Employee engagement is a perpetual hot-button topic for employers. Almost 70% of employees are disengaged at work, leading to less productivity for employees and endless frustration for you and your management team, and unfortunately the solutions aren’t plentiful. One solution we can offer, however, is engaging your employees before they’ve even started working — during the onboarding process.
Use Culture to Propel Employee Engagement
Thought leaders will tell you to onboard your employees before their first day (including us, by the way!). But there’s more to early onboarding than not having to worry about legal paperwork by the time your employee arrives for their first day. You should use this first step as a way to onboard your employees into your culture, after all, they already have an idea of what the culture looks like.
Almost 50% of potential employees explore company materials (like their careers website) to get a feel for the company’s values and cultural fit. For employers, this means “cultural onboarding” needs to start long before an employee starts working for you. Provide your new hires with digital information as part of their onboarding material explaining what your company is about, contextualizing their job within its larger vision. This gives your hire a better idea of the company they’re about to work for, easing them into the job.
Be Proactive and Smile
You’ve told your new hire where their office is and what events go on the company calendar… now what? Amber Hyatt, director of product marketing at Silkroad, encourages employers to take a more proactive role in their onboarding, since it could increase its effectiveness:
“A well-designed, fun and engaging onboarding process has a significantly greater effect on employee engagement and retention when compared to the old-school mentality of one-day orientation.”
But what does this mean? What do candidates want from their onboarding? According to a recent survey by BambooHR, 23% of new hires who left their jobs within six months of starting there wanted clearer guidelines about their responsibilities; 17% felt “a friendly smile or helpful co-worker would have made all the difference.” The message? When it comes to onboarding, a little friendliness goes a long way.
Better Performance Through Longer Onboarding
Just what do you stand to gain from good onboarding? Well, performance, for one. Research shows that employee onboarding programs increase performanceby 11%. Imagine what you could do, then, if you truly engaged your employees with your company from day one. The more you teach your employees before they get into the on-the-job training, the faster they’ll be able to do their job.
Every day counts, even day-one, when performance is taken into consideration. Many companies have a probationary period, so understanding an employee’s growth from the first day is a crucial predictor to their performance in the future. The average time for a professional employee to reach full productivity is about 20, and 26 weeks for those at the executive level. So no matter how minor it may be, every little thing you teach an employee through onboarding will cut down on this time, meaning higher performance and better work sooner.
It’s simple: if you want your employees to engage with your company culture, have a better onboarding experience, and grow into their own as employees more quickly, you need to engage with them before and throughout the onboarding process. Even something as simple as a positive attitude can go a long way when grooming your new hire to their environment. If you engage your new hires during onboarding, you’re setting your employees up for better performance.
Bio: Christine Marino
Christine is the Chief Revenue Officer of Click Boarding, LLC, a company that offers employee onboarding software and solutions. She is responsible for the sales, marketing and business development strategies. Leveraging her 18+ years of experience in the Human Capital Management space, Christine drives company growth through strategic partner relationships as well new customer acquisitions across the small to large enterprise markets.
Employee engagement is a perpetual hot-button topic for employers. Almost 70% of employees are disengaged at work, leading to less productivity for employeesand endless frustration for you and your management team, and unfortunately the solutions aren’t plentiful. One solution we can offer, however, is engaging your employees before they’ve even started working — during the onboarding process.