Builders looking for ways to hang on to new staff, especially management-level employees, should pay special attention to their personnel's first month on the job. A new study from the University of Florida (UF) reports that a bad experience during the first 30 days at work plays a major role in an employee's decision to stay or quit within two years.

Two points in particular should serve as red flags, says John Kammeyer-Mueller, an assistant professor at UF's Warrington College of Business Administration, who surveyed 1,000 white-collar professionals from seven companies in various industries over a two-year period.

The first indication of trouble occurs when job responsibilities don't match, or change dramatically from, what the employee was told during the interview process. “People told us, ‘I thought I would be doing this, but instead I'm doing that,'” Kammeyer-Mueller says. “There is a sense of a violated promise.”

The second warning sign is an “intense emotional confrontation with a boss” within the first month on the job. “They start saying, ‘I'm working under someone I can't stand,'” Kammeyer-Mueller says.