7 Ways to Crush the Dreams of New Hires

7 Ways to Crush the Dreams of New Hires

Employee Turnover:  7 ways to crush the dreams of new hires and send them screaming for the nearest exit

It’s time to talk about your other retention rate – you know – your employee retention rate. You know, those people who are merely responsible for fulfilling customer orders, providing customer service and representing your brand to clients, vendors, investors and other stakeholders on a daily basis. 

You might find it interesting to know that more than half of those who leave their jobs do so within the first 12 months, which seems to indicate that employee dissatisfaction sets in early when the job fit or organizational culture isn’t right. In fact, 4% of new employees left a job after the first day when it went especially bad.  Furthermore, while most new employee probationary periods last 90 days, new hires don’t wait that long. They decide whether they like a company and its culture within the first month.  (Stats via globoforce.com)

A high employee turnover rate can negatively affect your organization from top to bottom. Decreased productivity leads to decreased profitability.  A constant need to recruit, hire and on-board leading to increased expenses.  Employee culture, morale, and customer satisfaction also finding themselves among the casualties resulting from low employee retention.

But some companies seem to want new hires to run screaming for the nearest exit, as evidenced by the way they behave after getting a new hire to accept an offer of employment, quit their last employer and bravely take on a new role and new responsibilities in a new company.  What’s more, they do it in style, as they build up the new hire’s expectations only to crush their dreams –and their spirits – when the real organizational culture shows it’s true nature.

Sound dire?  Maybe. But it’s still taking an honest look at your organization and your on-boarding process to make sure that new hires are going to be just as excited about working for you after their first 90 days on the job as they were when they first signed on.  Here are seven mistakes to avoid with new hires.

7 Mistakes to Avoid with New Hires

Any one of these seven new hire mistakes could send new top talent screaming for the nearest exit.

Hit them hard with your crazy culture and confusing jargon.

If a company’s value statement sounds like a list of rules a cult might propagate or there are so many acronyms and abbreviations in use that a new hire needs to learn a second language to succeed, chances are, they won’t, and they’ll leave. Your employee culture should feel special – not foreign; or worse, alien!

Bore them to tears.

Follow up a first day filled with repetitive, hand cramping paperwork with three or four days of mind-numbing training and orientation videos, then ease them in to their job by not giving them any meaningful work to do and you will definitely lose the cream of the crop when it comes to new hires. On the other hand, employees who are content merely putting their time in will probably stay forever.

Make them clean up the last guy’s mess.

Whether we’re talking about an actual mess or the need to unruffled feathers, soothe discontent and calm down dissatisfied customers and co-workers, there’s nothing more fun than being held accountable for problems that someone else created.

Eliminate all hope of change.

No one likes a new co-worker who comes in all ready to change the world and stuff.  If you can’t actually post a sign above their desk saying, “this is the way we’ve always done it,” then at least prep their boss and co-workers to let them know, in no uncertain terms, that their newfangled ideas aren’t welcome here.

Under equip.

New hire said they love a challenge?  Good, they’ve got one.  Because not only will you set a super-high, ambitious goal for them in their first few months, you’ll also fail to provide them with the tools, equipment and other supplies they need to do the job.

Over involve.

Nothing says “welcome to the team” like putting the new hire on an important volunteer committee or letting them know that you’re looking for 100% participation in the company’s impending fundraising effort. If you can set them up to chair your 100% participation fundraising committee, even better.

Let them know you have no idea what you’re doing there, either.

Your employment ad said you wanted to add talented, ambitious people to your team who would champion growth. Your on-boarding program and their first days on the job says something entirely different.  If you don’t have targets and goals or a real desire to grow, that top talent you just added aren’t going to think twice about leaving for a company – and maybe even a competitor – that has the strategic direction your organization lacks.


No employee culture is perfect. No new hire experience will be, either.  The more aware you are of what can go wrong, the more ability you will have to make the new hire experience go right.  

If you would like to have your new hire recruiting and on-boarding experience evaluated by a consultant with years of experience in both human resources and marketing, so that you can receive a holistic summary and a hit list of specific action items you can do to improve your new hire orientation process, hit us up!

If you are in the Seattle-Tacoma area, the cost for this service will only consist of consulting fees. Outside the area, you can request a virtual consulting session for only consulting fees or an in-person consultation and recommendations for consulting fee + travel stipend.


7 Ways to Crush the Dreams of New Hires