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Set a Plan in Place for New Employees That Will Keep Them Around There are four steps to take that will better prepare new hires and reduce the stress of coming aboard.

By Andre Lavoie Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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A company doesn't get a second chance to make a good first impression -- not with consumers, key stakeholders and especially not with employees. Developing an effective employee work plan is one of the most important steps an employer can take when bringing on a new hire.

Ninety percent of organizations believe that employees make their decision to stay within the first year, according to research conducted by the Aberdeen Group. That makes having an employee work plan all the more crucial.

Related: 6 Recruitment Trends You Can't Ignore in 2015

In an effort to avoid the frustration and confusion that often accompanies a new job, companies are implementing employee work plans to easily maintain employee job descriptions, plans and goals. Doing so greatly improves new hire readiness, as well as reduces the amount of stress associated with the onboarding process.

Not sure where to start in developing a new employee work plan? Here are a few essential steps to take:

1. Establish job expectations.

This first step may seem like an obvious one, but it is necessary nonetheless. Go over the job description with employees, particularly what is expected of them and how they're expected to do it. This step gives employers the opportunity to provide information on how their work fits into the big picture, further motivating employees.

Discussing job specifics that may have been only slightly touched upon during the hiring process will eliminate grievances later on.

2. Identify individual work objectives.

Allow new employees to set personal work objectives. What do they hope to accomplish while holding this position? What are their short-term and long-term career aspirations? What are they looking to learn?

Make sure employee objectives are specific and timely so it is easier to measure their progress later down the line. Having an idea of an employee's ideal career path can help determine what role the business plays in their plan, as well as what opportunities can be offered to them.

Related: How to Hire the Best Talent and Avoid the Most Common Pitfalls

3. Align employee and company goals.

Aligning an employee's personal career goals with the overall mission of the organization will help foster a mutually beneficial relationship. Understanding how their goals positively affect the goals of the company will keep employees engaged and motivated.

Discuss the organization's vision and goals with employees and how their goals play a part in the company's success.

4. Perform regular reviews.

An employee work plan is of little use if it isn't consistently under review. One of the primary reasons for having a work plan in place is to track an employee's performance. It gives employers an opportunity to discuss progress with and provide constructive feedback to employees.

Optimize the employee work plan by using it during annual performance reviews, as it can serve as a key resource for reviewing past performance.

Have you implemented employee work plans at your organization? In what ways have you developed an effective work plan? Let us know in the comments section below.

Related: 5 Essential Ingredients for Making a Smart Hire

Andre Lavoie

Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent-alignment platform that aims to bridge the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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