Ready, Set, Retain! Part 1

What is onboarding? A or B… A) The rush of cramming all of the information into one day of lecturing. B) The process through which new employees learn and adapt to the norms and expectations of the organization to quickly reach maximum productivity. If your on-boarding process reflects a then you may need an on-boarding process overhaul.

The Brutal Facts…

  • As much as 4 percent of new employees leave their new jobs after a disastrous first day” (Moscato, 2005, p. 108).

productivity (Allerton, 1996; Bauer et al., 1998)”; (Slaughter, 2006, p. 265).

  • “Half of all new hires in leadership posts last three or fewer years…When a good manager leaves, it is not unusual for a company to go through two or three new hires before it finds a lasting replacement, someone who reaches and maintains full productivity levels” (Rhodes, 2006).
  • “The Corporate Leadership Council’s research suggests that new employees decide within the first 30 days whether they feel welcome in the organization” (Friedman, 2006, p. 25).
  • “Consulting, a HR firm, conducted a study of 5,700 people, published in 2006. The study found that 1 in 25 people leave a new job just because of a poor (or non-existent) induction programme” (Owler, 2007).
  • Watkins’s research on executive onboarding says onboarding is about reducing the time to real performance. It takes 6.2 months for a mid-senior manager to reach the point where her contributions surpass the organization’s cost of recruiting, hiring and getting her past the learning curve. 40 percent of senior managers hired from the outside fail within 18 months of hire. (Wells, 2005).
  • A Korn/Ferry International survey found that less than one-third of executives are satisfied with the onboarding process. 32 percent said it was below average or poor (Johnson, 2006).
  • 64 percent of new executives hired from the outside will fail at their new job; the average CEO is in the job less than 4 years (Snell, 2006).

The facts are telling…

Too often we hear the terminology “Thrown to the wolves” and “Trail by Fire” to describe the new employee’s on-boarding process. The experience is similar to the following scenario: Think about a child who has never been to school and you decide to let him go to alone on his first day of kindergarten. The child walks into the big schoolhouse and is terrified by the scene of children racing the halls, teachers with large yardsticks, bells ringing. When the child is finally directed to his classroom, the teacher says, please do what the others are doing. There is a room full of children who are there for the first time and they are expected to teach each other the ropes. How likely is this student to be successful? Although, we don’t know the true answer to that question, we do know that it doesn’t appear that the student was set up for success.

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