How (not) to Lose an Employee in 10 Days

Apr. 25, 2018

Sarah Raful Whinston

I recently placed an Executive Director in a fantastic organization. As her first day came closer I remembered my time as a Director of Talent Development, where onboarding and welcoming were my greatest priorities.

Hiring is just the first step. According to a study from the Society for Human Resource Management[1] (SHRM) “one-third of approximately 1,000 respondents to a February 2014 survey by BambooHR said they had quit a job within six months of starting it.” These stats underline why each organization must find a way to purposefully retain their new talent.

Based on my experience as a leader and as a recruitment professional, here are 8 easy ways to start your new employee off right:

  1. Prepare them Call the new employee before the first day to answer any questions they have about where to go, what time to show up and what to wear.On the logistics side, set up meetings for them in the first week: meetings with individuals, with teams, and a goals-oriented meeting with their supervisor, etc.
  1. Make it like Home Make sure your new employee feels as comfortable and welcomed as possible in their new personal space at work. Decorate their office or cubicle, put up signs, and leave organization swag on the desk.
  2. Share IT Handbooks and Office Maps Don’t let your new employee get lost! Create a packet of all the websites, logins, and passwords your new employees will need to get up and running. Don’t forget an office map to show where everyone sits.
  3. Welcome Them On the first day, after your new employee settles, walk with them around the office, show them where to get coffee and where to put lunch and introduce them to other employees. What if every person in the office wore a nametag for that first day? This way, your new employee will be able to put a name with a face and feel at home faster.
  4. Set up Lunches Do you remember high school, when you wondered who you were going to sit with at lunch? It feels the same way on the first day of work, maybe even the first week. Pick five people, one per day for the first week, to take the new employee out to lunch. Maybe one day it could be a colleague not on their team that they will work closely with, next it could be a long-timer on their team. Think about the kind of information that could be passed while sharing that quality time and how this will resonate with the new hire.
  5. Reintroduce them to HR In the first day or two, the new employee should meet with the HR Generalist to go over official forms It gives them a chance to ask any questions they have in a safe, private place.
  6. Establish Check-ins For the first two weeks, the supervisor should check in daily with their new employee and go over simple questions. “How are you feeling? What information did you learn today that was most interesting? What are you excited about? What are your concerns?” This will help the new hire feel encouraged and engaged.
  7. Immerse them into the Culture In the first week, bring a diverse group of staff together: junior and senior staff, long timers and new comers; and let them tell the new employee about the unwritten rules of working at your organization, everything from casual Fridays to where people eat lunch in the office.

Make a good first impression! The Aberdeen Group reported that 66 percent of companies with onboarding programs claimed a higher rate of successful assimilation of new hires into company culture, 62 percent had higher time-to-productivity ratios, and 54 percent reported higher employee engagement (SHRM).

Make sure to pick one (or several) of the items on this list, start small, but know this will make a long- lasting impact on your employee and your organization.



[1] [Maurer, Roy. (April 16, 2015). Onboarding Key to Retaining, Engaging Talent. Society for Human Resource Management. Retrieved from],