July 1, 2019

Onboard Like a Travel Agent and Deliver on Promises


Functional HR: 5 Surefire Ways to Boost Retention, Part 5

By: Keith Kawasaki, VP of Client Services & Contract Management

In Simplify and Celebrate Benefits, we discussed how attractively packaging and marketing your benefits package was key to helping your people understand how to get the most of their benefits. Today, we explore the importance of a new hire’s first impressions in Solution No. 5.

Onboard Like a Travel Agent and Deliver on Promises.

More than 40 percent of all turnover is attributed to employees leaving in the first year. Of that more than 40 percent, 50 percent left in the first 90 days. That should rattle some cages.

As employers, we need to start strong and stay strong throughout an employee’s run. Logic will recommend that addressing Parts 1 to 4 in this series, right out of the gate, will go a long way to help you retain past the 90-day mark. So how do you tactically craft that into an itinerary for your new employee to depend upon? Let’s give it a shot with a greatest hits, so to speak, of the Boost Employee Retention series:

1. Create a career map (see No. 1: Demystify Career Development).

When you can propose a year or multiyear plan for an employee and then put them in the driver’s seat, they’ll be equipped to develop personal expectations and goals. They can see how achievement and responsibility will affect their compensation (which relates to a portion of the number-three reason why people leave jobs: mismatched compensation expectations).

2. Introduce resiliency coaching and activities (see No. 2: Cultivate Resiliency).

You can get your employees excited about resiliency by showing them how you care about their wellbeing and making them aware of the actions you take to support them. If you can do that, repeat the sentiment with your internal marketing. Then you’ll get each employee moving as a positive peer influencer.

3. Reiterate your brand promise on leadership (see No. 3: Define and Maintain a Standard of Leadership here).

If you’re savvy, you’ve used this promise in your recruitment marketing to attract like-minded candidates. Now that they are in orientation, reintroduce this promise and go deeper with your collateral or videos to support the expectation. Let them know they are empowered to hold others accountable, regardless of rank, to the brand promise on leadership.

4. Provide and offer a tutorial on a benefits app. (see No. 4: Simplify and Celebrate Benefits here).

Leveraging your employees’ existing smartphone habits, you can provide a better understanding of and easier access to their benefits at the click of a button with an interactive application. Be sure to consider content hierarchy based on FAQ research with your employees and provider. Larger organizations should explore adding a chat service wherein users can click to communicate with an operator trained on one-call resolution for benefits inquiries.

We hope you’ve found this series on Functional HR: 5 Surefire Ways to Boost Retention useful. We’ve collected all five in a free, downloadable white paper. Get your own copy of Functional HR: 5 Surefire Ways to Boost Retention.


Headshot of Keith Kawasaki, iostudio VP

Keith Kawasaki is iostudio’s VP of Client Services & Contract Management. With more than 15 years developing HR marketing programs and leading integrated teams, Keith has brought innovative solutions to the Army, Navy, Marines Corps, UPS and McKesson, among others. Keith is an active member of the Content Council, SOCAP and the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. Contact Keith at 615-724-4202 or keith.kawasaki@iostudio.com. Follow @keith_kawasaki on Twitter.