While working with a new client this employee retention expert was looking at the onboarding process human resources had put together. I was quite impressed how they developed timelines that didn’t cram the onboarding into one day, built-in feedback to the employee, and a whole host of very solid ideas that would support the organization’s employee retention strategies. This is critically important because the first six months of a person’s employment is when there is the biggest danger of someone leaving. This all looked good, but they were losing over 50% of their new hires in the first six months.
This employee recruitment expert was surprised by these numbers in light of their onboarding process, so I started to dig deeper and went out on the shop floor to talk with the supervisors to see if they had any thoughts or insights. After only about ten minutes, I had the root cause of the problem. It was a major disconnect between human resources and the supervisors. Supervisors were given a state-of-the-art process to work with and if they were using it, they certainly weren’t putting a lot of effort into it. They saw this as “extra work” and onboarding as “HR’s job.” They were getting decent candidates, had a process built for them and they were, in essence, ignoring it.
Armed with this information, I sat down with the owner and explained what was going on and that, in my opinion, if the supervisors followed this process, turnover would go down. He was very upset. He had told the supervisors when they kicked this process off that they were a key part of this process. Two days later he had a meeting with all supervisors and told them point-blank that he expected them to get with the program! Time will tell.
Disconnects like this often occur. When they do, they tend to be a significant contributor to employee turnover. Often, supervisors don’t realize the impact their behaviors have on employee retention. They simply believe that employee turnover is “a cost of doing business” or “HR’s responsibility.” If you are a CEO, owner, or in top leadership reading this, look to see if this disconnect is going on in your organization. Perhaps, that’s why your employee turnover is as high as it is!