New Employee Experience: How to Make the First 90 Days Count

 In Employee Experience

In recent years, companies have focused — rightly so– on customer experience. Inspired by the sleek products of Silicon Valley, innovative companies have sought to create smooth, engaging, and even addictive experiences for their customers.

But while focusing customer experience, many companies have overlooked an equally important type of experience: the new employee experience. After all, in a competitive labor market, employees are your first customers.

Consider that fully 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 90 days — and one out of every 25 employees quits on the first day.

So let’s say you’ve landed a new hire: someone you want to work and thrive at your company. How do you make sure that person crosses that crucial threshold of the first 90 days?

Go Beyond the Foosball Table to Increase the New Employee Experience

The past decades have seen new companies build new cultures, with famous companies like Google and Facebook creating office spaces that blend work and play. Some CEOs, seeking to emulate Silicon Valley office cultures, have taken the important first step of remodeling their physical offices. Walk into a company that’s striving to be innovative these days, and you may find that symbol of “fun” workplace culture: a foosball table.

It’s not enough. If companies truly want to compete with the cultures of the Googles of the world, they need to go beyond the foosball table. They need, increasingly, to think about their company’s digital experience. 

Specifically, any innovative company that wants to retain employees past the first 90 days needs to think carefully about how to communicate with them.

Make the First 90 Days Count by Keeping New Employees Engaged

What causes someone to quit a job in the first 90 days? Often, it’s that they simply don’t become engaged with the company and its mission.  Here again, statistics are sobering. Only 29% of employees report reading email and other content sent from HR; 31% report never using the company intranet. No surprise, then, that just 32% of US employees report feeling engaged at work.

All employees — from employees in HQ to the front line — are now accustomed to new ways of consuming information.

And employers have to meet their employees where they are: on their smartphones.

Five Things Your Company Can Do Now to Improve New Hire Communication

So you want to improve the employee experience in the first 90 days? Here are a few things you can do right now.

  • First, be sure that however you communicate to your new hires, you are clearly articulating your company’s higher purpose, and ensuring new hires connect to that purpose.
  • Second, try to audit your current experience for new hires. How much of it is really employee-first? Are your employees really getting the information they need to start their job well informed?
  • Third, try to improve content at each step or milestone in the first 90 days. Know where your employees are in their onboarding journey, and find a way to deliver relevant and compelling content that speaks to that stage.
  • Fourth, consider communication channels in addition to email. In our smartphone age, you don’t want to take a long email and simply stick it in a mobile environment — your new hires will get scrolling fatigue.
  • Fifth, you should test, learn, and optimize your new hire experience. Like everything else in your company, the onboarding process needs to be innovative in order to compete. Increasingly, employees are comparing the experiences they have at work with the experiences they have outside of work.

Need help implementing these steps and optimizing the first 90 days for new employees? Listen to this on-demand webinar recording to learn more. 

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