5 onboarding mistakes that drive away new staff

Between 10% and 25% of new employees leave within the first 6 months

Top reason new recruits leave is their role is different from what they expected

Nearly 90% of firms estimate that between 10% and 25% of new employees leave within the first six months. According to the Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey, the top reason new recruits leave is their role is different from what they expected it would be during the hiring process. 19% revealed that they don’t like the company’s culture.

Often, it’s an accumulation of negative experiences that drive new recruits away, which is why it’s crucial that the onboarding process isn’t overlooked. 


However, many companies are failing to invest enough time and resources into this key aspect of their talent strategy. Whilst 98% of the companies surveyed said onboarding programs are a key factor in retention efforts, nearly a quarter (23%) say the programs last only one day, and 30% say they only last a week.

Writing in Inc, Human Capital Specialist at Welltower, Michael Schneider gives a series of examples of how companies scare new employees away through a lack of consideration.

  1. Failing to prepare for their arrival

“First impressions are everything, and ensuring that you are prepared sets your new employee up for success – mentally and physically,” Schneider explains. “The one question that has guided me: How do you want the dinner conversation to go after your new hire’s first day?”

He says that employers that fail to prepare something as simple as a new desk for new starters can leave them heading for the exit door.

  1. Putting them on an island

“This could go hand in hand with no training, but would also include zero socialisation,” he explains. “If you skip introductions and leave no room for networking, people will have a hard time fitting in.

“As social creatures, human beings require connection and relationships to assimilate to new environments. Without these opportunities, employees feel isolated and excluded.”

  1. Micromanaging

In stark contrast to leaving employees to their own devices, those who instead breathe down their employee’s necks are likely to see a talent exodus. Whilst direction and coaching is always welcome, people want to feel a sense of trust, autonomy, and mutual respect.

  1. Blaming them for your mistakes

“Once you lose the trust and respect of your employees, it will be almost impossible to regain it,” Schneider warns. “Managers who have their employees’ backs and take accountability for their actions gain the respect and admiration of their teams.”

  1. Over-promising and under-delivering

When employers stretch the truth about their culture and environment, it won’t take long for new employees to find out and feel let down.

In fact, being transparent about the atmosphere and admitting its flaws can be the best way to guarantee the right person gets the job, Schneider reassures.

“Just remember, every promise made during the interview process becomes an expectation. Be careful not to overpromise and under-deliver,” he adds.

HR Grapevine, Rianna Fulham, 29 Jun 2017