I recently attended a meeting for an organisation that had not long since appointed a few new employees. Worried about the risks of losing some of this new talent and that going through more recruitment processes would be costly, I was asked to prepare some thoughts on activities that might be useful to help those employees become engaged, and therefore increase the probability of them becoming high performers.
Context is important here – in smaller organisations it is much easier for the MD, CEO or other leaders to know their staff well and to communicate regularly and effectively with them. Often they can be sat in the same office or building. They may even become good friends and it should certainly be easier to assess what is going right and what isn’t.
In large multi-site, perhaps multi-national organisations employees may never meet the “boss” and so excellence in communications in many different ways is critical.
So here I share a few thoughts on how new employees, who of course have recently experienced a change in their lives, can be cared for by their new employers, during that critical period of change.
- You must take steps to ensure that new employees are aware that Health & Safety is taken seriously and that it is regularly monitored, assessed and, where there are problems, these are remedied. I mean! How long would you attend work if there was a risk of serious accident or contagious disease?
- Ensure that workers have all the business tools and equipment they need to carry out the job – an office worker without a computer won’t get very far; or is your lorry driver in Manchester and his lorry in Bristol? Oops!
- Once those (and other) basic needs are sorted, the mission, vision and strategic direction must be clear and shared with the workforce, as must the organisational values and expected behaviours
- The organisation must have clear plans and transparency about planned products, and who customers and suppliers are, and share these with staff
- After a few weeks managers should have discussions with employees about what is going well, what is going less well, what other learning is needed and how it should be delivered
- Find out as a matter of urgency if anything is causing any dissatisfaction and have discussions about what, if anything can be done to remedy any shortfalls
- Often new employees are scared to speak up with their ideas. They may think their idea is unimportant or won’t make a difference. Or even that them simply speaking up will be frowned upon. So make sure that workers know their views are welcomed, that ideas are encouraged and that they should feel comfortable in making suggestions for improvement.
Of course these are just a few things that will help new employees feel secure in their new role and that this new job is where they belong.
What are your experiences as an employee or an employer?
What else would you add to this list?