There are many ways to improve employee engagement, but leaders might not realize that creating a positive workplace culture should start that first day when bringing on new hires.
New people can help energize the team and get everyone excited about their work.
Read on to learn how new hires can help improve employee engagement, along with some tips for making the onboarding process go smoothly.
Involve Your Team in New Hire Prep
The best way to ensure that a new hire is successful is by involving the rest of your team in the process.
They can help prepare for their new teammate's arrival by sharing their knowledge and giving them an overview of the company culture and expectations. This will help reduce the time it takes for the new employee to get up to speed and help them feel welcomed and part of the team from day one.
"Identify people on your team who are looking to stretch, and invite them to help design an onboarding plan for your new hire,” suggested Conor Harrington, People Experience Manager at Justworks. “It's a good way for that employee to grow and ultimately creates a more thorough onboarding experience for the new hire."
Have team members help new hires with parts of an onboarding program that is relevant to their job. This will help current employees feel more invested in the process and will give them a sense of ownership over the new hire's success, which positively impacts employee satisfaction.
Another way to get your current team members involved is to solicit feedback in an employee engagement survey. Ask your people about their onboarding experience and use that feedback to improve the process for future new hires. Ask them what went well and what could be improved to make a more effective onboarding, and make changes accordingly.
Provide Opportunities for Peer Mentorship
Encourage your team members to become peer mentors for new hires. A great way to do this is by creating opportunities for them to get together, such as a lunch where they can talk about their role in the company and how it relates to other people's jobs. This will help both sides be engaged with one another while learning more about what they do.
You can also assign a mentor for each new hire so that someone on hand understands their role and what they need to do to be successful at it. This will help the new hire feel like part of the team from day one, which is crucial if you want them consistently engaged in their work.
Encouraging a collaborative environment is one of the best ways to improve employee engagement. When team members feel like they're part of a team, and that their work matters, they're more likely to be engaged in their job.
“Happy and healthy employees are your biggest cheerleaders and best advocates," Conor said. "If you're looking to grow your team and your business, start with meaningful employee engagement initiatives." Supporting development opportunities or engaging new hires from their first day are a few ways to achieve this, but they're essential steps if you want your team to succeed long term.
A new hire can also be an excellent opportunity for the rest of your team to grow and improve. Allow them to mentor their new team members on how their role fits into the company's overall goals, and what they do in their free time that helps keep them motivated at work. This will help your people feel more engaged with one another while learning from someone who has been there before them.
Welcome Employee Involvement With Internship Programs
If you're looking for another way to improve employee engagement, consider implementing an internship program. This will allow your team members to be more involved in the hiring process and will help them develop new skills.
Brainstorm roles and uses for potential interns with your team. You can talk about how they might fit into the company culture or what their responsibilities might be if hired full-time after the internship is complete. Be sure to give your team the opportunity to work directly with interns. This is a professional development opportunity that will help them develop new skills while teaching the intern about the company culture and how things are done.
Offer opportunities for interns to shadow employees at different levels of seniority within an organization. This will give them insight into different areas that may interest them later on in their career path while also providing them with new skills.
Create a feedback loop for interns to provide feedback about their experience. This will help you improve the internship program and make it more beneficial for future interns and employees.
Improve Employee Engagement With Each New Hire
The best way to improve employee engagement is by giving your people opportunities for learning growth. Empowering people to help hire, mentor, and support new team members or interns is a great strategy to boost their engagement. These types of activities help people feel like they're being heard, valued, and invested in their job and their work community.
It's important to have an onboarding plan in place for how new hires will be integrated into your company culture. This includes creating opportunities for them to learn from team members who have been with the company for a while. The more engaged they'll be in their work, the more likely they will stick around.
Lastly, be sure to proactively communicate your company's values and mission, and help employees understand how they contribute to achieving those goals. The more your team understands why they do what they do, the more engaged they'll be in their work.
Want more ways to engage your team?
New hires are an opportunity to increase employee engagement. Setting the right first impression can put them on the right path to become engaged employees, and including current team members into the process helps invest in everyone's success. If you're looking for more engagement ideas to fuel your organization, the Cooleaf team can help create a holistic employee experience to encourage recognition, improve motivation, and grow engagement.
Guest Post: Amanda Beach is a Content Producer at Justworks, an HR technology company providing small and medium-sized businesses with access to benefits, payroll, HR tools, and compliance support — all in one place. To learn more, visit Justworks.com.
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