Your 30-60-90 Day Retention program is more important to the success of your overall retention than anything you do to retain your most tenured workers. Why? It’s the same reason you wouldn’t go on a second date with someone who picks their nose. What? Stay with me.
Let’s say you get set up on a first date. Your date picks you up. He smells nice, looks nice, and he actually has a clean car inside and out, and a job. Something must be wrong! He takes you to a nice, quiet restaurant and the conversation is good. You excuse yourself to go to the restroom and on your way back to the table you see your date pick his nose! Guess what? There will not be a second date!
Now 20 years into marriage you come home, throw on some sweats and pop in something frozen into the microwave. Your husband walks into the house from his drive home from the office and as he walks into the kitchen he has his finger 2 knuckles deep into his nose. Your response? “You better wash your hands before you eat!”
He couldn’t do it on the first date – but if you do it after 20 years – somehow it’s alright.
Employee retention is like that.
When you have a new employee you have to be on your best behavior. As a leader you can’t go all crazy one day because they screwed up on something. You go all “Mrs. Leader” on them and explain how you ‘understand’ this error and that happens when you’re ‘new’. You keep your new employees away from your crazy clients and you won’t allow them to travel with Ted the creepy guy in sales. Now, when your 10 year employee comes around he gets all the worst assignments and he is a regular on the Ted travel adventures to airport strip clubs. Tenure sometimes doesn’t have its privileges.
You can treat you tenured employees like your 20 year spouse – you can take them for granted. You can do this because for the most part, they aren’t going anywhere. If they were going to go somewhere they would have already done it. Your job as a HR Pro is to make sure they stay through the honeymoon phase! That’s it. That’s the heavy lifting in HR – just getting new employees to stay long enough to be considered ‘old’ employees! If you can do this successfully – you’ve done your job in HR. If you can’t figure out ways to keep new employees from turning over – you’ve failed. HR is actually quite easy when put in this perspective.
The secret to great 30-60-90 day retention? No critical feedback and no travel with creepy Ted. Everything they do is rainbows and sunshine – and every Friday afternoon is ice cream and Red Bulls. Don’t panic, you’ll get to beat them soon enough – it doesn’t take long for a new employee to become an old employee. Until then – lighten up on the new guy, Francis.