Worked Hard to Hire Them… now, How to Keep Them

by Mike O'Neill

One of the biggest pain points for companies is managing employee turnover.  Studies show that about 20% of employee turnover occurs in the first 90 days of employment. That means that one of every five employees who start a new job today are likely to have left that job within just three months. When you think about the fact that it costs about $4,000 to fill the average open position, that’s an alarming statistic for employers. When new employees unexpectedly leave, the hiring, on-boarding and training costs are wasted, affecting the bottom line. Those organizations which nurture a new hire’s first 90 days of employment will find themselves with lower turnover rates – which translates to happier employees, happier clients, and, consequently, higher profits.

Here are some tips to help your new employees start out on the right foot:



  • Send the new hire a welcome note, a first-week orientation schedule, and any paperwork he or she should bring on the first day.
  • Set up the employee’s workstation (phone, computer, business cards, etc.).


  • Tell the receptionist a new employee is arriving.
  • Arrange a tour that includes places relevant to the person’s job.
  • Share a welcome message from the CEO.
  • Provide an orientation packet, a staff directory and an employee handbook.
  • Ask the person’s manager to take him or her to lunch. Better yet, assign him or her a lunch partner every day the first week.
  • Assign a buddy to help smooth the transition during the first month.


  • Make a timetable for setting and reaching goals.
  • Set up one-on-one meetings to introduce the newcomer to other departments.
  • Host an informal get together so he or she can get to know the team.


  • Have managers check in on the employee’s progress.
  • Encourage a two-way conversation between the employee and the manager.
  • Identify and resolve any concerns.


  • Conduct a survey to gain feedback on your on-boarding program.
  • Get the new hire involved in short & long-term projects so he or she can begin to feel a sense of accomplishment – but nothing too big at this stage.


  • 20% of turnover occurs at this point. So this is a great time to assess an employee’s understanding of their role and find out if they’re happy with work.


  • It typically takes this long for an employee to fully transition into an organization and start understanding his or her role.
  • Give feedback and raise any concerns.
  • Have supervisors ask how they can help the employee.
  • Ask the employee about any ideas for improvement.
  • Discuss whether there’s any reason he or she would want to leave.

Sources:,, The Big Book of HR (Career Press), Human Resources Kit for Dummies (Wiley)


If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs.

– Anonymous

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