4 Simple Tips To Engage New Hires Fast

By Raphael Crawford-Marks

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With today’s top-notch recruitment practices, new hires may come on board fast, but that doesn’t mean they’ll acclimate to the company quickly.

Data from workforce insights agency Equifax shows 60 percent of employees voluntarily quit their jobs during the first quarter of 2014, and 40 percent of those were at their job for less than six months.

If we take so much care to recruit the right people, why don’t we place just as much time and attention on retaining them early on? We need to engage new hires, and fast.

A recognition program is one of the quickest ways to help new hires feel like a part of the team. For example, a quality peer-recognition program helps build employee relationships, give employees a voice, and helps employees recognize their own contributions.

Here are four ways you can use employee recognition to help engage new hires immediately:

1. Allow new hires to give feedback.

Ask your new hires for updates on how training is going from their perspective on an ongoing basis. Don’t wait until a month later. Encourage open and honest communication from the beginning by asking who on the team has been most helpful so far. This will help you recognize the star performers you may not otherwise realize are playing a crucial role in the onboarding process.

2. Engage new hires in a peer rewards system.

You can help new hires build peer relationships early on to boost job satisfaction. Gallup found workplace friendships boost job satisfaction by 50 percent. Employees with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged.

Provide a space for peers to recognize one another for helping out, and even allocate rewards to one another. Empowering everyone on the team to reward each other will encourage each person to realize how their work impacts others, which can increase their engagement level. The extra incentive of rewards from everyone on the team will further motivate individuals to do great work.

3. Recognize new hires for achieving simple goals.

Most of the time, new employees just want to know they’re doing a good job and you’re happy you hired them. In fact, 77 percent of employees said they would work harder if their efforts were better recognized, research by Market Tools found.

Maybe your new hires won’t solve a mammoth problem your team has been troubleshooting for months, but they may achieve simple goals at a fast rate. Be sure to take note of those and express to them the potential you see. If you communicate to new hires your faith that they can reach a certain level of excellence, they’ll work toward it.

4. Show new hires what excellence means at your company.

Every company has a different definition of excellence, with different performance ideals. When new hires begin with a company, are rarely familiar with the social norms and values by which other employees make decisions.

In the Market Tools survey, top development employees said the determining factor that would spark peak performance is greater clarity about what the organization needs them to do, and why.

Help new hires feel like a part of the team by helping them understand the company culture, and what goals they should be striving to meet. You can do this through publicly recognizing and rewarding others in the company who demonstrate excellence on a frequent, consistent basis. When new hires catch on to the traits that earn recognition, they will begin to exhibit those traits too.

From day one, it’s important to make sure new hires feel a sense of belonging — otherwise they might not stay very long. Involving them in a recognition program early on will give them a voice and sense of ownership in their new position.

What’s the number one problem you have when trying to engage new hires in your company? Share with us in the comments below!

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