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9 Things You Must Do to Stop Turnover & Transform New Hires Into Top Performers

Employee turnover is a costly problem for organizations. It can cost one-half to 2x an employee’s annual salary to replace them.

Businesses must keep new hires if they want to succeed.

So, what’s the leading cause of employee turnover?

While it’s difficult to pinpoint a single cause, the most common factors include:

  • Lack of career growth opportunities 
  • Poor management, including not communicating expectations or feedback
  • An inflexible work environment
  • Poor company culture

Organizations must understand what employees want, find ways to motivate and upskill them to help them succeed, and prioritize career growth opportunities to help them thrive in their current and future positions. 

In some companies, top performers make up as little as 5 percent of the employee population, while in others, they make up 30 percent. There’s a lot of room for improvement as an organization during a new hire’s early days to develop them. 

Discover what you can do now to stop costly employee turnover and transform hires into top performers.

Hire inspirational leaders

Creating excellent performers in your organization starts at the top. 

An effective leader can inspire the performance of their people and launch them into more impactful roles. There’s a big gap between managers and their ability to coach new hires. 

Half of employees say their managers support their career goals, but only 40 percent say their managers challenge them to learn new skills. An organization all about learning and development has to train managers to coach.

Your organization’s ability to develop talent depends on your managers. They’re how you pass along skills and knowledge. More new hires will become top performers if you help them become better leaders. 

“A people-centric culture stems from the belief that what you need to optimize for, as a company leader, is the success of people,” Jack Altman, CEO, Lattice says. “Having a culture that…optimizes for an individual’s growth, sense of purpose, learning, and sense of community… will lead to the greatest overall company we can have.”

Read more: What is People-Centric Leadership & Why is it Vital for Success?

Develop effective onboarding

Onboarding is critical for turning new hires into top performers. But, simply having an onboarding program is not enough. 

Gallup found that only 12 percent of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees. That means 88 percent don’t believe their organizations onboard poorly. 

An excellent employee onboarding program can also improve employee retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. It helps employees feel welcome and acclimates them to your company culture. It also helps them become more productive and faster. 

Five onboarding best practices to follow to impact new employees:

  • Develop core competencies within the first 30 days. Include anything they need to excel in their roles, such as product knowledge, soft skills, messaging, and tools.
  • Build on the new hire’s strongest skills. Strengths-based learning results in up to 23% higher engagement and 73% low attrition. 
  • Extend onboarding from 90 to 365 days. New hires reach about 75% productivity by their third month and a full year to reach their peak performance potential. 
  • Onboard employees in small groups. When new hires are part of a cohort, they immediately build a sense of belonging and camaraderie. 
  • Recognize early achievements. Point out achievements and express your company’s value in learning and development. For example, a manager could verbally acknowledge a new manager for completing a certification. 

Effective onboarding engages new hires from day one. With a strong program, you can ramp them up faster and help them become more productive sooner. 

“We check in with all of our new hires after their first month to gain insight on everything from their onboarding experience to how they acclimate to their new role and the company as a whole.”


Samantha Popcke, Senior Manager, People Success, WorkRamp


Read more: 5 Effective New Hire Onboarding Strategies

Create a career path

A career path is a long-term development plan for employees. It shows them the skills and mentorship needed to reach the desired role or career trajectory. 

People are eager to grow in their careers, with 91 percent of employees saying they would stay longer with a company if it invested in their careers. 

From an organizational perspective, building career paths can result in:

  • Lower turnover rates
  • Lower onboarding costs
  • Higher employee satisfaction 

A learning management system (LMS) like the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp makes career pathing easy. 

With an LMS, you can: 

  • Customize your employees’ learning paths to meet your organization’s skill gaps
  • Create unique certification training programs to help your employees succeed

Understanding employee’s goals is critical to helping carve out their career path. This is something managers and employees must work together to achieve. 

“We created a job ladder so you can see what the next [job] level requires of you. It’s transparent; you clearly understand what skills and competencies are required in each role. So it’s a partnership between each employee and their leader to identify skill gaps and competencies to work on.”


Meredith Fish, VP of People and Culture, WorkRamp


Investing in your new hire’s future shows you value their livelihood and are interested in helping them grow. It also paints a picture of success that motivates them to accomplish their goals and achieve success. 

Read more: How to Create Career Paths for Your Employees

Provide opportunities for personal and professional growth

Growth opportunities are essential for new hires. Some 45 percent of employees leave companies for one preventable reason: a lack of advancement opportunities.

When you feel like you can progress in your personal and professional life, you tend to feel better about yourself. Displaying these opportunities improves a sense of well-being and provides higher self-esteem and self-confidence.

