Employee Appreciation: Engagement Starts on Day One

Nothing is more satisfying than hearing an employee speak of the company they work for proudly. It seems more often than not, people are reticent to admit the company to which they devote so much of their time. At some point, there was an unfortunate shift in workplace culture of employees that felt overworked and underappreciated.

Thankfully the environment seems to be changing. Since employers are beginning to see a direct correlation between employee happiness and company profit, there’s been a greater desire to support that balance. And it all begins on day one.

The Boston Consulting Group collected data for employee onboarding, and found that it ranks #2 (after recruiting) as the second-highest business improvement out of all the 22 standard HR practices. They found that companies could nearly double their revenue growth when that onboarding was executed well, rather than just “average”.

“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”
~ Stephen R. Covey

It doesn’t take anything out of the ordinary to make those new employees feel appreciated and valued. What it does take is communication, respect, and continuing support to fuel their passions and strengths. It’s a process that begins the day they’re hired and continues on through the first year of employment. After that, the employee appreciation is maintained but that first day (and first year) is vital to retaining staff and reducing turnover.

For example, Wipro (an IT company) found that focusing heavily on a thorough onboarding process that emphasized each individual’s strengths, and provided additional time for coaching and answering questions, made them 32% less likely to quit after 6-months of work. That’s in comparison to those who had participated in a traditional method of company-focused onboarding. That’s pretty significant!

No matter how enthusiastic the attitude of a new hire, the first days of engagement are a fragile balance and should be executed with good planning and attention. Overwhelming them with company facts and numbers, long orientation videos and lectures, and huge employee handbooks might be helpful for a robot - but would you really find it valuable if you were the new employee?

Shift your focus to the comfort and engagement of those new hires, rather than teaching them a boring class about the company. Make the first day a celebration of them choosing you, help them understand the team they’re joining, involve their family and other coworkers, and give them an opportunity to be productive in some way.

Emphasizing value on day one and supporting that value throughout that employee’s career with your company will keep them passionate and excited. Remember that this relationship is a mutual decision that should be nurtured, like any other partnership or friendship in life. So make it count with some fantastic employee gift ideas for your new dream team.

[Credit: Sullivan, Dr. John. “Extreme Onboarding: How to WOW Your New Hires Rather Than Numb Them. ” LinkedIn.]
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