The aim of this briefing paper is to enable employers to minimise the time taken to apply the skills of incoming employees and to reduce the risks of costly mistakes during probationary or “honeymoon” periods.


“We’ve hired them for their experience – they don’t need support”
“Incoming managers tread carefully to start with anyway”
“They already know the issues because they have good industry knowledge”
“External mentors just muddy the waters”


Quotes by Personnel Director of the London Stock Exchange and Director of the Industrial Society:
“Management machismo no longer requires them to deny needing further training and development, coaching or advice”.
“Managers may, after all, only need a sounding board and a bit of a steer every now and again”.
“You can’t always bounce HR issues off other people in the business because they will look at it in relation to themselves, and you won’t get an objective view”.
“You also get an informed view of other angles you might not have thought about”.
“Few chief executives have the time or the skills to give professional support to their personnel managers”.
“I often found it hard to understand what the business looked for from personnel and how best to develop my own skills and contribution to meet those needs”.


(Taken from the Sanders and Sidney Survey “Surviving the Honeymoon”)

* 36% found the new job didn’t work out after spending an average 11 months with the company.
* Employers calculated they lost an average of £60k as a result of losing key managers.
* Employers took an average 4.6 months to recognise the problem.
* 62% candidates interviewed well but could not deliver.
* 45% employees felt they suffered most at middle management level.
* 37% felt they suffered from changes in the company’s situation.
* 35% said they found out they didn’t get on with their boss.
* 32% admitted not doing their homework before joining.
* 38% wanted a mentor with whom they could discuss progress.
* 74% of employers and 68% of employees said the most important responsibility during settling in periods was to undertake regular reviews and feedback.


* Both new people and their organisation are most vulnerable in the first six months.
* Regular feedback reviews are vital & can be undertaken by independent individuals.
* Problems are often identified too late because people fear failure.


* Perform internal and external reviews of recruitment & retention by independent specialists.
* These reviews should be sponsored by senior management who are involved in addressing issues.
* Ensure reviews are tailored to individual and company needs and undertaken by experienced & professionally qualified consultants.
* Create a process so that improvements in systems & practices are measured.