6 Engagement Strategies for an Employee’s First Year
Onboarding is about more than creating a positive experience during the employee’s first few days or weeks on the job. It’s about helping them connect to the organization’s purpose, opportunities for accomplishment, and their new team. Highly engaged employees are more productive, loyal, and have a major impact on their teams. So, how do you establish and maintain the passion new hires feel and deepen their engagement as they become integrated into your culture?
1. Communicate your purpose
Only 43% of employees see or hear about their organization’s purpose at least weekly.
New employees need to see, hear, and feel the influence of purpose on workplace culture from the very first day. Consider putting new employees into an email nurture track that delivers culture insights and tips every week. It’s easier for new employees to connect to purpose when they experience it.
When your purpose is clearly aligned with the employee value proposition, there is an 858% increase in the odds that an employee will be engaged.
2. Make a great first impression
69% of employees are more likely to stay with the company for at least 3 years after a great onboarding experience.
Show new employees the ropes, but don’t forget to have fun!Appreciate them on their first great decision: joining your team! Connect them with a mentor or peer group for support. Welcome them with useful, branded gifts that help them rally around your brand.
3. Check in frequently
Up to 20% of turnover happens within the first 45 days.
Frequent one-on-ones begin on day one. Plan effective, recurring one-on-ones that build trust, engagement, and connection. Ask employees how they’re feeling, if they need further guidance, and what could be done to improve their experience so far.
Need a little nudge? Utilize leadership tools like Align to create a thriving team culture through
consistent, meaningful one-on-ones.
4. Set goals early
When employees participate in special projects, they are 50% more likely to learn new and valuable things in their current role.
60% of companies don’t set goals for new employees to obtain in the first year; this is a huge miss. In addition to providing clearly defined roles and responsibilities, try assigning a few special projects—those with a high potential to think differently, affect change, and make an impact—to ensure a new hire’s job doesn’t get stale too quickly.
5. Onboard all year long
Employees who work at companies with longer onboarding programs report being more successful in their roles 4 months sooner than those who work at companies with shorter programs.
Onboarding shouldn’t end on day two or three, so keep the attention flowing. Though many employees feel well integrated and comfortable with the company after a few months, let them know that HR and managers’ doors are always open for questions and clarifications on any matter.
6. Take time to celebrate
Recognition throughout the first year is a natural connection point for leaders and new hires,.Be sure to recognize oftenduring the first year. In addition to ongoing recognition, create a team celebration that includes a gift and a symbolic award that recognizes a new hire’s first year contributions and reinforces the choice they made to join the organization.
53% of employees said they would stay at their jobs longer if their employers showed them more appreciation.