staff engagement

Perpetual Partnerships’ Managing Director, Garry Rogerson, talks about the importance a great induction and why it is vital to staff retention and staff engagement.

Most businesses hugely underestimate the cost of staff turnover. According to the Telegraph, staff turnover costs British businesses at least £4.13 billion each year. When considering the cost of replacing staff, most employers think about recruitment fees. However, in reality, that is only the tip of the iceberg. When you add in the time taken for a new member of staff to reach optimum productivity (an average of 28 weeks), the average cost for replacing a member of staff is estimated to be a staggering £30,614. With figures like that, staff retention and staff engagement should be at the top of every business’s agenda.

So how do we keep our staff engaged and happy in their jobs?

According to research published by Equifax, 40% of people who voluntarily left their job did so within the first 6 months and a further 16% left within 12 months. Those statistics make it plainly clear that a company HAS to make a good impression when on-boarding a new member of staff.

First Impressions

Many businesses put a lot of time and energy into finding the right candidate, but what comes next is equally, if not more important.  Making a positive first impression is a two way street and businesses should consider the first 6 months of a new starter’s employment as a probationary period for both the employee AND the business. Starting a new job can be a daunting and anxious time so, as a business, you should do your best to make the process as stress-free as possible. Employers should have a well-planned ‘On-boarding Process’ which should be followed when recruiting new members of staff.  There are three stages in the on-boarding process.

1. Period of Uncertainty – before the employee starts work

For a new employee it can feel like a really long time between acceptance of a job offer and actually starting the new role.  During this time, new recruits may doubt whether they have made the right decision and start to regret making a move but there are some simple and effective things employers can do to make a great impression and minimise potential anxiety:

  • Communicate – keep in touch
  • Ensure paperwork is sent out correctly and on time
  • Make sure they know the start time, date, location and who to ask for on their first day
  • Invite them to any upcoming social events
  • Send a welcome pack with paper work
  • Invite them to like the company LinkedIn or Workplace page

2. Induction and First Weeks

It’s vital to plan a thorough induction.  Not only does it help you and other members of the team get organised for the new starter’s arrival, they will appreciate a clear plan so they know what their first day or weeks have in store for them.  The best inductions cover the first few weeks of employment and are communicated to the employee before their start date.

During the induction process you should make the new employee feel as welcome as possible and communicate useful information about the company and their role its all about staff engagement.  There is nothing worse than turning up for your first day to find your work area and IT equipment hasn’t been set up.  Define their roles and responsibilities, clear goals, targets and mutual expectations and run through the Company’s Mission Vision and Values.

Introduce them to their colleagues and give them a brief overview of their role.  It’s difficult to remember everyone’s names to begin with so an organisation chart with staff photos is a real help to new employees and will take away the awkwardness of having to ask people their names after having being introduced.

HR Balance Poll 2017 lists the top 10 things to turn off a new employee so try to avoid these rooky mistakes:

  1. Not having own work area
  2. Manager away or on holiday on first day
  3. Left in reception unattended
  4. Everyone heading out for lunch on day one and not being included
  5. Overloaded paperwork
  6. No introduction to co-workers
  7. Left with a negative member of staff for the day
  8. Mentor too busy
  9. Left to carry out mundane tasks
  10. Lack of equipment (laptop/phone etc)

3. Harmonisation period
Once you’ve successfully managed the period of uncertainty and induction stages, you need to ensure you keep your employees engaged.  This part is possibly the most difficult and requires careful thought on behalf of the employer.

Here are some of the things you can do as an employer to keep your employees engaged and reduce staff turnover in your business:

  • Offer a forum for recognition and reward
  • Give employees a voice
  • Conduct regular one-to-ones and appraisals
  • Provide an ongoing and defined training and development programme
  • Offer defined paths for advancement based on skill development and achievement
  • Give and receive feedback at 3, 6 and 9 months on a 360 basis

Remember, employees who feel appreciated and valued by their employers are more likely to stay so every employer should give some serious thought about how they can make their business a great place to work and keep their staff ENGAGED.

Read more on how to retain your staff

Garry Rogerson is Managing Director of Perpetual Partnerships and is an experienced strategic recruitment leader with over 17 years’ experience helping engineering business attract and retain the best talent in the industry.   Garry is part of the Leadership Team run by Hopkins & Ball and is connected to a large network of professionals and leaders.  If you want to be notified about Garry’s next seminar email

Follow Garry on LinkedIn.

We have a unique and intricate understanding of the technical recruitment market. We are focused on quality of service rather than on sales and KPI’s.


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