The First 90 Days
As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I am aghast by the statistic that 30% of the people quit a job in the first 90 days. Yet, very few organizations bring resources to bear or place an emphasis on how they can impact employee turnover in those first 90 days. In the mind of this employee retention author…that’s crazy. The opportunity to impact your bottom line and retain the talent you need demands that an emphasis be put on this time period. If you don’t, you are missing an incredible opportunity.
Why not hold a kaizen event around the issue of the first 90 days? In one kaizen event I participated in with a client we spent two days looking at employee retention; not just the first 90 days. However, there was a focus on the first 90 days because we recognized based on the data that we had compiled that the first 90 days was critical. The ideas we came up with were varied, out-of-the box and effective. This client saw their employee turnover go from 50% to under 20% in a year. The impact on the organization was huge.
When you look at this period of time, look to find those signs that someone may be thinking about leaving or may be struggling in their role. One of the key areas we noticed was that if a person was not sitting with people from their department at lunch, there was a greater likelihood that they were going to leave. This was a sign that there weren’t fitting into the culture of the department. We then discussed ways to address that situation and developed action items that specific people in the kaizen event were going to take to 1) monitor this with new hires and 2) what potential actions could be taken if we noticed this taking place.
Another area that we noticed was that if a person was not able to perform several tasks as part of being a new person on the production line, they were also an employee retention risk. This was again monitored with new employees and remedial steps were taken to help those employees learned those tasks if they were struggling to do so. We identified the root cause of why people were quitting. They were getting frustrated if they could not do these key tasks and this frustration led to their quitting.
What we did was nothing fancy. It was common sense and simple. However, by systematically identifying those risk factors on a consistent bases and acting to deal with the risk factors was actually sophisticated when looked at as total employee retention system. This stuff works if you apply analysis and focused action. Take a look at what is going on with your employees in the first 90 days. You will see trends and signs. When you do, act on those signs. The results will amaze you.