Top 5 Ways to Turn Your New Hires into Engaged Employees

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No matter how big your company or what industry you are in, many companies often miss the opportunity to effectively engage their new hires, leading to lower levels of productivity and advocacy. In today’s article, we wanted to share some great examples of how new hire engagement can be built.

1. Don’t have a disconnect between your recruitment process and onboarding journey.

Over 59% of employers now say that talent brand represents one of the key components of an organization’s HR strategy (with 39% of businesses expected to increase investment in their talent brand initiatives). That means a lot of time and money is being invested in developing an EVP (employee value proposition) and portraying the many reasons why it is so great to work at an organization. So, why then do many organizations go silent after a new hire returns their contract?

Keeping up a similar level of communication (exciting communication..not just admin requests) is one way to build excitement and advocacy even before a new hire has stepped in the door for their first day. This will create engagement to (hopefully) stop them from accepting an offer elsewhere before they start. It will also have them more ready to get stuck in their role when they begin – as there’s more connective tissue established.

2. Make their first day memorable – provide a WOW welcome.

Okay, we all know there are a few basic things you need to get right for a new hire’s first day. Surprisingly, it still is often these basic things that aren’t ready for day 1 – like having an operational laptop, the new hire’s manager being in the office etc.

However, if you truly want to build employee engagement and advocacy for your new hires – you need to go the extra mile. Perhaps during the interview or pre-boarding stages, hobbies or interests were discussed. Have the manager or team take a few minutes to add a personal touch to a desk or the team’s area. You might take over the screen in the reception with a welcome image for the new hire. Not only does this create a sense of belonging, it is also a great way to provide some free talent brand moments (we all love the LinkedIn posts showing us just how great day 1 was).

A wow welcome is the first step towards engaged employees

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An unforgettable first day is good for employee engagement
(and LinkedIn likes).

3. Create an easier way to navigate the dreaded internal systems.

So you’ve done a great job making the new hire feel engaged and welcomed. But after lunch or on the second day, it’s time to start getting into some company content.

Deep breath, followed by a sigh.

Every new hire dreads the mundane e-learnings, and most employers know how hard it is to navigate a learning system or intranet. In one survey, between 16-17 percent of the respondents left between the first week and the third month of starting their new job, so creating a smoother entry into the company goes a long way to increase employee retention early on.

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Rather than loosely telling a new hire where to go to access systems and content, why not drip feed specific links to locations to find content at different stages during the new hire’s first few weeks? Imagine as a new hire, on your third day – you have an email in your inbox directing you to relevant links? This will avoid any awkward moments of uncertainty or confusion, that’s for sure.

4. Allow for pulse checks to generate instant feedback.

When a new hire joins your company, there are many moving parts, both for the new hire personally and for the company as a whole. Because of this, there’s most likely going to be something that doesn’t go to plan.

Traditionally, employers have chosen to collect new hire experience data at various points – some collecting recruitment process data, others favoring quarterly or bi-annual employee surveys – and others who collect no data at all.

One of the biggest issues with these processes is that problems may not be identified until it is too late. Of course, this needs to be balanced with not over-surveying a new hire. However, having a check in after a new hire’s first week and month can allow for issues to be identified and rectified early on, making an employee feel much more settled and engaged.

One point here though – if you do decide to survey at frequent intervals, it’s important to have a plan on how to take action on the feedback you receive. Certain automated systems, such as Enboarder, have the ability to trigger an alert to a team member if a poor score is given during a check-in survey.

Enboarder onboarding software

Onboarding software can give you timely reminders and
notifications to help you detect potential issues
your new hires may have.

5. Coach managers to constantly share feedback (a probation review shouldn’t be a shock).

For some, the perception of how they feel they are settling into their new role can be quite different from reality – either positively or negatively. If you truly want to make an employee feel confident and engaged in their role, it’s crucial that their manager offers transparency in how they are settling in.

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To create the easiest method here, training your managers on the importance of goal and KPI setting can create an objective way for a new hire to understand how they are progressing in their role. Your managers will most often be well-intentioned, they might just not realize the importance of frequent feedback.

Prompting a manager to have 1:1 catch ups occurring at the end of the first week and month at a minimum is one way to make a new hire feel valued, and for objective feedback to be given. This allows for development areas to be explored, and for a new hire to feel empowered, knowing exactly how they are tracking and where they can be improving. By not providing feedback until probation review time, a new hire has no chance to change their way of working and will feel much less engaged with you as an employer.

Before You Go

The first few weeks new hires spend in your organization are a bit like their honeymoon period. For employers – and HR departments – this onboarding period represents a fantastic opportunity to turn their new recruits into engaged employees.

Unfortunately, companies often don’t seem to grasp the importance of a great onboarding experience. As a result, a lot of those new hires that weren’t easy to recruit in the first place, leave prematurely. Use these 5 tips to create your own engagement boosting onboarding process – and keep everyone onboard (pun intended) – instead.

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