Congrats! After reviewing dozens of resumes and spending hours interviewing, you’ve finally found the perfect person to add to your team. Even better, they accepted your offer! So what can you do to make sure you’re engaging new hires from the get-go?
After all, it’s taken time (and money!) to find the right addition to your company. After such a big investment, you want to make sure that they find their footing and connect easily with your team. By engaging new hires right away, you’ll accelerate their integration with your workforce and improve retention rates.
Here are 3 easy ways to make sure you’re engaging new hires and developing a workforce with longevity.
1. A Warm Welcome
All aboard the welcome wagon! Your latest hire’s first day is an important one, so be sure to wow them. Take time to bring them around the office and introduce them to their coworkers. Don’t put the onus on them to engage a bunch of strangers. They want to make a good first impression, but you’re the key to breaking the ice. If you can’t clear your schedule to spend the day with your new hire, pick your most outgoing team member to help.
Take them out to lunch with the coworkers they will be working directly with. This is a great way to build rapport among team members, and chuck their first-lunch-break scaries out the window.
One other first-day tip: Don’t overload them with mountains of paperwork. If possible, send them their onboarding documents prior to their first day so they can fill them out ahead of time and turn them in to HR.
By creating a fun, welcoming first day, you’re laying the foundation for a fully-engaged team member. While the day’s overall productivity may dip, you’ll regain it 10-fold when you foster strong interpersonal relationships from the start.
2. Full-Circle Training
Don’t just drop your new hire off and expect them to figure things out on their own. Create an onboarding plan and timeline for your new hire. Based on the functions of their role and their current experience level, determine what gaps in knowledge you’ll need to fill.
Investing in the training process has a few drawbacks – it costs both time and money. But it’s a worthy expense. Well-trained hires come up to speed faster than those who have to learn the ropes on their own. They’ll also have a strong understanding of your standard procedures, saving you the headache of having to correct problems down the line.
Employees who understand what is expected of them and have been properly trained are more productive, less likely to make mistakes, and are more likely to stay. And with Gen Z ranking professional development as their #1 priority when looking for a job, providing on-the-job training makes you a desirable employer.
3. Mentoring Programs
Want a way to roll training, relationship-building, and professional development into one amazing package? Start a mentorship program at your company. When seasoned employees – your best performers – take new hires under their wing, you’ll see amazing benefits.
Mentoring programs help connect your new hires directly with someone who can show them the ins and outs of your workplace. They provide a springboard for great solid connection between coworkers across departments. Your new hire will be socially integrated with the rest of your team (hooray for the buddy system!). They’ll learn how their mentor grew their career, have someone to answer their newbie questions, and develop their skills. Choose your mentors carefully! They’ll make or break your mentorship program, and will be the cultivators of your latest hires. A mentoring program is perfect for engaging new hires and employees who have been around for ages.
One final note…
Want a sure-fire way to check and see if your new hires are engaged? Ask them. It seems obvious, but many managers miss the tell-tale signs of early disengagement that can ultimately lead to turnover. Check in with your new hires frequently during their first few months. Providing constructive feedback and listening to any concerns that arise will help your newest employee feel more comfortable in the role. You’ll also build trust with them, making them more likely to come to you when they are having doubts or problems (while the problems are still easy to fix).
Employee engagement matters. It improves retention, solidifies your company culture, and leads to a more productive workforce. Engaging new hires early will set them on the path to success at your company.