When onboarding a new employee the focus is usually on the mundane stuff. For example getting all the paperwork in order, showing a person their desk and giving a tour of the office.
Those things are important, but what is often overlooked is a way of making sure a new employee feels at home. Employee engagement is essential, work will be their new home away from home, a place where they will spend a large part of their day.
Research has shown that a happy and loyal employee is more valuable to the company. Here are ten things to improve new employee engagement:
Make sure the logistics are ready
A workplace, a badge, even a stapler. Not having these simple things ready for the first day might make someone feel unwelcome.
A company should prepare for a new employee. There is no reason to roll out the red carpet. But having a computer that works, a connected phone and access to the software. All things needed to get started have to be on a list, to keep track. It is important to show a new employee that the company is on top of things.
Share helpful documents
Starting at a new company can be overwhelming. The first days are packed with information that is important to remember, but easy to forget. Things like the number of the front desk, how to contact IT and who is their boss.
Having a document of all those helpful things will take away a lot of first-day day stress. Ask long working employees what they think should in it and create a FAQ. Make a contact list so the new employee knows who they can approach for help with certain things.
Speaking of things that are easy to forget, on the first day a new employee will meet a lot of new people. They will hear a lot of names and will forget some of them again by the end of the day. This doesn’t mean the employee isn’t interested in meeting their new co-workers. Research says that our brains are wired to recognize faces, not names.
An easy way to remedy this and to put a human face on the company is to use a service that can help with this.
Assign a mentor
Assigning a mentor to help and support a new employee is paramount to a good onboarding process. They can answer questions and give guidance. They are the gatekeeper to the company and can help make a new person feel welcome and a part of the team.
With a mentor, the new employee will have someone they can rely on. Someone they can bombard with those important first-day questions if they want to, helping employee engagement.
Be sure to select a good mentor, because just as management a bad choice can ruin an experience.
Break the ice
There are almost no jobs left where teamwork isn’t an important part of the work. Fitting in with the team is always crucial to employee retention.
The team has to know who is going to be joining them and they must be involved in making their new co-worker feel welcome.
Introduce a new employee to the team and get them involved right away. Grab some lunch together, take a team picture, get drinks after work, in short, have fun together. Nobody is asking the team to become best buddies right away, but a little socializing goes a long way.
Then, of course, there is the tour. No matter how big or small the company, a new employee must get acquainted with their new workspace. As smooth as possible, this stimulates new employee engagement in the long run. So show them where the bathroom is, where the copiers are, which coffee machine likes to make a mess. Don’t skimp on the details – they are equally as important as the big location inside the location.
But don’t stop with the company itself, are there great restaurants nearby? A coffee shop with the best lattes in town? Help them get their bearings and find a way in their new place.
If they are from another country, city or they do not know the surrounding it’s important to give them some more tips to travel around.
Share fun things
If there are fun and social activities around the workplace, make sure to include the new employee.
Whether this is a company sports team, a volunteering project or a weekly food run, get them involved. Getting along with co-workers improves employee engagement with the company.
Getting them motivated and excited beyond the company role is very important.
Debrief after the first few meetings
Meetings have their own dynamics, rules and often contain a lot of jargon. It is going to be difficult to explain what is going to happen before you step into one. Take a few moments after a meeting has ended to debrief a new employee. to explain some of the happenings and answer some questions they might have.
This will help with new employee engagement and the new staff member to understand how it all works.
Keep them busy
You have to make your new employees pleasantly exhausted at the end of the first day. Don’t bury them with work on the first few days, but don’t give them a chance to be bored either.
The solution is giving them small tasks, not busywork. Little things that will contribute to the work and will help the new employee build their confidence.
Ask for feedback
And finally, the best way of finding out what a new employee needs and wants is to just ask them.
Do it at the end of the first day or the first week, their input is invaluable to improving your employee onboarding process.
They can tell you what tools they need in the future and what things they can do without.
If you keep an open line of communication with him or her among the many months to come, their engagement will surely improve.
All these things will help you with making new employee engagement progress a huge success.
It’s also a great idea to do the onboarding for a big part online, to save time and money.
A great tool for this is Valker, early access is now for a select few members so make sure to register!
Also published on Medium.