How Phil Saved Her Employer a Full Year’s Salary

Last week, I called my local credit union about my account. The phone was answered by Phil, who I knew as a long-term employee of the credit union.


Over the years, I’ve gone into the branch on a regular basis. Phil would always be serving her customers in a caring manner, greeting people by name and asking about their family members.


Phil told me that as a result of COVID-19, she cut her hours and was working part time. She was on the road to retirement but this was a difficult transition for her after 47 years at the credit union. Forty-seven years in the same organization!


According to Statista, a human resources support company, the average time someone stays at the same job in finance is 105.8 months. Phil has been there 564 months. This means that most credit unions would have replaced Phil five times due to normal staff turnover.


If you haven’t been in the position of hiring and training new staff you might think there’s nothing to it. However, employee orientation is a long-term process that might include a training progression of up to a year.


When we bring on a new employee, there are a series of steps we should follow in the first few days, including:


Orientation to business


Employees need to know the history of the business, the mission or purpose of the organization, their job description and who they report to. What are their roles and responsibilities?


They must be given a tour of the buildings and an explanation of other branches or locations involved. They must be introduced to other employees and shown their desk, bathrooms and emergency exits. This all takes time.


Introduction to company policies and procedures


This includes information concerning dress code, work schedule, opening and closing instructions, lunch times, expense claim procedures, salary and benefits, and procedures to follow regarding sick days and holidays.


Expect to take at least an hour just to go over your employment documentation to ensure their employment status is understood by your bookkeeping and payroll staff.


Explanation of …

  • legal requirements;

  • safety and emergency procedures;

  • technical information about the tools they will need to do their job.

Employees need to know about product or service standards, operation manuals and policies around their specific area of work.


All these steps should be followed on the first day of on-boarding. Expect that you’re going to have to allocate additional staff and time to train your new worker over the next several months.


Not only will your new employee be working at a limited capacity, you must allocate a trainer or mentor to shadow and support that person.


You must allow additional time and lots of patience for staff reviews, probationary periods, mentorship and oversight.


I used to figure that it would take me six months to a year to get any retail employee up to speed. A bank or credit union could take much longer.


The estimated costs to train a new worker is 21 per cent of the annual cost of an employee. Based on this information, Phil has saved her employer a full year’s salary by staying there five times longer than the average employee.


She deserves a real gold watch when she retires!


Hiring and on-boarding new employees is a costly matter. Yet if you can train and treat your employees well so you have less turnover, your organization will reap considerable rewards.


Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award winning business coach and a partner in the firm Pivotleader Inc. Turning over at night? Email dave@pivotleader.com

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