The Entry Interview and the Great Resignation

We shouldn't have to choose between doing well at our jobs and taking care of ourselves.

Thomas Barwick / Getty Images
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

With the Great Resignation not letting up — 4.2 million people quit in October, only slightly fewer than the record 4.4 million who quit in September — how to retain your people and attract new ones is one of the most urgent issues facing business leaders right now. It’s easy to talk about prioritizing employee well-being, but companies that don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Great Resignation need to take action. Specifically, they need to implement ways to actually allow and encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work. A great way to start is with the Entry Interview. At Thrive Global, it’s the core of our onboarding process, and we’re now helping other companies make it part of theirs. 

Almost all companies conduct an exit interview when an employee leaves — quizzing the employee about their experience, what worked, what didn’t work — with the idea of the company doing better with other employees in the future. But what if managers understood these factors when it could make the biggest impact: on the employee’s first day instead of their last? That’s the idea behind the Entry Interview. Basically, it’s a conversation between a new hire and their manager on Day One that starts by asking what’s important to them outside of work. For parents, it might be taking a child to school. For others, it might be logging off at a certain time one night a week for a physical therapy session or for a fitness class. It’s about acknowledging that we take our whole selves to work, and nobody should have to choose between being successful at their job and fulfilled in other parts of their lives. It’s a way of making onboarding a more meaningful, ongoing conversation, because when we know what matters to someone in their personal life, our regular check-ins become deeper and we are more likely to know how they are faring at work and in life as their needs and priorities evolve over time. Helping new hires feel connected to their managers is now more important than ever. As the saying goes, people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. In this age of hybrid work and constant uncertainty, empathetic leadership is more critical than ever.

After all, as the Great Resignation shows, once on board, people are increasingly likely to deboard — sometimes publicly — if they feel they have to choose between taking care of their job responsibilities and taking care of themselves. And it’s a way of developing a stronger set of data and insights to really understand the needs of your workforce, another growing need. According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Human Capital Trends report, 97% of organizations said they needed higher degrees of workforce sentiment data to act on feedback. The Entry Interview is the entry point to taking advantage of our once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine how we work and live.

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