Setting the tone for new hires and providing them with the resources they need is what will prepare them for success. However, if you want to keep them engaged, it’s going to take more than just throwing them into training and hoping they do well with the process you’ve created. You’re going to need to walk them through the process and be open to their feedback about their personal onboarding experience. You’re going to want new hires to be engaged employees because it increases profitability and decreases turnover. Thirteen percent of Americans are somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their current job. By better understanding their professional needs and doing your best to meet them, your employees won’t fall into this percentage. The best way to build employee engagement is to begin the day you provide the new hire with their offer letter.
Make a Good First Impression
Keeping the onboarding process exciting is crucial. This is because, aside from the recruitment process and their interview, this is their first impression of the company. Instead of initially sending an offer email, consider calling them with the exciting news. Following up with the personal touch of a call will ensure they feel welcomed and aware of the incoming offer letter. This is also a good time to share information on next steps with them. Since hires may be nervous before starting their new job, it’s important to give them a point of contact they may communicate with prior to their first day in-office. This will help them know exactly who to address their questions to instead of feeling left in the dark. Introducing new hires to relevant resources gives the impression that the company is welcoming and ready for their team addition. It also gives new hires comfort knowing that people are aware of their new employment and available to answer questions or address concerns.
Another way for the company to make a positive first impression is by bringing employees into an environment that is equipped with everything they need to excel. Prior to the first day, make it an absolute priority to prepare the new hires computer, desk and supplies to make sure everything will run smoothly.
Make an Excited Introduction to the Team
The last thing you want to do is bring new employees into the office without officially introducing them to the team. A fun welcome exercise outside of the office with other colleagues is an opportunity to shake the nerves and meet people in a more casual setting. Giving new hires a ‘wow’ welcome will give them a positive taste of the company culture. When work starts to pick up, this is something the new hires can look back on to help them stay motivated.
Onboarding your new hires is the next step. Before you jump into it, give them some time to get settled in with their new equipment and setup their new accounts. A great onboarding process has the power to improve your employee retention rate. The best way to do this is by creating an outline or agenda that will both engage and retain the new hires attention. This ensures that each new hire will be referring to the same plan and receiving the same training. Initially, training should go over the company’s mission and values along with information on company structure and team culture. Go above and beyond and start the employee off on a positive note.
After they’ve been completely onboarded, you should check in with them regularly to answer any questions that might come up. Once they’ve completed their first task or project you should be providing them quick feedback to set expectations. This will steer your new hires in the right direction if they’re doing something wrong or encourage them if they’re doing everything right.
There should always be time set aside to allow new hires to give feedback on how they feel their employee onboarding process went or is going. Early feedback can prevent new hire failure and drive employee proficiency. Set up a casual meeting and ask how they feel about their role and their performance. This is a great time for the company to implement new ideas, just in case they might need to revamp their onboarding process. This is also a great time to ask about their career goals, this will give you an idea on how to help them reach these goals. By taking a pulse, this will also give the new hires affirmation that managers and mentors do care and want to make sure the new hires feel ready to work and understand their duties.
Even after your first initial conversation regarding feedback, it’s important to continue that conversation and check-in regularly after the onboarding process. During onboarding, new hires experience an immense amount of information directed at them. Many managers would like to hope that their new hires will remember everything, but this just isn’t always the case. Reinforcing this type of feedback might be a good reminder to the new hires of things they could have forgotten from their onboarding process. It will also encourage employees to speak up when things are not the best versus being afraid and feeling like they need to bottle everything up. Having a good attitude while providing feedback to new hires during their first few months, is a great way to engage and encourage employees to keep going.
Ask About Their Professional Goals
As mentioned briefly, you should want to help your new hires reach their career goals. Ask the new hires how they want to grow professionally and help them set reachable goals. You should also include goals that will encourage employees to help them get where they want to go. A personal development budget should be within your company’s capacity. This way your new hires and current employees can be actively learning and developing their skillset through courses and networking events. Setting a budget aside for personal development will make your new employees feel excited and confident that the company encourages growth.
New hires will have an idea of what they want to do, and you should help them create a path. As a leader, you’re able to use your experience to steer them in the right direction. If you don’t know how to, you should spend some time researching different engagement strategies that will help them or reach out to a senior employee to gain insight. If more experienced employees were to engage with the new employees, this would help the new hires be more accountable with their own success. You should also note that employees consistently need to feel like they’re growing and becoming proficient at what they do. If they feel like they’re not being challenged, they’ll become bored. Companies shouldn’t want to stifle creativity, instead, they should welcome new hires to explore the industry and how to obtain a strong understanding of other roles, outside of their own position.
Last but not least, make it fun! Having business outings like happy hours and networking events with colleagues is known to increase productivity and enhance employee satisfaction. Work is stressful enough, keep the new employees enthusiastic by having activities to look forward to as a team. This will also help your new hire get to know some of the current employees. Small things that include desk decorating, providing games for the office or having a ‘success bell’ are great and easy ways to incorporate fun into the office. You can even plan team outings and try to get high attendance at these events for more of an impact like happy hours. If you want to save money, you can always get your employees together by doing volunteer work and give back to the community by participating in local events, like beach clean-ups.
There are many positive effects of engaging new hires. The hires will become happier employees and the company will reap increased employee loyalty. If your employees are engaged and happy with their workplace, they’re not going to have a reason to look for work elsewhere. Encourage managers or people in control of onboarding new hires to treat them how they wish they would have been treated to create an ideal onboarding process. Leaders should continually strive to improve the ways they engage with new hires in the office. Employee engagement can do wonders for your organization and your team members, so begin inspiring their participation and feedback the day your new hires get their offer.
This guest blog was written by Emily Banks. She is a Bay Area Native who got tired of SF’s cold beaches and decided to move to San Diego. She is currently the editor for the HR section of 365 Business. When she is not typing away on her office keyboard, she can be found eating street tacos in the sunshine.