Engaged employees help your business. They are more positive and energetic, and tend to stay. When employees are engaged in their work, they use their talents better and are more productive. Here are five tips for engaging employees from day one:
- Less is not always better. Sure, you don’t want to lock folks up in a room for a day or keep energetic, enthusiastic workers from getting started. But you do want to prepare them with just enough detail about your company’s and department’s culture, important work or administrative processes and how their job and team support company or client goals.
Mix in a few personal details, like how they get paid, with some big picture information, such as company mission. But also get to the individual – help the employee see how he or she as an individual can fit in, grow and thrive in the organization. In other words, it’s about the company, but it’s also about the employee’s role in and value to the company.
- Review (and revise) how you deliver your orientation program. For example, where Baby Boomers preferred to learn through a facilitator, or in a traditional classroom/workshop set-up, Gen Y workers, who are also are called Millennials,like collaborative and networked learning. Gen Z takes the networking further, preferring technology-based learning. If you haven’t adjusted some of your orientation and other training to accommodate these different styles, you’re likely to lose a few of your young workers’ interest. Either a buffet or combination approach can keep workers of all generations interested.
- Of course, you can always turn to software onboarding programs to help engage employees. Offering up a menu of choices to help employees engage empowers them, and gives new workers a chance to choose some teams, activities and even learning methods that might work best for their generation and personal style. Maybe an enthusiastic new employee is a perfect fit for the softball team. New hires might want to learn more about certain benefits online from home instead of sitting through a presentation.
- You can’t force employees to be engaged; you create relationships and a culture that encourages communication and engagement. Show new hires how they can participate and add value early in their employment. Nurture open communication, feedback and positive relationships. Recognize and reward engagement so that self-starters in your workforce provide an example for others. And if you spot potential in a hesitant employee, consider coaching to encourage the employee’s engagement and talents.
- As for retention, start giving feedback right away. Boomers are used to waiting for an annual review, and that might be company policy for formal feedback. But Gen Y prefers on-demand feedback, so if your new Gen Yer asks, “How did I do on that report?” it’s best to answer honestly and to say more than “You did fine.” Gen Z wants feedback often and consistently. Start giving it right away, couching criticism as a collaborative “how we can improve” and using honest, positive feedback as regularly as possible.
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