to help improve HR performance—and onboarding.

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