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Impact of Early Recognition on Turnover

Does recognising your new employees early and often make a difference in an employee's intent to stay? 

It’s a question worth considering as a study by Equifax Workforce Solutions shows that 40% of turnover occurs within the first six months of an employee’s job experience. If actively recognising new employees contributes to reducing turnover early in an employee’s tenure, it could be a powerful way to address a huge and expensive problem. 

One company decided to put this to the test. A call centre that experienced a high level of turnover in the first few months of an employee’s tenure focused on establishing a culture of recognition early in the employee’s career. According to a research study on The New Rules of Engagement®, employees who receive recognition are 2x as likely to feel inspired. And inspired employees are 2x more likely to stay at their jobs for the next 12 months. 

The company introduced a pilot program to recognise these new employees frequently, including: 

Day 1: 
Welcoming new employees with branded company merchandise. 

Week 1: 
Having the manager send specific recognition with points. Points could be accumulated and used for a variety of merchandise, experiences, and upskilling opportunities. 

Week 3: 
Recognising learning success with a thank you and points. 

First 60 days: 
Recognising completion of training with points. 

Month 3: 
Ongoing recognition with a gamification component and points for positive results/successes. 

Month 6: 
Celebration email for a milestone anniversary along with a gift selection to reinforce the employee's value to the company. 

Managers received nudges to recognise their employees along their journey to show support and reinforce new employees’ contributions to the company. 

This strategic onboarding plan delivered great results. A positive correlation existed between employee recognition and retention. In fact, turnover was 4x lower among employees with the highest volume of recognitions that were given with awards (points towards merchandise and experiences) compared to those with the lowest volume. 

With the level of job openings at record highs, many companies are working to retain their employees. Developing a specific plan focused on new hires helps reduce the rate of early exits (within the first six months of employment). Recognition and learning play an important role. 

Three steps to get started: 

1. Review your current data by tenue to get a baseline of employee turnover  between 0 - 6 months. 

2. Reflect on your onboarding strategy — from day one to six months — and identify the gaps. 

3. Expand your plan to elevate your recognition touchpoints.. 


Want to learn more about engaging and retaining great employees? Begin with an overview of the moments that count: Employee Recognition | BI WORLDWIDE 

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