Unemployment in the U.S. remains at historic lows. Finding new team members remains a top challenge for most BKBG showrooms. A lasting side effect of COVID 19 has been the great shuffling and the changing dynamic in the way many Americans view work. In the past, job jumping was considered a negative. The more someone changed positions and employers, the less attractive they become as a potential new team member. Given the cost and time that it takes to onboard, train and acclimate a team member to your processes and culture, can you really afford to hire someone whose timeline with your showroom is less than a year? That’s likely a possibility. In a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. employees who have been in their role for less than six months more than 50% reported they were actively looking for new opportunities. Similarly, 52% of employees who had been with their employer for less than three months were seeking greener pastures.
Successful Retention Practices
Successful onboarding is a key to effective team member retention. The old rule of thumb was to determine a fit after 90 days. Consider extending your probationary period especially if some or all of your team is working remotely full or part time.
Develop an onboarding program if you don’t have one. Recognize that if you are hiring someone who has spent much of the past two years working remotely, they are used to setting their own schedules and processes. Create and/or enhance your efforts to align new team members with your mission and values through a mix of different experiences.
Create and enhance opportunities for the new team members to meet, connect, brainstorm and collaborate with the existing staff. Develop a 90 to 180 day plan for each new hire with goals and expectations mutually developed and agreed to. Have defined metrics that provide a scorecard for how the new hire is performing at designated timeframes such as 90, 180, 360 days.
Consider assigning a mentor that the new team member can go to with questions, problems, etc. The goal is to establish a trusting communication channel between the new hire and your showroom.
Effective onboarding begins with the interviewing process. In today’s hyper-competitive employment market, it’s tempting to paint a rosy picture of the opportunity you have available to entice candidates to join your team. Resist the temptation to create unrealistic expectations of the job, challenges, and expectations.