Where did all the new folks go?

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How to use orientation to encourage retention among new hires - and make a lasting impression!

One of the big challenges of recruitment is putting so much effort to get applicants, but once they are through orientation, we lose them.  It is not uncommon to hear from folks that 60% of new staff will leave in the first six months, and it is hard not to ask WHY?

(Of course, that also means that 40% stay – including some people with leadership potential – but more on that later).

At Quillo, we believe there are many factors that impact whether people stay or leave.  To increase the number of people to stay, we need to clearly understand WHY people do stay — and then do more of that. Often, people stay because of relationships, especially where there is an understanding of what this work is all about and why it is important.  How do we build on that?

Start with a careful look at your orientation and onboarding process.  to make sure we are talking about the same thing – ORIENTATION is the formal training program to bring people into your organization.  It may last one day, two weeks, or anywhere in between. The tone that is set ties directly to ONBOARDING, the ongoing process of welcoming new staff, including them in the culture of the organization, and making sure they feel a part of something and connected. It is important that new hires feel welcome and open to ask questions, share ideas, and immediately feel appreciated when they join  your organization.

So, let’s start with orientation.

Quillo can help your new hires get a good feel for the work that they are doing, their role, what self-advocates and families expect of them, and how to build trust with everyone.  To help you introduce Quillo to your new hires, check out Quillo’s Video for Orientation on YouTube or watch below. This six-minute video provides a quick overview of the app, why your organization joined, what they can expect, and how to get started.  

Get new hires started with Quillo right away.

First impressions matter: make it known right off the bat that your commitment to their well-being matters and that Quillo is a tool to help. Set the norm early and encourage them to sign up during Orientation: download the app, set up their password, and start exploring videos from Quillo  For those who are not camera shy, you could even record them sharing what they want to accomplish in this new career and use it as a way to introduce new hires to the rest of the staff.

Ask yourself, if you were leaving your first day of orientation as it exists today, what would be your biggest takeaway about the priorities of the organization? If you’re looking for more ways to enhance your orientation, take a look at and download Quillo’s list of 17 Ways to Ignite, Excite, and Inspire your New Hires, compiled from the best ideas around the country and shared with you! Include a self-advocate or family member, encourage supervisors to meet new hires over lunch, and more! How can you make your process less about paperwork and more about people?  

When an organization is  losing 40%, 50%, 60%or more of your new hire staff in the first six months, it makes it so much harder to focus on those who stay and offer them the support they need. That can be a difficult balance!  

To support those 40% who stay – keep them close throughout the onboarding process.  

Don’t get so focused on the ones who leave that you forget about those who stay. To help,  get people to start using Quillo early as a great way to connect with your team. Our latest user group data found that of staff using Quillo on a daily, weekly, or several times a month basis:

  • 36% said it improved relationships with their supervisor
  • 36% said they felt closer to the mission of the organization, and
  • 72% reported that it improved the relationship with the people they support.

Improving the retention of newly hired staff will take time and special attention.  Quillo is here to be part of it with you. Let’s get started with your next orientation class.

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