One Tip That’ll Reduce First Year Turnover

When you recruit a new sales candidate you talk about all the good things they’ll experience with your company.

You talk about how the compensation plan is exceptional, the products are revolutionary, and the leadership is immune to failure.

When you have a rock star candidate you’d like to bring on board, it’s not uncommon to do whatever it takes to get them hired.

Sometimes this means going the extra mile to sweeten the deal.

At some point during the recruitment period, you’ll make a few promises:

  • “If you close three deals in the first three months we’ll bump up your base salary.”
  • “If a sales leadership role opens up, it’ll be yours.”
  • “You’ll be eligible for this year’s bonus, even though you’ve started midway through the bonus cycle.”
  • "We’ll change your title after the first six months.”
  • “We’ll promote you in the first year. We’re growing so fast, it’ll happen.”

All budding relationships need trust, and nothing hurts a fledgling relationship more than neglecting to follow through on a promise.

Once the new recruit has settled in, and the job is well underway, promises are all too easy to forget.

When employers don’t keep their promises, employees lose trust and respect in leadership and turnover ensues. Intent is never enough.

Avoid new employee turnover by keeping your promises….

1. Recognize the power of clarity. Focus on communicating clearly during the interview process.

2. Take notes during the recruitment process. Document in detail the promises you make. Be methodical, meticulous, and precise. Hold yourself accountable to the commitments you make during this time.

3. Note milestone dates linked to the promises make in your calendar. You will build more credibility if your new employee doesn’t have to remind you to follow through on your promises.

Relatively new hires leave when they feel initial agreements haven’t been kept. This is unnecessary and expensive. Remember to make an extraordinary effort to keep your promises and execute them fastidiously. 

If your chances of fulfilling your promises are small, rethink committing to them.

Employees stay with companies when they are confident in leadership. One of the best ways to cement trust in leadership is to commit to doing what you say you’re going to do.

Employees will judge you on what you do, not your intentions. It’s easy to neglect promises once you’ve got a new hire on board, but in the long run, it’s a losing strategy.

I interview sales candidates every day who are looking to make a change from their current employer.

When I ask them why they’re thinking about leaving, many times they say their employer hasn’t followed through on their promises.

The employee is disenchanted and no longer trusts leadership.

Make it Happen

As a leader, it’s important to take an honest look at your own behavior. If you want to get better at building trust by keeping your promises and reducing turnover, ask yourself the following:

  • What are the steps you need to take to communicate clear expectations?
  • What promises have you made that you can shore up today?
  • What promises can you stop making so you can avoid setting the wrong expectations?
  • Are you consistently following through on your commitments to yourself and your team?
  • Do you believe your new hires are clear regarding expectations?
  • What can you do to hold yourself accountable?

Restoring trust after it’s been lost is much harder than building trust over time. If you make a concerted effort to actively establish, grow, and foster trust with your new employees you’ll be on the path to increased sales revenues and reduced turnover.

You’ll also get the added benefit of maximizing your personal credibility as a leader.


Stand up for what’s right, in small matters and large ones, and always do what you promise.
— Reuben Mark, Chairmand and CEO Colgate-Palmolive