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The best jobs I’ve ever had were the ones where I felt like a part of the team the moment I walked through the door. For starters, I was actually welcomed on Day One by department colleagues – people had been told I was joining and came over to meet me, I was included in meetings, and someone had made reservations and took me to lunch. At my desk, my computer was set up and ready to go. Wow, information about a particular project was there for me to read – not just a copy of last year’s annual report. It only got better from there. With my first project assignment, I was off to a great start!
The first days and months of a new job are the beginning of the get-to-know-you stage and you want your new employees to feel engaged right from the start. In fact, our recent Employee Experience Survey revealed that a structured onboarding process with training and meetings is clearly beneficial, with 94% saying it was relevant to their specific work needs. However, employees were split on how they preferred to engage during the first three months of work with 47% choosing to get a major work assignment right away to make an immediate contribution, and 53% saying they prefer taking the first three months to learn and assess.
Either way, better onboarding can result in much higher levels of engagement, and it’s really not that difficult to manage. Providing employees with relevant and helpful learning beginning on their first day can make a big difference. New employees are eager to understand the decisions being made by their company – the business strategy, including corporate and financial issues. Hearing clear, well-thought out communications from company leadership about the company that connects to their specific work was also a big deal to employees. Our research confirmed that 88% of the most engaged employees noted receiving communications on a regular basis from their managers and leaders over a six month period that connected the company strategy to the work being done by their group or department.
Planning ahead for a new employee to join your team and then communicating your company’s vision and their role in helping to drive success are some first steps toward successful engagement. You planned during the interview and hiring processes, so take time to plan for an employee’s first day and beyond. A new hire is an investment in support of your company’s success. Make that investment worthwhile by helping your employees stay focused and inspired for the long term.