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New Hires: How to Foster Higher Employee Engagement Levels

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Here a few ideas from our work with companies around the country for encouraging employee engagement in new employees:

  • Invite their spouse for a walk-through/tour of the company offices.
  • Send the spouse a letter welcoming them to the organization, and include how proud you are to have their partner as an employee.
  • Give your new employee a mentor to work with for at least the first 6 months. This should be a senior person in the organization (outside of HR) who can informally convey the behavioral norms of the company.  There is NO OTHER MORE EFFECTIVE TOOL to enhance a new hire’s success than getting this type of mentor.
  • Consider a peer mentor as well — someone to help them with the day to day logistical issues like log-ons, parking, restaurants, office supplies etc.
  • Focus on the Big Picture as well as the tactical action steps that will no doubt be added by others.  What do I mean by the Big Picture?  Creating an enduring felt-sense of safety and connection for that employee with the organization.

So let’s consider for a moment what we know about the human experience of starting work for a new employer.  For most employees, this is their most aspirational state of mind related to hope for a better workplace experience, engagement, a new beginning, etc. They have received a lot of attention (typically) in the hiring process, including meeting senior level managers or executives as well as their peers on the team.

Contrast this with what happens AFTER they have been hired. Without a mentor they are now left on their own.  They won’t ask their immediate manager all of their questions (for a host of reasons — primarily related to a lack of felt safety) so they begin to feel isolated and on their own to figure out the norms of behavior in the new culture.

This is in large part why ENGAGEMENT TENDS TO TRAIL DOWNWARD AFTER JUST A FEW WEEKS AND MONTHS ON THE NEW JOB as their aspirations smack against the reality of their new situation.  This is exactly why assigning a senior level person as a mentor is so powerful.  By the way, be VERY careful in selecting these mentors — they need to be highly engaged and SAFE (warm, open social skills, high EQ, etc). 

BEST PRACTICES TIP:  Assign a mentor to new hires, quite possibly the most effective tool available to increase their chances of success and to nurture their engagement on the job.

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The following comments are for Engagient's Employee Engagement Seminar for Managers

We were trying to get the buy-in from our Management team, prior to rolling out a new Performance Review Process and move the management style away from the industrial age style in an attempt to get our employees more engaged.  For the last 45 years we have been working under the old world style of management and old habits die hard.  The Engagient seminar on Employee Engagement was exactly what we were looking to install at Perfect Plastic Printing.

Don presented the information with a passion and energy that impacted every participant.  The information presented represented the results of research and science as opposed to just one more consultant’s opinion.  This made the buy-in so much easier.  The combination of instruction and small group exercises kept the class from getting tired and kept the information geared more toward our business as opposed to generalizing information.  Don was extremely knowledgeable on the subject and this was apparent when he answered participant questions.  He kept the conversations light and humorous, but had you believing that getting your employees more engaged is crucial to surviving in business today.  The feedback from the Management team on the seminar was all positive. Don was one of the best presenters that we have experienced at Perfect Plastic Printing.

--Carl Valenti
Director of Facilities
Perfect Plastic Printing
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