Imagine you are walking into a new job on your first day. You’ve interviewed, you’ve talked to people, and you think that you’re ready. But typically, unless the person you are replacing is still at the company and they are a high performer who is able to easily articulate all their best practices, the actual expectation of the required skills and behaviors for the new job are merely guesswork.
So you do what all new hires do. You ask people, you fumble a little, you learn as you go, and over time, you hopefully hit your stride.
But what if you don’t?
According to a recent article in TD Magazine[i]:
- 31% of people have quit a job within the first six months
- 22% of turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment
- The cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times their salary
What if you, as the new hire, had a way of reviewing all those expectations and best practices early on, so you could eliminate the fear, uncertainty and doubt that leads to the statistics above? That’s what competency models bring to onboarding.
- They provide the ability for a new hire to become familiar with the nuances of the job that will make them successful.
- They provide the ability for a new hire to identify what’s important in corporate culture, as those things are reflected in the desired behaviors.
- When you enable people to self-assess against the competency model, they provide the ability for the new hire to know their baseline skill set, and what gaps they have to close to be successful.
- When your competency assessment tool maps skill gaps to learning opportunities, competency models provide the ability for the new hire to own closing those gaps, so they can immediately begin their journey toward competency.
- And they provide the ability for a new hire to see what specific behaviors they should exhibit in various situations, to increase their proficiency and become a high performer.
People are intrinsically motivated toward competence. When they can’t achieve it, they become stressed, frustrated, and begin looking elsewhere for opportunities to be successful. And that leads to attrition.
If you want to retain new hires, help them achieve their potential, and avoid losing the substantial investment you make in them, embrace competency models and put them to use during the onboarding process.
[i] “Trends and Tides In Talent Development”. TD Magazine. Galagan, Pat. October 2015.