How Long Does it Take An Employee to Be Fully Productive? 

In the last few weeks, we’ve had several articles on the costs of hiring a new employee. Companies need to focus more on employee retention because the costs of replacing an employee add up quickly.

Remember, the costs are not simply limited to recruitment. You can save thousands on recruitment simply by hiring Recruit Shop. But you also have to account for the lost productivity and training that go into hiring a new employee and, even after all of the training is done, statistics on when an employee is most productive are not friendly towards employers.

Employees Take a Long Time to Acclimate

Very few new hires work their hardest and best right away. In fact, according to an article in Training Industry Quarterly, it takes at least 1 to 2 years before an employee is “fully productive”. That means that even after an employee has been hired, they may not be as productive as the previous employee for 2 years. You’ll be losing out on potential value for months to years after your previous employee has left.

Why Does it Take So Long to Adjust?

Employers often think that a new hire will adjust quickly once they’ve been brought on staff. The general assumption is that all the employee needs is some training, and suddenly they’ll be experts at their job. Yet no matter how much experience someone has coming in to the new position, adjustment is going to take a great deal of time:

  • Time spent getting acclimated and understanding their first tasks.
  • Time spent asking questions and trying to figure out where things are.
  • Time spent feeling uncomfortable about whether they’re doing their job right.

There is time being shy before openly talking to co-workers, time being unsure about the products and services of the company, time spent figuring out what to do. It’s not all the employee either, as after any new hire it’s not uncommon for the employer to struggle to figure out the best role for them and how to maximise their talents. Sometimes weeks are passed with an employee doing very little because no one can figure out what they should do next.

There are countless reasons that employees take a long time to adjust. But no matter the specific cause, the time it takes a new employee to be at their peak productivity is much longer than most employers believe.

What This Means For Your Business

Your business’s goal is to maximise your ROI. When it comes to employees, there are traditionally two very important parts to making sure you get the most from the money you invest in your employees:

  • Hire the Right People
  • Keep Those People

Recruit Shop can help you with the first. But once you have those new employees, it’s up to you to make sure that you’re keeping them around, because the costs of losing that employee can affect your business for years to come.

4 replies
  1. Sad
    Sad says:

    I have been in my new job for only 9 days, and my manager expects me to remember and be able to perform the job right away. I have been working from 9 to 12 hours a day, and she never say anything to encourage me but the blaming. I even have a serious anxiety to go to work. 🙁

    • Change
      Change says:

      I feel the same way. I just got over the 6 month mark and I still feel there is a lot I don’t know. I never get feedback and if I feel I’ve done something right, I never get any encouragement or positive feedback. It’s nice to hear your doing your job well from time to time, although my boss isn’t the type of person to give good graces to anyone. I feel there are a lot of people in our position, and employers are wondering why employees jump from job to job.


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