Making sense of the 90-day employee retention rule

A quick summary:

  • Why are employers offering additional benefits and perks? 💸
  • What businesses like McDonald's and Wendy's are offering? 👀
  • How leaders should approach additional benefits 👍
  • Using Heka to offer 1000+ additional benefits 💚

The first 90 days of a new job aren’t just exciting, scary or confusing for employees - they are imperative to your onboarding and retention efforts. Leaders from some of the biggest businesses are realising one rule: make the first 90 days count. 

From additional perks to an improved employee experience, new data has revealed that high turnover industries have found a sweet spot for retention. Executives say that employees remaining for three months are more likely to stay long-term. And in a workplace plagued by the Great Resignation and economic uncertainty, it’s clear why employers are pulling out all the stops to retain top talent.

Below, we’re diving into the 90-day retention rule, and what some of the biggest businesses in the world are doing to keep employees.


Why are we seeing employee benefits by the truckload?

The workplace as we know it has changed. In the past couple of years, the world has been through some tough times. From remote work to a cost of living crisis, employees departing jobs like never before. Take a look at SHRM’s ‘quitters market’ graph, showing just how historic the Great Resignation has been to the workplace. In the U.S alone, 47.8M workers quit their jobs, averaging around 4M each month.

Across the pond here in the UK, the HRDirector reported that 29% of a 1,000 employees surveyed said they are considering moving job this year. Clearly, the statistics don’t lie. The post-pandemic world has revealed an epidemic of its own. 

Employers are struggling to retain talent, let alone onboard effectively. It was recently reported by WJS (Wall Street Journal) that some of the biggest businesses in the world are leaning into the “90-day retention rule”. The idea’s simple, employers are doing everything within their power to ensure employees remain for 90 days (three months).

New data has revealed that employees who stick around for 90 days are very much likely to stay for at least a year. For that reason alone, and to avoid retention efforts being swallowed up by the Great Resignation, leaders are offering huge benefits and perks to new starters. 

To put it simply, if retention was a lifehack, business leaders in high turnover industries have found it. Let’s now take a look at some of the many ways businesses are retaining employees in 2022’s confusing and volatile job market.

What benefits and perks are employers offering?

So, what exactly are employers doing to retain and onboard top talent in today’s workplace? As reported by Wall Street Journal, businesses like Wendy’s and Mcdonald's aren’t just offering additional benefits and perks, but going one step further - in some cases, new starters are being rewarded with extra money. 

In some circumstances, additional training opportunities within the first 90 days sound absurd. But for big businesses, it’s becoming somewhat of a strategy to keep people around to the three-month mark. And understandably, if it works, it works. 

According to Chip Cutter, author of the piece published by Wall Street Journal, Chipotle’s chief of people said “If you see some­one hit the three-month mark, the re­al­ity is, they’re go­ing to be here for at least a year.” And for a business as big as Chipotle, the 90-day retention rule clearly isn’t just all talk and no success.

This new onboarding and retention approach suggests that people are looking for much more than pay rises in the workplace. It shows that employee benefits and incentives can be the answer to a lot of workplace woes. 

Here at Heka, we believe in personalised employee benefits and wellbeing. It’s always been vital to us that users have a meaningful experience when it comes to perks in the workplace. Because of this, we only hope that while big businesses throw perks left, right and centre, they do so with the intention of building healthier, happier teams. 

If it’s solely in the name of the 90-day retention rule, its effectiveness may be questionable. And although employees may stick around much longer, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will perform at their best. 

How should leaders approach additional perks and benefits?

Here’s our two cents, at Heka… we think employers should lean into the 90-day retention rule, but with a people-first approach. While retention is indispensable in the modern workplace, organisations shouldn’t get carried away retaining employees just to neglect the employee experience (EX) after 90 days. 

Ultimately, onboarding and retention are ongoing strategies, and this emphasis on the first 90-days shouldn’t be the end, but the beginning of the next 90 days. How will leaders assess their efforts and move forward for the next quarter? How can they improve their additional perks and incentives? 

In our humble opinion, wellbeing wins every time when it comes to building healthier, happier teams. By leaning into the 90-day retention rule, companies should do so with mental health support, wellbeing benefits and more. 

Believe it or not, employers can and do stick around, even when they’re unhappy - it’s called presenteeism. This occurs in employees who simply turn up and underperform. They miss deadlines, produce poor results and generally do not want to work with others. 

While the 90-day retention rule can help businesses escape the Great Resignation crisis, retention alone isn’t a strategy for people management success. 

Offering an additional 1,000+ benefits to your workforce

As many global businesses like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and more start offering additional benefits to their employees, what can you do? Well, let us introduce you to Heka!

We’re an employee wellbeing platform, meaning each month thousands of employees take control of their health and wellbeing. Across 50+ categories, users pick from thousands of wellbeing experiences, services and products.

Whether it’s language learning, health meal deliveries, mental health consultations or testing their fitness levels with a group class, there’s something for everyone. As many employers seek out additional benefits in a race to retain talent to the 90-day mark, Heka makes offering additional benefits and perks three things:

  • A personalised experience
  • A dream to manage
  • Super effective in building healthier, happier teams

Speak with one of our wellbeing experts today, who will be happy to walk you through Heka and the many benefits it can offer your team.

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