Businesses face two major employee-related obstacles when these days: diminishing engagement and increasing turnover. Workers, especially millennials, are more inclined than ever to spend fewer than five years at a company. Those who do stay simply don't love their jobs or offices like they used to, leading to low productivity and missed goals.
So where can managers and business leaders start to combat this problem? The answer is surprisingly simple: at the start of a new employee's tenure. Working to engage new hires from the beginning increases the likelihood that these people will stay with your business for years to come.
1. Go through the First Steps
As Morag Barrett, founder and CEO of the consulting firm SkyeTeam, pointed out in a conversation with Entrepreneur, the tiniest office quirks are often the most intimidating for new employees.
"That's why we make a point to cover them – what number to dial for an outside line, how to use the photocopier, the best locations for a quick lunch, where the restrooms are," Barrett explained.
If you don't have the resources for a full-fledged, human-led "Office Quirks" tour, make sure all pertinent info is written down somewhere your new staff can easily access it. You might leave a binder in your kitchen labeled "Working the Coffee Maker and Other Useful Tips." Alternatively, you can detail these steps on note cards and adhere them next to their respective appliances. For a more streamlined approach, create a section in your company's internal blog or wiki.
"Many have a hard time understanding their objectives at work."
2. Help New Hires Set Goals
The first few months at the office are confusing, and many new employees have a hard time understanding their objectives at work. They know they need to successfully complete their training, but they might not understand how this process relates to the overall goals of the company. Without an overarching view of their role relative to that of their peers and leaders, your newest hires are more likely to leave.
That's why, during the beginning stages of the onboarding process, your employee development team should help new staff design their objectives and key results. Making goal setting a formal process during training encourages new hires to consider both their current role and their future with your business. They end up with a clear understanding of what they need to do and feel supported by their employer. Additionally, it gives human resource teams and managers a chance to learn a new person's strengths and talents.
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3. Create Your Own Objectives
OKRs are a valuable tool during the orientation process, helping you keep track of everything you want your new hire to accomplish. Have your individual teams – accounting, sales, etc. – consult with business leaders and HR to determine what goals you want your onboarding program to consist of. Possible key results include:
- Reduce your new hire attrition.
- Conduct a specific number of new-hire check-ins.
- Cover certain topics within a month of training.
4. Make It Last
A strong onboarding process lasts a lot longer than you might think. Depending on where you look, most businesses train employees for a few days to a few months. However, the Society for Human Resource Management said onboarding should be a year-long event. Extending this process to a full 12 months reinforces the concept of employee development and helps you get a complete handle on your new hire's goals.
Want more insider advice on engaging your teams and setting strong goals? Don't miss our Goal Summit on April 20 – tickets are going fast!