Why New Hires Leave In Year One

Employees who leave within their first year often have a story to tell. In some cases, it may be extenuating circumstances, but the statistic is too common for that to be the norm. Forbes says this number is at least 38%. That’s more than a third of all new hires flying the nest in less than 365 days. 

But why?

As Handler observes new hire engagement with our clients and colleagues, here are the most important factors. 

Poor Onboarding Experience

Your onboarding process gives the new hire their first glimpse into how everything runs behind the scenes. Any hiccups, lack of awareness on the part of your team, or payroll issues will be noted and could leave them with a few red flags. They instantly wonder, “Do these people have it together?” 

Before anything begins, do everything possible to make your new hire feel welcomed! Plan out each phase of the onboarding process. It should include the following:

  • Documentation and paperwork
  • HR & Payroll resources
  • Onsite and remote policy review
  • IT collaboration for access and initial setup
  • Leadership introductions and meetings
  • Team introductions
  • SOP access and review
  • Training resources
  • Connect with a supportive team member who can help with onboarding and/or name a mentor

Poor Communication

Nothing breaks down a team faster than poor communication. The symptoms of poor communication include too many meetings and emails, not enough collaboration, not tracking threads and staying updated, not looping in the right players, not providing useful feedback, or simply poor verbal or written communication skills. 

This can be a “people problem” as much as a “process problem,” but as leaders worth following, it’s your job to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both. Work on your communication skills and offer opportunities for your team to do the same. Actively seek feedback from your new hire and hear what they need from you.

Lack of Support

Every new hire should know exactly who they answer to and for what. They should also know who to rely on for support and where to find training materials as needed. If they feel unsupported, it can seem like they’ve been set up to fail and become discouraged. 

A lack of support also feeds into how they develop as a team member. Check-in with them regularly and find out how they are doing. Attempt to resolve any issues they bring up. 

Could it be as simple as creating an FAQ sheet with key people and contact information for the new hire? 

Lack of Training

This is the most avoidable hurdle. Whether this is training for their daily tasks or ongoing development, if they do not have the tools they need to succeed or grow, they’re not likely to stay. Each new team member is an investment in time, resources, and energy. But when developed properly, they become an asset that thrives and adds value to the organization. 

There should be plenty of opportunities for you and your team to professionally develop. Online training, conferences, certifications, and more are plentiful and should be leveraged as much as possible.

Learn more about retaining top talent here: The Laws Of Good Retention