There’s nothing like the first day on a job. You’re excited about all the possibilities that lie before you. You’re nervous about whether you’ll meet everyone’s expectations. But more importantly, you’re hopeful that this new work environment is right for you – one that will help you develop and grow and appreciate your skills and contributions.
Unfortunately, the “honeymoon” period at a new job doesn’t always last as long as we’d like it to. Whether it’s the latest office water-cooler talk or the employer/job failing to meet expectations, a different reality – one that doesn’t always align with new employees initial expectations – starts setting in. In fact, an Aberdeen study found that more than 80% of new hires decide whether (or not) to stay with a company within the first six months. And approximately 25% of employees choose to leave within those first six months – all before they are able to contribute productively to the company’s mission and goals.
Onboarding quality can mean the difference between staying and leaving
At many organizations, onboarding processes involve loads of paperwork, missed details, unanswered questions, and busy managers who fail to make new hires feel welcome. As you can imagine, this new-hire experience creates a poor first impression and slows down time to productivity.
To create the strongest onboarding experience, HR and hiring managers need to work together to combine critical, compliance-driven processes with more strategic onboarding activities that connect, inform, and empower new hires with the right people, tools, and content. Not only does this approach help ensure that the new hire is contributing in record time, but also encourages new hires to apply their personal strengths to the job and become more connected with their fellow colleagues, more engaged in their work, and more likely to stay.
Here are four ways hiring managers can turn a new hire’s “Day 1” excitement into long-term employee engagement:
- Prepare themselves and the new hire for Day 1. Nothing beats being prepared for the first day. New hires could be given a portfolio of their team members that includes helpful information such as names, headshots, profiles, and contact information. In the meantime, the hiring manager can become more knowledgeable about the new hire (right down to knowing how to pronounce their first and last name), send a welcome postcard, and even pick a co-worker as the new hire’s buddy. On the surface, these activities may seem small, but they go a long way towards making everyone in the process – especially the new employee.
- Get guidance. Let’s face it, the onboarding process can be rather tedious. This is true for both the new hire and the hiring manager, as well as HR and IT departments. However, the hiring manager is the one who can really make or break new-hire experience. By giving the hiring manager step-by-step guidance to what they need to do before the first day, on the first day, and beyond, they are better equipped to give new employees everything the need to become a productive and engaged member of the team quickly and efficiently.
- Create richer, stronger connections. As part of the onboarding process, socialization and connection can directly influence critical organizational outcomes, such as job performance, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, employee referrals, retention, and turnover. New hires who feel connected and accepted by their new colleagues have less initial anxiety when joining a new organization. They are then more likely to take more risks, ask more questions, and learn about their new job, role, colleagues, and organization.
- Develop new hires faster and at their fullest potential. The first day on the job is a great opportunity to set up a learning plan. At this time, new hires are open to suggestions from their hiring manager and view the development plan as an opportunity to grow and be accepted into the workplace community. To take advantage of this situation, hiring managers should assess and set performance goals, consider coaching or mentoring program, and select learning activities that will enable the new hire to reach first milestones and start contributing in record time.
Even though the onboarding process is created to introduce employees to the work environment and corporate culture, it’s a great opportunity to lay the foundation for long-term employee engagement. Of course, there’s a long list of human resources forms that need to be filled out. But taking the time to get new hires excited by showing them what makes their new employer and organization so special can go a long way.
Interested in learning how your business can build an onboarding program that nurtures an environment of engaged employees – accelerating new-hire productivity and minimizing attrition? Join us on March 12th for our Webinar “Engagement from Day One.” Register here http://info.successfactors.com/EngagementOnboarding312_b.html.Comments