If you ask any job seeker on the hunt why they are leaving their current position they’re likely to list one of the following four reasons: noncompetitive compensation, poor leadership, a lack of growth opportunities, or an unpleasant corporate environment. It is safe to assume most were committed to the job offers they accepted and invested at least a minimal amount of time working through the difficulties that arose during their employment. For some employees, their efforts were in vain because they never stood a chance of surviving the current average tenure of 4.6 years. In fact, they were destined to fail before they signed the offer letter.

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too real for new hires at the 69% of businesses that do not have a formal, new employee onboarding process in place.  In fact, within four months, about half of all hourly employees will quit and the same number of newly placed executives will fail within 18 months. And just so we are clear, meeting with HR to sign paperwork does not constitute an onboarding process.  Employers must have a robust onboarding process in place or their new hire’s first week may leave them feeling like they’re on an episode of ‘Survivor.’

4 Ways to Prevent Your New Hire’s First Week on the Job From Feeling  Like an Episode of Survivor

1. Have all your supplies at the ready: Onboarding begins before you begin recruiting. Yes, you read that correctly. Before you even set the sourcing-interviewing-vetting process into motion, employers need to think long and hard about what the successful candidate will look like. That begins with the creation of a solid job description. Assessing the current situation within the department, identify problems you expect the new hire to solve. In addition, establish clear and measurable goals you expect them to meet, as well as assessment tools you will use to determine whether those expectations have been met.

2. Hit the ground running: From the moment your new hire steps off the elevator on her first day, both players in the hiring game are looking for assurances that they made the right decision. However, it will be impossible to make that assessment if she is shuffled through HR and deposited in her new office. No one wants to learn their job in a “trial by fire” atmosphere. On day one, there should be a process in place that not only welcomes your new hire, but also lays the groundwork for their new role. For details on how to create a strong and successful onboarding process download our Talent Report.

3. Provide an Onboarding Survival Pack: In order for her to be successful, your new hire will need to know everything from who is their direct supervisor to the best place to grab lunch. Hosting an introductory meeting with key members of the team and allowing each of them to briefly identify their roles helps your newest team member identify who she can turn to for assistance (other than her boss). Lastly, don’t forget the seemingly “small stuff” such as where the bathrooms are located, how to work the copy machine, who to contact with an IT issue, and where to go for killer sushi.

4. How to avoid being voted off the island: A successful onboarding process is not only in the hands of those doing the hiring. As the newest member of the team, there are things you can do to show you are asset who will only make that team stronger. Take the time to introduce yourself to each person you come in contact with, remember names and roles, know your key point of contact (other than your direct supervisor), ask questions, engage with your immediate team members. Most importantly, don’t forget to form an alliance with the admin staff. (They are the ones who will provide you with everything you need to face the next challenge.) Lastly, be proactive. Schedule a time a “check in” with your supervisor after the first week and even the second. This allows you to quickly address any questions or concerns that have arisen.

The numbers don’t lie. Not only is replacing an employee a drain on company resources, it negatively impacts productivity and morale. It is in the best interest of the company as well as the new hire to have a formal onboarding program in place. Clearly defining expectations and means of assessment, an introduction to the team and other staff, providing an opportunity to answer questions immediately and within the first few weeks of employment, and even a latte from the coffee cart in the lobby will go a long way to ensuring your super star new hire doesn’t quit the game and leave the island.