Managers Sabotaging Their New Hire? 4 Ways to Ensure Onboarding Success!

You’ve just spent months interviewing, vetting, and finally hiring the perfect candidate for the job. The person is a great fit for the role, with the attitude, skills, experience and education to hit the ground running – and you think you can applaud your success and get on to the next task. Not so, according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Aberdeen Group, Gallup, Hewitt Associates and others. If you don’t onboard the new employee effectively, you’ve just wasted a ton of time and money.

In fact, 87% of new employees decide whether to stay or go within their first six months on the job (Aberdeen Group). Gallup’s well-known research into employee engagement of U.S. workers states:

>> 51% of workers are NOT engaged in their job
>> 17.5% are actively disengaged
>> Less than a third (31.5%) are engaged

If your new employee is not engaged, you’ll be seeking a replacement sooner rather than later. In the meantime, your company suffers from their lack of performance and productivity. 

So when one of your managers hires competent, independent, self-driven employees, it’s easy for him or her to let those employees find their own way. The truth is, as tempting as it may be to just throw those new employees to the wolves, managers really shouldn’t.

Their absolute first priority is to take care of their new employees. Nothing is more important than getting the people part right. As they say “you don’t get a second chance for a first impression” and in fact, companies only have a small period of time to show new talent that they understand them and truly care. If they aren’t paying close enough attention, new employees will feel disconnected from the organization, its mission, and its people and this can create disengagement that can never be overcome.

So what can you do?

One of the first things to recognize is that not all managers are comfortable or experienced on how to onboard employees better. They need tips on how to effectively manage their employees’ early experiences and provide advice without it taking too much time. It needs to be easy for them, simple, and personalized.

Second, it can help to provide managers with their own onboarding checklist. Whereas HR has a number of onboarding steps for a new employee (e.g., forms, benefits, etc.), each manager should have a clear set of manager onboarding steps that they should be striving to check off. For example, this might include having an early career direction conversation, setting preliminary goals, taking some time to informally get to know the employee, or simply having the new employee get exposed to the right people and learning activities.

Third, the manager should be held accountable for onboarding success and failure. On some level, early employee retention and ultimately positive early tenure engagement should rest heavily on the manager’s shoulders. He/she should be evaluated on how successful they onboard new employees including whether they take extra steps to help the employee to adapt or go above and beyond to knock down potential obstacles that threaten a new employee’s experience (e.g., advocating for an employee about an exception to a policy).

People join companies, but they leave managers…

Gallup coined the phrase, backed by research, that people join companies, but they leave managers. So – unless the new employee is properly onboarded and quickly integrated into the company, you may be dusting off those old resumes and interviewing yet again.

But there a way to avoid this and some call it “my crystal ball that helps me create the perfect onboarding experience for our new employees” and it’s the Predictive Index behavioral assessment!

The Predictive Index provides the blueprint for communicating effectively with each individual new hire, meeting their needs, and motivating them to excel. The pattern on the graph below is an example Predictive Index Self pattern for “Joseph” a newly hired employee:

Example Predictive Index Result

Joseph’s Self pattern (his most natural workplace behaviors) shows by his high B – Extroversion that he needs opportunities for involvement and interaction with people. Put him in a team environment (B/A) with a lot of social contact (B/D). He doesn’t want a lot of details (low D – Formality) and values independence and control of his work activities (high A – Dominance). Relieve him of repetitive routines when possible (low C – Patience). Allow him to be flexible in how he approaches his work (low D). Give him the big picture and allow him to solve problems his way (high A). Provide him with symbols of prestige when possible, and visible signs of his position (high B).

Sure sounds like a crystal ball doesn’t it? But no, it’s all provided in the PI report, Summary of Motivating Needs, and Factor Emphasis Combinations. When you meet your employee’s motivating needs and drives, and know what will make them successful, you have the crystal ball to onboard this person effectively.

Wow – is this magic? No, it’s the PI!


As a Senior Consultant for Predictive Index, I train managers how to administer and evaluate this powerful behavioral assessment, ultimately, helping them to make smart hiring and people management decisions.

To introduce you to the Predictive Index, I’d like to invite you to take the assessment yourself. I’m confident you’ll find its results both enlightening and actionable.

Try the Predictive Index® Yourself
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jimbutton Strategic Planning Facilitator, Jim Gribble “The Strat Plan Guy”, has decades of experience helping all types of organizations achieve their goals. During the first part of his career he ran profit centers as large as $85 million for leading direct-to-consumer companies. Jim first learned the power of strategic planning in the 80’s as a Product Manager at Xerox. Next, at International Masters Publishers he led a strategic planning effort that guided the company’s growth from $30 million to over $120 million in just four years. As an independent consultant for the past 15 years, Jim has developed strategic plans and marketing programs that have resulted in tremendous success for many clients. You’re invited to learn more about what Jim can do to help your business or organization benefit from effective strategic planning.