Coming into a new role at a new organisation is difficult for anyone. You need to know that you have the best chance of success in this role so that you’re not staring down the barrel of a job you don’t enjoy and the possibility of needing to go through the offboarding and job search process all over again.
Traditionally, your success as a new employee has been framed as something that is entirely down to you – do you work hard enough? Are you a quick learner? Do you fit into the existing culture with ease? These are all relevant questions, but the responsibility is no longer solely with the individual, with many organisations realising they have a role to play in ensuring the success of their new hires.
Why do new employees leave?
Every industry has its own struggles, with employees facing different challenges and creating different rates of turnover.
Here in Australia, like in many of the developed economies, the job mobility rate – the share of those who have been working for their current employer for less than three months and were also employed in the previous quarter – is at an all time high level. It’s the result of the pandemic and a tight labour market. Employees know that they don’t just have to hear stories of greener grass, they can make a change and experience it for themselves, easily.
There are lots of things that can make employees take the step to exit and these reasons can be more powerful in the first few months of a new role:
- The job reality doesn’t match the advertised job description
- High turnovers see managers moving on quickly and employees left unsupported
- Team and working dynamics are different to what was expected
- Recruitment process may have been faulty or lacking, leading employees to be placed in a role not right for them
- And many more
It’s in the best interest of all organisations to keep their employees. Back in 2017, The Work Institute estimated that for every person who quit their job, it cost a business 33% of their salary, in hard costs like recruiting, background checks and temporary workers – and this doesn’t even begin to cover the soft costs in reduced productivity, interview time and lost knowledge. This cost is likely to have increased since then.
This is why all employees should be advocating for thorough onboarding processes.
How can onboarding help you succeed?
Your first weeks and months within an organisation are naturally a delicate time and for organisations with high turnover rates, these are the times when employees are most likely to quit. It can be overwhelming and if you’re not given the proper training and support – you can feel as though you are left to flounder. Navigating these early times in your role, without onboarding support, can leave you wondering what’s really required of you – like doing a puzzle without the picture on the box to refer back to. Success is still possible, but it’s an inefficient way of working, with a much higher chance of failure.
Thorough, structured onboarding processes help you to get a firm idea of what success looks like in this specific role, and allows you to be supported as you work towards this success.
Having a clear program as you enter into an organisation means you know exactly what is expected of you at every point through your probation period, a guide into the dynamic of the team and a deep understanding of the culture.
Onboarding provides you with measured standards that you can work to, rather than playing a guessing game with subjective standards. You’re less likely to be surprised by certain elements of the job, and your manager is less likely to be surprised when difficulties arise – instead, the onboarding process will help you address these frustrations and mitigate the risk of any employees leaving.
When organisations work in tandem with recruitment firms to provide this onboarding, it can be beneficial for everyone.
It’s important to remember that onboarding is not a magic spell – it won’t miraculously mean that every employee will find success, never quitting their role. However, it will mean that there are less surprises. Employees navigate the early days with confidence and support, while organisations have less uncertainty and frustration if an employee still decides to leave. It’s all about organisations providing as much support as possible, to get the best outcome.
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