With the Great Resignation not letting up — 4.2 million people quit in October, only slightly fewer than the record 4.4 million who quit in September — how to retain your people and attract new ones is one of the most urgent issues facing business leaders right now. It’s easy to talk about prioritizing employee well-being, but companies that don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Great Resignation need to take action. Specifically, they need to implement ways to actually allow and encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work. A great way to start is with the Entry Interview. At Thrive Global, it’s the core of our onboarding process, and we’re now helping other companies make it part of theirs. 

Almost all companies conduct an exit interview when an employee leaves — quizzing the employee about their experience, what worked, what didn’t work — with the idea of the company doing better with other employees in the future. But what if managers understood these factors when it could make the biggest impact: on the employee’s first day instead of their last? That’s the idea behind the Entry Interview. Basically, it’s a conversation between a new hire and their manager on Day One that starts by asking what’s important to them outside of work. For parents, it might be taking a child to school. For others, it might be logging off at a certain time one night a week for a physical therapy session or for a fitness class. It’s about acknowledging that we take our whole selves to work, and nobody should have to choose between being successful at their job and fulfilled in other parts of their lives. It’s a way of making onboarding a more meaningful, ongoing conversation, because when we know what matters to someone in their personal life, our regular check-ins become deeper and we are more likely to know how they are faring at work and in life as their needs and priorities evolve over time. Helping new hires feel connected to their managers is now more important than ever. As the saying goes, people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. In this age of hybrid work and constant uncertainty, empathetic leadership is more critical than ever.

After all, as the Great Resignation shows, once on board, people are increasingly likely to deboard — sometimes publicly — if they feel they have to choose between taking care of their job responsibilities and taking care of themselves. And it’s a way of developing a stronger set of data and insights to really understand the needs of your workforce, another growing need. According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Human Capital Trends report, 97% of organizations said they needed higher degrees of workforce sentiment data to act on feedback. The Entry Interview is the entry point to taking advantage of our once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine how we work and live.

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  • Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on numerous boards, including Uber and The Center for Public Integrity. Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, both became instant international bestsellers. She is a mother, sister, flat shoe advocate, and sleep evangelist.