It happens quite often: Clients come to us perplexed by the mystery of why their new hires -- usually within six months -- quit their jobs.

Our first response? "Tell me about your onboarding process."

A deer-in-the-headlights look ensues.

Some onboarding truth: We're not talking about orientation during the first day or week of hire. We're talking about a process of fully ingraining your employee into the company culture that can extend 3-to-9 months after a hire date, some longer.

To get a practical understanding, Jeff Pruitt, Chairman and CEO of Tallwave, gives us a simple 3-step onboarding framework that works like a charm for his company.

Research is saying that a typical employee's mind isn't made up about staying or leaving a new company until month six! In fact, it may take 8-12 months for new hires to be as proficient as their tenured colleagues. That's why your onboarding is so crucial to their success.

5 Questions Managers Need to Ask Themselves

To ensure that your new hires aren't jumping ship for a competitor so early on, you have to ensure a great new hire experience.

These questions are meant to trigger a response for you to be more intentional about having honest and open conversations that lead to success during those crucial first few months.

  1. Do you focus your attention on new hires by personally asking if they have the materials, equipment, and access to things they need to do their work


  2. Do you engage new hires in conversations and questions about "what motivates you?" within the first 1-2 weeks of employment?
  3. Do you engage new hires in "How can we help you with your professional development interests?" conversations in the first two months?
  4. Afterwards, do most of your employees have development plans? If so, do these plans get discussed periodically one-on-one?
  5. Are you, as manager, actively helping employees to identify their strengths, and giving them opportunities to learn and try new things?

Parting Thoughts

When employees are not onboarded effectively, when they don't get the tools, training, time, or resources to do their jobs well, they get to experience low morale for the first time. They stop caring and they stop trying, unfortunately, early on in the game. Use the above questions to find out if you are doing the things that lead to a great new hire.