TAPP Tip: 5 Secrets to Increase Retention

Hiring and training costs the average company $4,000 per employee. Once you hire someone, you want a process in place which increases the chances that the person will become an engaged member of your team.

  1. Document Onboarding Process

The first few days of an individual’s employment set the tone. Here are some key items that you should cover:

In advance of arrival, communicate:

  • Who he/she should see on the first day and where to find that person
    • Make sure their supervisor and when the individual’s first day will be
  • What the expected attire is. Be very specific on what is allowed and what is not permitted.
  • Anything they need to bring with them (IDs for the paperwork), notebook, etc.
    • Anything that is not permitted at work
    • If cell phone use is not allowed, make sure that is communicated along with a phone number which could be used by family in case of an emergency.
  • What to expect on the first day (s).


  • Introduce the person to his/her co-workers
  • Review the individual’s schedule for short and long term
  • Set expectations for behavior
  • Explain how job training works both the first few days as well as long term.
  • Review benefits
  • If a restaurant and food/beverage are a perk, explain when and how they can take advantage of the perk. For example, is it during their shift? Before/after? Can they use their benefit and give the item to a friend?
  • With a part-time employee, discuss his or her schedule. If it is a fixed schedule, share how you expect them to address if there are changes to it.


2. Re-Skill/Professional Development

In every industry, training is critical for success. However, limiting training to the specific tasks of the job does not enable the individual to grow and become engaged with the company. Providing opportunities for employees to participate in professional development demonstrates that the company is invested in their future. It is equally important that the company actively support professional growth at each level.

According to David Ballard in the Harvard Business Review “Lack of supervisor support for career development is also linked to important organizational outcomes. For working Americans without supervisor support, only 48% say they are motivated to do their best at work, 39% are satisfied with their job, 16% say their company or organization makes them feel valued, and 22% would recommend their organization as a good place to work.”1


3. Buddy System

If possible, assign a co-worker to act as a buddy. Starting a new job can be overwhelming and sometimes a new hire is reluctant to ask their boss basic questions. Especially if they think that it is something that they already know. The buddy acts as a guide for the new hire.

A buddy’s role is to teach and help the employee transition into their new job. They are there for any questions the employee might have in a more informal setting than asking their manager (such things as dress code, vacation policy, etc).

Buddies help new employees to acclimate quicker to their new jobs, making them more productive at a faster pace, increasing their self-confidence in their jobs. They are also helpful in facilitating introductions with seasoned employees.

A buddy does not take on any managerial responsibility, nor the role of a coach or mentor. While a buddy’s role is to help integrate the new employee and help to assist with general questions, they are not responsible for the job performance of the new employee.


4. Communication

One of the most important things a company can do for its employees is to communicate frequently and clearly. Communication can take different shapes… it can be in staff meetings; one on one; through company newsletters; email bulletins or on a company portal or app. Effective communication is two ways. Every employee should know how to communicate with their supervisors; HR; and leadership.

If the company sends out written messages to all employees, think of sending something out weekly which includes current projects, changes to products, key dates, policy updates, any issues that the company is addressing. As much as possible, make sure that you are notifying your employees of company news before it becomes public.

Ongoing feedback is important to build trust. Employees need to know how they are performing on the job. Managers should look for times when they can create a teachable moment if there is a mistake or praise when an employee has done well


5. Benefits

There are a wide range of benefits which a company can offer. These include paid vacation and sick days, paid holidays, medical insurance, dental insurance, parking, transportation, food in the breakroom, etc. There may be other benefits which are less obvious such as flexibility with scheduling or group outings. Find out from your employees what benefits they value and why. Make sure to highlight these items for new employees.





1 “Managers Aren’t Doing Enough to Train Employees for the Future” by David Ballard published November 14, 2017 https://hbr.org/2017/11/managers-arent-doing-enough-to-train-employees-for-the-future