4 Tips To Experience Long-Term Employee Engagement

by: Dean Fulford

Excited about the opportunities. . . Nervous about meeting expectations. . . Hoping your contribution will be appreciated and recognized.

That’s how most of us feel when we start a new job!

Unfortunately, that “honeymoon” period doesn’t always last.  Sometimes a different reality –that doesn’t align with the expectations a new hire arrives with – starts to settle in.

At many organizations, onboarding means loads of paperwork, missed
 details, unanswered questions, and busy hiring managers failing to make new hires
 feel welcome.  This creates a poor first 
impression and reduces a new hire’s time to productivity.

Here are four tips to help hiring managers turn a new hire’s “Day 1” excitement into
 long-term employee engagement:

  1. Start early. Nothing beats being prepared for Day 1!  Before they even start, new hires should be given a portfolio of their team members that provides helpful information like names and contact information.  At the same time, the hiring manager should become more 
knowledgeable about the new hire, send a welcome postcard, and pick a co-worker as the
 new hire’s buddy.
  2. Give guidance. It’s the hiring manager who really makes or breaks the new-hire experience.  But let’s face it, portions of the onboarding process can be tedious for everyone involved. So HR departments should provide the hiring manager with step-by-step guidance on what needs to be done before the first day, on Day 1, and beyond.  That way, the hiring manager is equipped to help new employees become productive and engaged quickly and efficiently.
  3. Create strong connections. 
As part of the onboarding process help new employees connect to the organization by describing the goals of the department and how they support the organization’s strategy.  Also help new
 hires feel connected to their new colleagues by clearly defining team roles and responsibilities.
  4. Start a development plan. 
The first day on the job is a great time to set up a learning plan. New hires are open to suggestions from their hiring managers and will see
 the development plan as an opportunity to grow and be accepted into the
 workplace.  Hiring managers 
can take advantage of this by selecting learning activities that will enable new hires to reach 
their first milestones and begin contributing as soon as possible.

Effective onboarding is about more than just introducing employees to the work environment and corporate culture.  It lays the
 foundation for long-term employee engagement.  Yes, there will always be a stack of
 HR forms to be filled out.  But getting
 new hires excited by showing them the best of their new
 employer is what will make Day 1 truly the start of something special.

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