One in 5 Millennials don't survive their probation period

By Greg Weiss, Founder of CareerSupport365 and author of So You Got the Job, WTF Is Next?

April 9 2019 - By 2025 Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce (1), yet the current workplace landscape has revealed high turnover with one in five not succeeding past the probation period. Though organisations should avoid workplace strategies that cater to specific generations, HR teams need to place more value in their crucial role in assisting new employees through the probation period. After all, you wouldn't have hired them if you didn't want them to succeed.

Employee turnover comes at a cost - turnover in the first 12 months is costing employers in Australia $3.8 billion2. Not to mention the disruption to organisational productivity and culture.

In my 30 plus years of experience, I've discovered that most companies skew the focus to the induction period and do not offer structured programs to support employees through their first three months. Without support in that critical period, employees are not being set up for success - which is ultimately the goal for the employee and the company as a whole.

If you have recently hired a new employee, Millennial or not, here are six tips to assist you in setting them up for success.

All aboard the onboarding process

It is easy to want to bring the new employee up to date as quickly as possible with processes such as orientation, usually conducted one-on-one across a relatively short timeframe. However, their short duration and the tendency to 'information dump' discourages employee longevity.

Onboarding is a process that takes time and provides the tools needed for employees to fulfil organisational objectives in the way of personal, professional and emotional support. Employees whose companies have longer onboarding programs gain full proficiency in their positions - 34% faster than those in shorter programs3. In fact, an impressive 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years as a result of an excellent onboarding experience3.

Shared values

All relationships that stand the test of time are founded upon shared values - marriages, friendships, partnerships, rock bands and of course, the employee/employer relationship. It's important to establish your own business values and align these with your new employee's values to ensure everyone is on the same page. Hopefully this element is already worked into your interview process.

Highlight organisational structures

Support new employees in finding the most direct route to allow them to achieve results. With the diverse structures organisations can have, it can be overwhelming for new employees to know where to go for assistance. New employees are often concerned as to who they'll be working with, who they can ask for help and whether they fit in. When these things are taken care of, employees are 54% more engaged4. And when they are engaged, employees are 15% more productive5. By ensuring new employees know who to report to and who to go to for specific problems, you'll reduce wasted time and allow for effective communication.

Have a clear strategy

While most employees can explain their new role, up to 86% can't articulate their employer's business strategy6. If your employee is unable to succinctly describe the strategy this could lead to confusion in the workplace. A successful employee must understand and execute the strategy to drive success, so take the time to educate them.

Make the team a well-oiled machine

What is a team? Essentially a collection of strangers united under a common goal who transition to reach a state of high performance. To ensure the success of your team it's important to ensure all members have clear duties assigned to their roles. As a team leader it is important to define the roles and duties from the beginning, and speak out when they begin to overstep.

Embrace diversity and flexibility

A recent Deloitte survey revealed that over 40% of Millennials expect to leave their jobs within two years and less than 30% want to be in the same job for more than five years (1). The same survey showed that Millennials value flexible work environments. By providing a work environment with opportunities for advancement and new challenges in equally as important as flexible or remote working situations in retaining employees. Taking advantage of this means building a diverse leadership team and staff in addition to seeking out diverse clients.

Written by Greg Weiss, Founder and Director of CareerSupport365, which provides onboarding and off-boarding support for all employees. His latest book released in March 2019, is directed to successful Millennial retention and titled, So You Got the Job! WTF Is Next?