First impressions in the workplace really matter — and not just to the employer. New employees can begin to formulate impressions about organizations from the get-go, influencing their decision to stay with the company in the long term. Poor onboarding experiences can lead to unnecessary and preventable turnover, the cost of which can be as much as twice the employee’s annual salary.
It’s difficult to measure whether your onboarding efforts are succeeding, however. At Microsoft, where we hire thousands of people every year, we lacked a good way to measure the perceptions of our onboarding experience, aside from trying to draw conclusions from attrition numbers.
In an effort to better understand what we thought of as “early attrition,” we turned to an obvious opportunity that had been overlooked. We started to simply ask employees about their experiences. We created a survey and reached out after their first week and then again after 90