Author: Mary Lou Nolan, Cor Consulting

A 2018 survey from Sigmar recruitment and professional services provider EY found that retaining key staff was the top concern of HR leaders across Ireland. More recent research from Adare Human Resource Management, which surveyed 260 organisations that employ a total of 46,000 staff, shows the average cost of hiring a new employee is €13,100. Once a company has made this investment and hired a new team member, the priority must be talent retention.  Taking the following steps into consideration provides new hires with the best chance of success and ensures they embed into the team and start adding value to the organisation quickly.

1.    Environment

Create an environment where employees feel like an asset to the company, rather than an overhead. The culture of the company is evidenced through how people behave and what is said at the coffee machine. This tone is set from the top. If senior management behave badly, this has a contagion effect across the entire workforce. Alignment between actions and words, consistency of behaviour regardless of pressure, knowing staff by name and ensuring they know how their role impacts the organisations success. This should start at the onboarding phase and continue.

2.    Expectations

Each new hire should be given a job description along with a set of goals and objectives, so they know what is required of them, how and when this will be measured. If changes need to be made this must be communicated directly and clearly.  Good employees, especially new hires, want to prove themselves and add value; to do this they need to know what is expected of them and when.

3.    Tools and guidance

Once the environment is positive and the expectations are clear, new hires need the opportunity and resources to perform. Which means providing the correct tools and the supports to do the job. If there are obstacles preventing success, then ensuring they know what supports exist to help remove them. Provide guidance when needed. If the job entails new knowledge or skills, arrange for appropriate training or coaching to speed up the learning and confidence levels.

4.    Communication and feedback

Once the new hire starts to carry out duties assigned regular communication sessions for two-way feedback is essential. This is not about snatched conversations in public areas, it means sitting down face-to-face on a calendarised basis. The discussion should be what’s working and where any change or improvements are required. As a manager be willing to listen, really listen, to any concerns and open to listening to new ideas or suggestions for problem-solving. Keep employees informed about what is happening with the company - don’t let rumours take over. If there are problems or set-backs, communicate this.