​By Kischa Cook 

In the words of Darian Kovacs of Forbes, “An employee’s first day can be stressful for everyone. When there are people’s livelihoods at stake, it’s difficult to see how it could be any different.”

The data makes it even more difficult to see how it could be any different. The Society for Human Resource Management has determined that 23% of employee turnover occurs within the first year of employment. In other words, almost one in four employees will leave their job before celebrating their one-year anniversary. Additionally, Millennials are 6.3 times more likely overall to leave their jobs if they don’t feel a sense of inclusiveness within the organization. 

This information makes clear the value of both effective onboarding and the fostering of engagement. WAPA’s improved new employee onboarding combines them. 

Designed to create meaningful connection between the new hire, the team and the organizational culture, WAPA’s new employee onboarding takes the process beyond the traditional paperwork- and process-driven approaches. It fosters a greater level of interaction with new employees. 

WAPA’s new employee onboarding is a yearlong, highly integrated process that includes ongoing interaction from supervisors, leaders and Human Resources. It provides an opportunity for employees to become successful members of the WAPA family. The course is three hours long and will be offered quarterly. 

One of the new components of employee onboarding is WAPA 101. WAPA 101 is a series of videos and presentations to introduce new employees to the organization’s mission, history and culture. 

All new employees will be registered for WAPA 101 by their Human Resources business partner. Current employees will also receive an invitation to attend. 

WAPA 201, a more in-depth look at WAPA’s mission, organization and leadership culture, is currently in development and is scheduled to launch next year. It is the intention of Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel that all new employees will attend both WAPA 101 and WAPA 201 within the first year of employment. 

To help the initiative succeed, the support of supervisors throughout the organization is essential, and Gabriel has requested that all WAPA managers make it a priority for new hires to participate in the full onboarding journey, ensuring that their employees attend WAPA 101. 

In the end, a new employee’s successful transition is a success for the entire organization. 

Note: Cook is an equal employment opportunity specialist and attorney-adviser on detail to the Chief Administrative Office. Nikki King contributed to this story.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023