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How can you make sure a new employee sticks around?

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Question: “My worst fear whenever we hire a new person is that he or she will work here for a few days but decide not to stay—sometimes people just don’t get a great first impression of a job, its workload, or particular people. What can we do to make the first week of work rewarding and even fun for a newbie?” —Teri, Loans Administrator

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

KTatley November 28, 2013 at 4:22 am

If a new hire leaves in the first week, the problem is more with your hiring process than anything else. Just think how it would be unethical and impractical to create an “artificial” “nice” environment so new hires stay – the office is about getting work done

Set expectations in the hiring process… If you need someone to work hard (or long hours) then don’t try hide this in the interviews and then hope that the candidate will be happy when they start working and find this out – this is simple misrepresentation. Ditto goes for if your new hire is expected to deal with difficult people. Tell them in the interview and see how they react. Some people will not like this and won’t take the job – but these are not the right people for the job and therefore you don’t want to hire them anyway. Some people will see this as part of the challenge of the job – these are the people that you want to hire.

Keith Tatley. Founder of
http://www.ManagerFoundation.Com
“Make managing easy”

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Holly Heinz August 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I try to make sure that the most jovial person in the office has direct contact with a new employee. I’ve also suggested a program where someone is assigned directly to take the person out to lunch and talk about work in non-training mode, just giving them the lay of the land and basically being a “designated pal” for a few days.

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Mark August 3, 2012 at 11:45 am

Coincidentally, I was sitting across the desk from a relatively new employee, who has been here only two months. I asked what we could have done to make his first week rewarding and fun, with his actual first week being so relatively fresh in his mind. His response, “Not have so much reading be part of orientation. It’s boring, and it’s too much information at the start. Give free candy, to be able to give sugar rushes when needed.”

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Sharon August 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

First of all, teach the person one function at a time. Let him do that job a few times and get the hang of it before adding the next job. Giving all the training in lecture-show you this form is doomed to fail unless he has really quick uptake. Provide a notebook and pen to write down step by step directions to be followed until the process is memorized (if you don’t already have those, which you should!) Doing teaches far more than listening. Don’t act irritated when he asks questions.
Secondly, be kind even if firm. Don’t overload with details, don’t introduce the entire staff at once, don’t get into private jokes. Perhaps ask a different person to eat lunch with him each day the first week, not a crowd. People need to feel comfortable and part of the team.

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Amy August 2, 2012 at 9:17 am

When I started working at my current employer, the supervisor and manager frequently checked in on me to see how my training was going. They asked things like, “How can we help you be successful here?” and “Is there anything they did at your last job that we could use here to help you?” Things like that.

It’s important to give the person good training – no one likes to be thrown into a new position and left to fend. Ask periodically if they feel comfortable with the training they are receiving. Let them know they can come to you with any questions or concerns.

The more welcoming you are and the more you keep the lines of communication open, the better their experience and the more likely they are to stick around.

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