How is a Ghost Chili Like Employee Retention?

February 1, 2016 in HR Best Practices



They’re both really hot!

With an improving economy and job market, employee retention is back in the spotlight. So today, Kinsa begins a series of posts designed to help you keep your top performers – and keep from getting burned (by voluntary quits, that is – if you eat ghost chilies, you’re on your own!).

Out of the Gate: Retention Efforts Should Start Before Your Employee Does

Skeptical? Check out these statistics:

  • According to data from The Management Association, employees with less than one year of tenure account for the highest turnover (36%).
  • Research cited in this post states that up to 20% of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment – and that it costs between $3,000 and $18,000 to replace those employees.

Related post: Top 5 Employee Turnover Myths

In truth, employee retention efforts should kick in the minute a candidate accepts your offer…

The initial impression your organization makes on a new employee sets the tone for your working relationship. Ultimately, the way you treat him can mean the difference between his long-term commitment and his willingness to leave for the next best offer. Make sure you’re onboarding your employee with retention in mind:

  • Examine onboarding through the lens of a new hire. Is your offer letter warm and personal – or boilerplate? Is employment paperwork streamlined and easy to complete? Or a mountain of cryptic forms?
  • Consider adding an onboarding portal to your website. Upload required paperwork, but don’t stop there. Add a new hire FAQ which covers commonly asked questions. Provide tips from your employees on how to “survive” the first week (this could range from practical to tongue-in-cheek, depending on your corporate culture). Do whatever you can to help alleviate concerns, answer questions and make your new hire feel prepared and excited for his first day.
  • Make the first day great. The best way to properly welcome your new hire is by preparing carefully. This earlier post on onboarding contains great tips for managing paperwork, technology, physical space issues, orientation and staff introductions.

…and be a priority through the first 90 days.

Once your new hire starts, use these tips to increase his involvement, accelerate his growth and keep him committed to your food & beverage organization:

  • Recognize good performance. Whether it’s financially or through non-monetary benefits, find ways to reward a new hire who exceeds expectations. The rewards don’t have to be big, as long as they matter to the recipient. Even a well-deserved pat on the back, or informal recognition at a weekly meeting, can go a long way toward making your new hire feel like a real part of the team.
  • Answer “why” questions – even ones your new hire doesn’t directly ask. Whenever you assign work to your employee, explain why he’s doing it. Detail the ways his contributions impact his co-workers, the department and the organization as a whole. When a new hire understands his role – and how that fits into your company’s big picture – he’ll be more engaged (and that’s great for retention).
  • Start developing his career path immediately. Don’t wait for the first performance review to discuss training, educational opportunities or 3-to-5 year career goals. Broach these subjects naturally, as soon as they make sense. While you certainly don’t want to overwhelm your new hire, you do need to send a clear message that you want him to stay and grow with your organization over the long-term.

Improve employee retention by making better hires.

With decades of experience in food & beverage C-level and executive recruitment, Kinsa Group knows how to recruit for longevity.  Our recruiting process ensures the candidates we refer:

  • have the skills and experience to succeed;
  • possess the “soft skills” and personality to thrive in your culture;
  • bring the energy and the best practices to help your company achieve its objectives.

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