Few things are more critical to an organisation’s long-term success than perfecting the hiring of right employees and onboarding them effectively. 

Research has proven that organisations that trivialize or neglect to train their managers to hire the right people and make them feel like part of the ‘family’ once they have joined, are more likely to lose out regarding employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.  

When done correctly, hiring and onboarding employees should make them feel like they are a part of the company; it should make them feel welcome and energized. Effective onboarding settles in the new hire quickly, increases their engagement with the company and helps them become productive in a shorter amount of time.  

Without proper onboarding, things can go wrong very quickly. Minor issues can spiral out of control and cause new hires to feel like the company is chaotic and doesn’t care about them. Negative thoughts like these can disengage new hires and lead to a high rate of turnover. 

The solution is simple: a proper employee engagement is needed from the minute you decide to hire them. And once they’ve joined your organisation, keep them engaged by creating a culture of continuous and never-ending learning & development and high performance. 

Hiring and Onboarding Tips for Proper Employee Engagement

1. Create a recruitment experience that communicates that you value your job candidates

To plant the seeds of employee engagement early, get creative with ways to keep your applicants from feeling like they are just a number in a sea of job candidates.  

For instance, much research advises on how millennials and Gen-Z workers think about work. One of such hints is that they crave a sense of purpose in their work. One way to apply this advice is to design the recruitment process for millennials and Gen Z applicants in such a way that helps them see how their work will impact the big picture.

Then, if you take the time to show them how they can make a meaningful contribution to your company’s mission, you’re well on your way to awakening within them a deep desire to do good work for your company. 

In addition, be sure to emphasize how your company supports employee development through avenues like on-the-job coaching, training and leadership pathways. This will make them feel like they are coming into a supportive and progressive system. 

2. Structure your hiring process in a way that carries your job candidates along

Hiring right takes time. A lot needs to be done between that first interview and the first day at work (from conducting a pre-employment background check to setting up the stage to receive the new hire.) However, the frenzy of activities that take place during this period isn’t an excuse to leave your job candidates hanging and wondering what’s going on.

Put yourself in the applicants’ shoes and do your best to carry them along with the process. To do otherwise – to stay silent for a protracted period might cause the job candidate to feel that the company is insensitive and unprofessional.  

Therefore, tweak your hiring process in a way that keeps job candidates in the loop of things. For instance, communicate things like 

  • Next steps in the hiring process 
  • When to expect a job offer 
  • When they can resume 

As soon as they resume, be sure to onboard them properly. Whether they are working onsite or remotely, it is crucial that your employees feel welcome.

Going the extra mile to effectively onboard your employees will show job candidates that you value their time and have their best interests at heart. In turn, they might be willing to reciprocate by doing an excellent job to justify your confidence in them. 

3. Continue your support post-hiring

Settling into a new job can be daunting, no matter your level. There’s often a feeling of pressure to perform, and most people will feel overwhelmed by all the information coming at them in their new position. This is why it is crucial to help new employees out by systematically guiding them through their first 30 days. 

Experience has shown us that it is usually helpful to give your new employees goals for their first week, second week, and first month. Not only will this douse their tension, having goals and direction can help build their confidence and independence and give them a productive way to focus their energies to prioritize and start achieving. 

Making an effort to engage your new employees pays. A growing body of research shows that organisations that engage their employees have:

  • Healthier employees 
  • Higher productivity 
  • Better customer engagement 
  • Fewer accidents 
  • Higher profitability 
  • Better retention 

Helpful Ideas to Improve and Strengthen Employee Engagement

Helpful Ideas to Improve and Strengthen Employee Engagement​

Many organisations find it tough to keep their employees engaged consistently. This is a problem worth fixing because disengaged staff can also mean higher absenteeism rates, low productivity, higher turnover, more mistakes on the job et cetera. 

Even after properly onboarding your new hires, it pays to think of employee engagement as a moving target, one that must be reassessed continuously to make room for new trends. The following tips will help you sustain your people’s engagement: 

1. Know what interests your employees and help them actualise their vision

If you consider an employee a top performer and one you wish to keep engaged and retain, then, as a manager, you must be informed about their short- and long-term goals. Get information on where they see themselves in the next year, two years, five years, and the skills they need to get there. Then go ahead to use this information to create an employee development plan in collaboration with your HR team.  

2. Keep them clear on how their contributions impact the organisation

Have occasional one-on-ones with your top performers to discuss what they are doing right to help the organisation and how they can do better to grow the company and themselves. Use your monthly team meetings and quarterly company meetings to discuss goals and how they contribute to them. Keep the conversation going at all times. Help them see how they are making a real impact. 

3. Keep exploring new ways to engage

One evergreen way to engage your employees is through recognition and rewards. Behavioural experts have agreed on it, and HR professionals believe that employee recognition helps with retention. Therefore, get creative with finding new ways to celebrate performance.  

4. Encourage work-life balance

Though the pressure to stay profitable is high and work must be done at all times, it is essential not to downplay the importance of work-life balance. Organisations that are tagged as a great place to work demonstrate that they care about and support their employees while also challenging them to grow with the company. 

Therefore, it is vital to establish policies that help employees manage their non-work responsibilities and have a rich home life. This is especially crucial for employees with young families, and it is very likely to increase their engagement. 

Making provision for ample vacation time, the option of remote work and flexible hours rank high for employees. 

In summary

Embracing the fact that employee engagement and your bottom line are linked is the first step to building a sustainably successful business. When your employees are highly engaged, they’ll be more productive; they’ll choose to remain with your organisation, they’ll give their best to deliver on their jobs and ultimately provide a worthy return on investment. 

At Workforce outsourcing, our team of consultants are driven by their passion to create a better working world for everyone. We have the proven expertise, understand the dynamics of businesses, various sectors and can support with an end-to-end, fit for purpose HR outsourcing solution for your organisation.

If you need further clarification or require the help of our senior and experienced recruitment and talent management consultants to work with you in this regard, please reach out to us at hello@workforcegroup.com

Nneka Eneli

Nneka Eneli

Director, Workforce Outsourcing