As an employee retention speaker and employee retention expert, I talk about how crucial the first 30 days is in the employee retention process. Statistically, 30% of the people make the decision to stay or leave in the first 30 days. They might not leave but they will make the decision in that 30-day period. With that in mind, I focus on what I call the “30- day experience.” Part of your retention strategies should be to make that first 30 days apositive experience so that people want to stay.

Recently, I was speaking with a young millennial about his experience in orientation on the first day of his summer job doing research at a university. Orientation consisted of sitting in a room and watching 8 hours of video. Several others were with him. The boredom factor was beyond comprehension. Several people with him in the room even fell asleep. All of them walked away shaking their head in disbelief.

Had they not needed the job, they probably all would have quit because none of them want to work in a boring, mundane job in an institution that can’t do orientation properly. Even they realize this is NOT how to do orientation and have people learn, much less create an experience they would want to repeat.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize not all learning is fun and games but as an employee retention trainer, you have to at least try to spice it up a bit. Sadly, this is what “onboarding” looks like in many organizations. If you want to have new employees view the organization as a place worth working in long-term, you need to get innovative, throw in some variety and actually use adult learning techniques. It’s not just about checking the box on the orientation form, it’s about learning so they can do their job right and view the employer as a place they want to work.

Given this experience on the first day, this young man is seriously dreading what the rest of the summer might be like. His mind is geared toward a boring, unfulfilling job. If this weren’t just for the summer, he would seriously be looking at how quickly he could get out of this job. In his mind, this was more like a death march than an orientation!