In my workshops, I ask the question, “Do you have people who accept a job and then do not show up?” Hands go up and heads nod. In addition to measuring experience, we recommend that organizations track “no-shows” of people who accepted a job and didn’t show up. It could be that their current job convinces them to stay, or that another company realizes the person is open to change and hires the person. Rewiring Excellence: Hardwired to Rewired provides recommendations to increase the probability that the person shows up as well as additional retention tools to use beyond orientation.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Retention starts during the interview process. Include the people the person will work with. This helps the candidate feel good about the new job and their coworkers. Also, make other introductions during the tour. Coworkers are important to a new employee. They are ending relationships from their old job. The more at ease they feel about who they will work with, the better chance they will show up. Remember, when it is announced they are leaving, coworkers may share how much they will miss them. Doubt about the new job creeps in.
- Don’t wait to start orientation. It’s important to have the person attend an orientation on or near the first day. But also, during the interview process, take time to go into detail on the orientation. Research shows that most employees today value skill and career development. Cover those two aspects during the interview process. They will get the message: “We are committed to investing in you and providing you with the time to build your skills. We also are committed to helping you in your career, even if that means someday you leave us.” Of course, the more one follows through on these promises, the less likely the person is to leave.
- Keep in touch. If you feel a call from someone in the company will help keep the person engaged, ask them to do so. While the person may not have been involved in the selection process, a call can make a difference. Have the person’s supervisor to keep in contact with calls and/or texts. If the person will have a work email, get them one even before their official first day. Text the person that you are excited they are on board, and that everyone is excited to work with them. Text key information. Cover items like parking, any specific clothing they’ll need (uniforms, etc.), and name badge information. When possible, plan on meeting the new person their first day when they come to work. If they are spending the first day in orientation and not in the department, stop by and check in with them.
- Make a welcome video in which coworkers let the person know how they feel about their coming on board. We have been doing these for some time with great success. Adapt them to the department. One video I saw had the coworkers announced by name like players are before a basketball game; then the person shared their excitement to work with the new hire. Some are individual messages from the coworkers. These videos have an impact.
I am sure you also have some ways you keep the person engaged before the actual start date. I would love to hear your ideas and stories.
You will find lots of tips similar to the above in my two most recent books. For a free download of Rewiring Excellence: Hardwired to Rewired, available until October 15, 2023, click here. To order your copy of Sundays with Quint, click here. All proceeds go toward the ongoing support of the Center for Civic Engagement.