Hiring has always been a tough challenge for organizations, be it small or large. Another challenge is getting the new hires to “hit the ground running,” and get them up to speed with the organization’s work environment, workflow processes, and culture. There are several things that organizations need to do to engage their new hires.
Nothing has a bigger impact on the success of the new employees than how their hiring mangers engage with them on the first few days of the job for the new employees.
Research shows that systematic onboarding of new hires can speed up their efficiency and effectiveness in achieving their goals by nearly 60% which in turn reduces their failure rates and retention. The cost of replacing an employee is several times the annual salary of an existing employee. Thus, getting new hires to become productively quickly and to stick is in the best interest of the organization. When onboarding is well-executed, it sets the foundation for long-term success.
In order to ensure that the new employees remain enthusiastic, engaged, and informed about their new workplace, here are some of the simple yet effective things that best organizations tend to practice:
- Welcome Address by Senior Leaders
The senior leader has an important role to play when it comes to engaging the employees. It is the leaders who represent the organization, thus, when the new hires are welcomed by the leaders, they can get a good understanding of their vision and the business. Left on their own, they will feel like just a nameless and faceless bunch of people in the workforce, reducing the chances of them getting involved in the business and the organization. Hence, interaction with the senior leaders during their early days in the organization can create a connection between the organization and the new joiners.
- New Hire Training
It is important to invest in adequate training or induction for the new employees by introducing them to the organization’s business and operations. Cramming the organizational overview. policies and working knowledge in a very short time frame might not be a good idea. The new employees might not get enough time to absorb the information and they might also get overwhelmed. Hence, the new hire training should be done in a phased manner in order to bring the new employees up to spend and engage them. The induction process could stretch over weeks or months to make the new employees better aware of various aspects of the organization.
- Assigning a Buddy
The buddy system can be one part of an effective onboarding program that provides new employees with a reliable, motivated, ongoing, single point of contact for questions regarding work processes.
A buddy is someone who partners with a new employee during his or her first few months of employment. He or she is a colleague assigned to assist the new hire to get through the first nerve-wracking time period of being in a new position. Buddies generally teach or tutors the new employees on unfamiliar tasks, explains how to use office equipment, obtain office supplies, make travel arrangements, socialize the new employee on organization’s guidelines, norms, culture, and unwritten guidelines, share insights on how things are done in the organization, involve the new employee in social or informal activities, such as lunch, coffee, and such.
This socialization and support can make an enormous, positive difference in early performance, social integration, and long-term retention. A workplace buddy may be the first point of contact for your new employee and should be capable of establishing rapport quickly. Organizations want new employees to feel comfortable and safe asking questions and bringing up issues with their buddy.
- Set early win targets
Another powerful strategy for enhancing employee productivity of new employees is to give them clear and achievable goals. Rather than setting formal goals for the new hires at this stage, supervisors should set clear, realistic work expectations for the next few months in form of certain tasks and timelines. The targets should be set in such a manner that the organization is confident that the new employees can achieve those.This will not give confidence to both the supervisor and the employee but help increase the level of motivation of the new employee to take up even bigger challenges. Supervisors can also discuss the gaps in performance of the new employee and the ways to mitigate the same, setting the employee up for continued success in the organization.
- Introduction to the Organization Culture
Every organization has its own culture, language and tone, which may not be known to a new hire. If we drop the new hires in the organization without making them aware of the language and jargon, they will continue to feel like an outsider. Thus, the corporate buzzwords, acronyms, language, insider jokes, culture and tradition of the organization should be well explained to the new employees. This can be achieved through the buddy system or by involving the new employee in team meeting and informal gatherings. The interpretation of such things makes the newly joined employees feel more comfortable in the organizational environment and speeds up their integration process with the organization.
- Engage using internal and external social media
Once the new hire is on board, the organization should invite them to their internal social media such as Yammer and WhatsApp groups and also to their Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, Twitter handle, Instagram accounts etc. Keeping the new employee connected with what all is happening in the organization can be one of the easiest yet effective way of ensuring that the new employees start getting immersed in the organization.
- Coach them
Knowing “what is expected of me” is one of the most important questions that contribute to employee satisfaction, according to a Gallup Q12 study. New employees face a steep learning curve when they start with a new organization. The new employees will definitely take some time to understand the work that they need to do. Leaving the employees to sink or swim on their own is certainly not advisable. Supervisors should take time from their busy schedules to coach new employees whenever they see them struggling with any task. By giving them the necessary coaching, they can ensure that these employees get ready for more challenging work sooner. The attention of their supervisor also increases the engagement level of the new employee.
Undoubtedly, employee engagement is one of the key success factors for driving business growth in organizations today. Hence, ensuring a high level of passion and commitment from new hires towards their work and the organization, as easily as possible in their tenure is of paramount importance. There are several important things that organizations need to do to engage their new hires.
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