You must meet one-on-one with your new hire in the first week ... or else

When you get hired, your first week will set the tone for what happens next, according to a new survey conducted at Microsoft and highlighted by Harvard Business Review. The researchers noticed that what retained new hires at the tech giant came down to a simple action — did their manager meet with them one-on-one that first week?

That meeting made the difference between a new hire seeing themselves at the company for years, or as a layover, before they flew away for greener pastures.

Meet with your new hire in the first week to help them stay engaged in the long-run

Looking over the early behavior of 3,000 new hires, the researchers found that new hires will forgive the tedious parts of on-boarding. They held no ill will towards not having an identification card immediately or needing to set up that computer equipment. Those were first impressions that they could let go. But their manager meeting with them one-on-one left a lasting impression on their engagement and productivity.

Those who met with their manager to talk about goals reported a higher sense of belonging. They were three times more likely to collaborate with their team. They developed a 12% larger internal network within the first 90 days at the company and became more likely to stay.

“New employees can begin to formulate impressions about organizations from the get-go, influencing their decision to stay with the company in the long term,” the researchers write. “Don’t underestimate the power of having a one-on-one during a person’s first week. That sounds obvious, but it could be the most important connection for the new employee to make.”

As soon as we enter our new jobs, we begin to make judgments about our coworkers and workplace. To ensure you pass muster, do the simple task of setting up a one-on-one with a new hire. It will help both employee and manager get on the same page about expectations and goals from the start.

Lara Hogan, Kickstarter’s VP of Engineering, suggests structuring them around the person’s workflow: “I’ve learned that getting some particular data during an initial 1:1 can be really helpful, as I can refer back to the answers as I need to give a person feedback, recognize them, and find creative ways to support them.”