Engaged employees are positive, energetic and passionate members of your team who help you grow your business. When employees are engaged, they tend to perform up to or above their skill levels and support your organization’s vision. Here are five ways to help ensure new employees are engaged from day one on the job:
1. Review and modify your orientation. Employees want information about benefits and policies. However, if your employee orientation is nothing but paperwork and a repetition of the information they can read in the employee manual, you’ll likely drain some of the excitement and passion the new hires woke up with on their first day. Instead, capture their passion by also including their role in your organization’s vision as soon as possible when they walk through the door.
Engage new employees by getting them involved right away. Help them see how every task they complete or decision they make contributes to the vision. And let them know that their work is valued in your corporate culture.
2. Place a focus on the on-boarding process. If you get new hires involved early in their probationary period, you develop positive skills and minimize negatives. New hires should feel welcome and appreciated. For example, if you hire an employee who helped organize the holiday party at his last job, introduce him to the leader of the holiday party team, even if he joins the company in May. Use on-boarding software programs to offer new hires a menu of choices, including the ability to choose teams or activities that interest them most.
3. Create and support a culture of engagement. Engaging new hires only works if your culture supports it. Otherwise, your new employees and their ideas or participation can get shot down. To create a culture of engagement, nurture relationships and communicate openly. Recognize and reward evidence of passion, perseverance and vision in employees and teams.
4. Follow through on statements and promises. Having an engaged culture with feedback and open communication helps ensure that you follow through on “promises” made to new hires. That includes practicing what you preach. In other words, if you say during orientation or on-boarding that managers follow up on suggestions, develop the time or structure to make sure it happens. Otherwise, new workers can become discouraged if their early enthusiasm hits a dead end.
5. Start giving feedback right away. To retain promising new hires, make sure they get feedback right away. Waiting until they’ve been there a year and then presenting a formal evaluation ties more to compensation than success. Try to ensure that feedback is constructive and positive, but honest. And provide more detail than “You’re doing fine.” Consider coaching for new employees who show promise and evidence of success factors.
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