Data Reveal First Year Employees Are the Most Highly Engaged

May 2, 2019

WRIGHTSVILLE, PA–Research finds that first year employees in the senior living industry are 7.5% more highly engaged than employees who have been with the organization longer than one year. The same research also finds a 6.6% increase in disengaged employees who have completed a year of service. Yet, the data is polarizing, as the number of engaged employees stays consistent across all lengths of service, from year one through year ten. This shows that employees are more likely to swing to the ends of the spectrum after their first year of employment, instead of settling into the middle range of engagement.


Employees who face this identified “Honeymoon Period” make a critical, albeit likely unconscious, decision to remain highly engaged or become disengaged in their work. It can be a slow fade for some as they go from highly engaged to disengaged over the course of their first year, but for others, they are no longer enchanted by their new role and responsibilities.


This finding is significant for organizations who are facing hiring and retention challenges. “Recognition programs, stay interviews, regular check-ins, and supervisor engagement training are all established best practices to increase levels of engagement,” said  Holleran’s Senior Research Analyst, Jennifer Leo. “The novelty doesn’t have to wear off after the first year of employment. Maintaining a high level of engagement beyond the first year has obvious benefits for an organization—less turnover, increased productivity, and a contagious atmosphere of highly engaged workers,” she continues.


Williamsburg Landing, a Life Plan Community located in Williamsburg, VA, understands employee engagement past the first year. “The first year of employment is our responsibility to ensure every team member feels supported and trained to be fully successful at their job, but the retention efforts don’t stop there. We developed our “Proud to Care” Talent Management Strategy to focus not only on recruitment and onboarding, but also on retention, training, and development,” said Brandy Day, Chief Talent Officer with Williamsburg Landing.


Because of Holleran’s proprietary benchmark, which includes the opinions and views of more than 59,660 employees, all surveyed within the last 24 months, Holleran’s researchers are able to find correlations that both reinforce commonly held beliefs and shatter preconceived notions about living and working in a retirement community.

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