National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Clark: Employee retention starts with the job offer

Originally appeared in Fleet Owner

Now that you’ve found the right candidate for your open position, the real work begins. Retaining employees starts the minute you extend the job offer.

Start by sending an introductory letter to the new hire welcoming them to the company and giving them tips on what to expect on their first day. This reduces first-day anxiety and lets them know you are eager to have them join your team.

Here are some interesting retention statistics from a variety of sources:

  • About 17% of turnover occurs within the first month of employment.
  • An additional 23% of turnover occurs before the employee’s first anniversary.
  • Approximately 91% of first-year employees are retained by companies with formal onboarding programs. Only 51% are retained by those that don’t.

You spend a lot of money trying to hire employees. In addition, losing an employee within the first year will cost you three times that employee’s salary to recruit, hire, and train a replacement.

That makes the onboarding process critical to retention, and it needs to start immediately after the job offer is tendered. Consider doing something as simple as sending them some company swag before their start date, and, of course, make sure you have a work area assigned to the new employee! Your goal is to create a positive work environment and focus on employee well-being.

Employees today are looking for information on a career path. Be prepared to offer them a chance to grow with your company and share that growth plan with them.

Rather than conducting exit interviews when an employee tells you they are leaving, consider using what Dick Finnegan calls “stay” interviews to gauge engagement. These interviews can help you determine an employee’s level of job satisfaction.

Ask the following questions during a “stay” interview:

  1. When you travel to work each day, what do you look forward to?
  2. What are you learning here?
  3. Why do you stay here?
  4. When was the last time you thought about leaving our team? What prompted it?
  5. What can I do to make your experience at work better for you?

Retaining employees is an ongoing process that starts the day you make a job offer and, when done correctly, results in employees staying with your organization for many years.