Professional opportunities include:

  • Leadership development opportunities 
  • Regular training and workshops 
  • Career development services
  • Feedback and mentorship 
  • Company retreats
  • Networking events 

Personal include:

  • Tuition assistance
  • Soft skill training 
  • Exercise class and gym membership stipend
  • Negotiation and interview training 
  • DEIB workshops 
  • Mental health days 
  • Sabbaticals 
  • Personal development budget

Companies that build a learning culture and encourage growth win. Creating the programs may take time and additional resources, but the benefits outweigh the costs. By investing in a new hire’s personal and professional growth, you empower them to achieve their goals and stay longer with your organization. 

“Through partnerships with platforms like WorkRamp and processes that support the ‘new normal’ of flexible work environments, the big goal is to make sure that the learning team helps people achieve their learning goals efficiently, effectively, and with a smile!”

Alex Love, Senior Director of Learning, Development, Unite Us

Give employees the support they need

People learn faster, trust an organization, and stay longer when they get what they need when they need it. 

Some ways to support employees are:

  • Giving them access to the tools, resources, and training they need
  • Providing family and child-care support
  • Providing emotional support and professional care
  • Giving direction and support as required
  • Providing generous benefits
  • Always be open and honest with communication
  • Providing a professional and clean work environment

Put yourself in your new hire’s shoes. What things would make your job easier? More efficient? More comfortable? The workplace should provide as much support for new hires as possible to help them achieve success. 

Recognize and reward

People like to be recognized for their hard work. Studies show that people expect their jobs to bring a sense of purpose to their lives. As an employer, you play an important role in making employees find their purpose and live it. 

One way to reinforce their value to your organization is by recognizing and rewarding achievements.

Recognize new hires for:

  • Taking the initiative in solving complex problems or developing a new process
  • Charitable efforts internally and in the community
  • High-quality work that gets positive customer feedback
  • Boosting team morale
  • Their incredible skills and leadership efforts

Some ways to recognize and reward people for their performance are:

  • A “props” Slack channel to congratulate people doing extraordinary things
  • Give Divvy funds to do out and spend on themselves
  • Giving random days off after spending long hours on a project
  • Organizing service days where they can support a good cause
  • Writing a LinkedIn recommendation
  • Providing monetary rewards

Read more: 15 Virtual Employee Recognition Ideas: Elevate Morale Remotely

Find new employees a friend 

Remember in grade school when the teacher paired you with a buddy to walk to art class? The workplace buddy system is no different. 

A buddy system supports new hires while they gain essential knowledge through another employee’s experience. It’s a form of peer mentoring, which is less formal than a traditional mentorship program. 

Buddies aren’t managers or supervisors. They are in the same role as the new hire. 

Keep these things in mind when recruiting buddies for your program: 

  • Buddies should be a good example and have strong work performance 
  • They should also have good communication skills and be accessible
  • They don’t need to be experts

Most importantly, Buddies should want to participate in the program. If you force them to participate, the new hire will feel like a burden and could have the opposite effect. 

Offer flexible work options 

Many workers consider work/life balance and flexibility when considering job offers. Surveys show that 81 percent of employees said they’d be more loyal if their employer had flexible work options. These arrangements make employees’ lives easier and let them work on their own terms. 

The advantages of flexible working arrangements are plentiful. New hires can: 

  • Achieve better work-life balance. If they need to run to the store in the middle of the day, they can do it without repercussions
  • Feel in control of their workweek. Setting your own schedule improves morale, increases job satisfaction, and reduces burnout
  • Be more productive. If a new hire works better in the morning, they can structure their work day accordingly
  • Create their own workspace. People can customize their home office with the correct setup for them

Some types of flexible work options to consider include:

  • Flex time. Offers employees flexibility in when they start and end their work day
  • Compressed workweek. Lets people work 40 hours in less than five days
  • Flex place. Allows people to work remotely 100 percent of the time, wherever they are
  • Leaves and sabbaticals. Paid time away from work without losing the job 

Provide a mentor

New hires have enough challenges when entering a new workplace: the day-one jitters, and acclimating to a new role, culture, and team. It can be overwhelming to jump into a new environment where everyone knows what they’re doing besides you. 

Research shows a 50 percent higher retention rate for employees who participate in mentoring programs, and 93 percent of mentees say their mentoring relationship helped them. 

A mentor helps new hires in many ways:

  • Build skills 
  • Boost confidence
  • Share past experiences and failures
  • Give advice and guidance
  • Increase time to productivity

New hires will feel more motivated with the help of a mentor. It can also bring them up to speed with their job quickly. That way, they can reach their full potential and grow within the company faster.

Turn new hires into top performers and create an unstoppable workforce 

Are less than 30 percent of your team top performers? Let’s change that. By following the nine strategies above, you can develop new hires with tactical skills, provide support, and paint a picture for success that motivates them to become high achievers in your organization.

Discover how the Learning Cloud can help you elevate employee learning and development and help you attract and retain top talent to empower your organization for long-term success. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo. 

Complete the form for a custom demo.

Michael Keenan

WorkRamp Contributor

Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.

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