Getting your ducks in a row…

Business going along nicely? Don’t be too complacent. It’s the people who work for you that make it happen – and how engaged are they?


Naomi Simson

There is not one business owner I’ve met who isn’t talking about the attraction and retention of great people. The conversation then soon turns to engagement and how “into” an organisation someone is. 


I was speaking recently to Anthony Sork of human capital consultancy Sork HC, and he mentioned that in his opinion there was a missing step – really a putting of the cart before the horse. From research I have read, I know that 30% of people will decide in their first month of employment when they are going to leave an organisation. (It might be a year or several – but they pretty quickly assess whether the job and the company is what they expected it to be.)


Sork says you can’t get to engagement unless first employees are “attached” to the business – and the first 120 days are critical to that.


Research completed by Sork HC has shown that more than 90% of organisations that suffer a high level of attrition during the first 18 months of employment (coupled with moderate or poor employee performance) also have an inadequate method of attracting, recruiting and inducting their new employees – that is “attaching and on-boarding”.


Sork’s research shows that the attachment period for a new employee is a critical bonding period of 120 days, and directly affects the “risk of attrition” and the proportion of “discretionary effort” leveraged by employees during their first 18 months of employment. High levels of employee engagement are not possible unless high levels of employee attachment are achieved first of all.

The danger for organisations to focus solely on engagement (trying to move poor, low or moderate engagement to high engagement) are that they are investing with virtually no hope of a return if they have first failed to effectively attach those employees – and indeed new employees just joining.

The attachment period is a phase of assessment and evaluation by the new employee whereby a set of both conscious and subconscious criteria are measured, known as “drivers”. Every employee does this in every new phase of their employment cycle, but it is most evident and relevant to the huge costs associated with recruitment when a new employee joins from outside the organisation.


Sork did share with me the drivers – which I’ll share in further detail over the next few weeks.



To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here.

Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book.



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