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Bonus Focus - Treasured Talent: Preventing Quick Quits


By Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans

Your risk of losing talent is highest in their first three to six months on the job.  Why might that be? Too often we choose the right people but fail to support them as they assume their new roles. It is crucial that you extend the handshake in ways that matter to each new hire.

Orientation (also known as onboarding) and ongoing support are key pieces of the selection process and will increase the odds of your new hires’ success, contribution to and tenure on the team. New hires come to an organization fully charged, excited about their new adventure and filled with energy and potential. By effectively tapping into that energy, knowledge and wisdom right from the start, you can maximize the new employee’s potential and productivity well past the first year.

We know that many quick quits can be prevented. There is a direct correlation between shortened tenure and actions you do, or do not, take (yup, sorry—you again). Develop a relationship. Show you care. Start by having conversations with your new employees.

Talk about Relationships

  • What kind of support or direction do you need from me that you aren’t getting? What are you getting that you don’t want?
  • How are you getting along with your other team members? What introductions would you like me to make? Are you finding people to go to lunch with? Are you finding people to go to when you need help?

Talk about the Job

They joined your organization because you offered work they love to do. Are they doing it? If the job doesn’t measure up to what you promised, find ways to close the gap. Check in early and often – daily in the beginning.  These questions should help:

  • How does the job measure up to what we promised so far? Where are we on or off? How might we course-correct?
  • What other interests would you like to explore, either now or over time?

Talk about the Organization

The people you carefully recruited and selected are now onboard. Are they wondering who or what they’ve joined? Early on, ask questions like these:

  • How does the work pace and schedule work for you? Is there anything we need to adjust?
  • How is our organization the same or different from your last employer? What do you miss most? Least
  • How can I help you get more of what you want from this workplace? We want you to be happy here!

Yes, all this conversation and connecting requires time and energy on your part. But it might just prevent a quick quit!

Meeting Makers

Meet with your new hires often: Daily for the first week, weekly for the first month, once every two weeks for the first quarter, then at least once a month for the rest of the first year. Build your relationship consistently.  Have an “expectations exchange” with them. Clearly define what you expect from them and ask what they are expecting from you.

Here are some tips we’ve learned from savvy managers with great hiring records.  With each of your new hires, try this:

  • Introduce them to others on your team even before their first day.  People with several options could be tempted by another offer before they show up for the first day of work.
  • Spend time teaching them about the organization they have just joined. Tell stories, share your experiences and knowledge about the culture and history.
  • Involve your key people in the new hires’ orientation. Expose new employees to others’ views as well as your own.
  • Mentor and find mentors for them as they work to close the inevitable skill gaps.
  • Observe them—what do they enjoy the most? What’s easiest or hardest for them to learn?
  • Develop a learning plan to ensure they are challenged.
  • Ask great questions . . . ongoingly!

Be available to support this treasured new talent in this uncertain early stage of their employment. That may mean seeking them out to see how they are doing and conveying that you are behind them all the way.

Get creative as you think about ways to welcome your new talent!  Yes, all this conversation and connecting requires time and energy on your part. But think about the goal: preventing a quick quit.

Beverly Kaye is the Founder of Career Systems International. Sharon Jordan-Evans is the President of the Jordan Evans Group. This article is based on concepts from Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. 

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