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How to Tell if You Are Setting Unrealistic New Job Expectations

Do you have issues with new hire retention? Are employees quitting before the 30 or 45 day mark? You might have set unrealistic job expectations that don’t line up with the original job description

In fact, a third of new hires quit their job within the first 90 days. Almost half of them say that they quit because the work they were being asked to perform wasn’t what was discussed during the hiring process.

Knowing how to tell if your new hire is drowning can help you adjust expectations - often on both sides - and keep new employees motivated to stay the course until they get the hang of what is required. 

This might mean you need to adopt flexible workforce management protocols, and it definitely means you need to make sure new hires have the support they need. That support should start in the pre-hire phase and continue throughout an employee’s tenure.

You may discover that you need to be more transparent and clear during the recruitment phase of the process, so you attract candidates who are actually interested in what you need to have done.

What Are Unrealistic New Job Expectations?

There are plenty of jobs that require an employee to be flexible about their tasks and responsibilities. Varying shifts, the need to cover for absent employees, and shifting demands for a product or service can all cause a need for changes to a duty roster.

However, many employers don’t take their workers’ state of mind and comfort level into account or don’t accurately assess how much strain and time are involved with changed or added responsibilities. 

Examples of unrealistic job expectations include:

collaborative recruitment

Expecting a worker to be up to 100% almost immediately

Even if you have hired an employee who served in a similar role or function at another company, that doesn’t mean they are completely plugged and play at your organization. Every company is different, and even if the job titles are the same it doesn’t mean responsibilities will be identical. Plus, every business runs a little differently, from vision to goals to company culture.

It typically takes eight months for a new employee to reach full productivity. This means your onboarding period should be at a minimum this long: preferably an entire year. Don’t give your employee just 4-6 weeks to hit their stride. Continue offering guidance and support to help them learn and grow into their new position.

Expecting new hires to be fine with different workloads than advertised

Things can change rapidly in an organization that is a new launch, undergoing restructuring, or redesigning the chain of management. This can mean you hire for a role while the expected duties are still in flux. However, you cannot expect new hires to just 

One survey revealed that 58% of job-seekers say that they have applied for a position based on an inaccurate description, and another notes that only 47% of workers now believe job descriptions reflect actual responsibilities. Be clear and transparent in your job descriptions, and discuss changes with new workers instead of simply announcing them.

Expecting new hires to read minds or intuit what they should be doing

A Gallup poll showed that only around half of U.S. employees say they know what they are supposed to be doing in their role. This leads to low productivity, low morale, and low engagement in the workplace.

Friction, frustration, and fatigue contribute to poor performance. One survey revealed that 60% of millennials (ages 18 to 34) reported that stress from unrealistic work demands and poor work/life balance were causing them to be mentally unproductive at work. Remote work expectations can further complicate the issue.

How Crosschq Can Help

Crosschq Analytics can help you track employee performance, productivity, and job satisfaction, allowing you to stay in touch with employees through onboarding and beyond. The data gathered through frequent surveys can drive better decisioning around both hiring and support, giving your employees an increased chance of success.

To learn more about how Crosschq Analytics can help you monitor new hires and recognize when you’ve set unrealistic new job expectations, contact us for a demonstration today.

Noelle Davis

by Noelle Davis

Staff Writer

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