*This is part 2 of a 2 part series on employee engagement. Check out part 1 HERE.

We have all seen the reports that show most employees despise going to work. There is some employee responsibility but there is also a great responsibility on the organizations shoulders. Most employers want to get the most out of their employees, yet fail miserably.

The best time to help employees become engaged in their workplace is the day they start.

In one of my jobs, I was eager to learn. I had never worked in this sector before, but believed it could be a great fit for me. It only took two weeks for me to realize the organization was barely surviving. Morale was low. I was unsure about my role and did not understand expectations. My engagement level waned at an increased rate as the days went by.

Think about your past jobs or when you started at your current job. You were most likely excited for a new opportunity and eager to learn. If you didn’t become engaged at the beginning of your employment, odds are you became disengaged rather quickly. Going from a place of a disengaged employee to an engaged employee is difficult.

employee engagement

How can this be rectified?

Supervisors and organizations at large need to begin to engage with their employees on the first day of their job.

Here are 6 ways to engage employees from Day 1:

1. Share the Organizations Vision

When a new employee starts, cast vision for the employee. What is the organizations mission? What problem is the company there to solve? How does the company make the world a better place? Then share why their job is important to the mission of the organizations. Without their piece of the puzzle, “X” doesn’t happen. This will help the employee understand why their job is important.

2. State clear expectations

There is nothing worse than not knowing what is expected of you at your job. Within the first few days of a new employee starting, make sure you have a conversation regarding expectations. This includes attire, work habits, use of technology while at work, and general job duties. This is a great time to discuss expectations of your role as their supervisor. This can include the type of interaction you will have as well as what duties you expect them to accomplish on their own and which duties you want to be kept in the loop on.

3. Create buy in and ownership

Want your employees to be advocates? Create buy in, or give them some skin in the game. When making decisions, get employees together, brainstorm, and get their opinions. If the opinions are good, use them, and give them credit.  If the opportunity arises for this in the first few weeks, even better. They will sense they get to be a part of the solution and will be eager to help out in the future.

A great example of this is when a supervisor wants to streamline a process. The potential changes you want to make will effect staff. Gather those staff members together and share your concerns, discuss the problem. Ask them if they see the problem. Then ask them for potential solutions. You may have a solution in mind, but a solution may be suggested which you have not thought of. When you incorporate some of their solutions, you create buy in and ownership.

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4. Discuss their professional goals

Your employee might be starting out in the workforce as an office admin. If it’s their first job, odds are they are not planning on staying in that role for their career. If they do, you may have the wrong employee.  Ask them their professional goals. Ask them how you can help them learn a new skill which may help them move on to the next step in their career.

A simple, yet great example occurred in my workplace. A supervisor asked an employee her professional goals. She said she wanted to become better at typing. A program was purchased to help her become a better typist. This helped the employee to do her job better, typing faster, allowing her to get more work done. And she felt valued in the process. Michael Scott from “The Office” would call this a win-win-win: You win, she wins, and the company wins.

5. Let the Employee Meet with Others Who do Completely Different Jobs

An office assistant was hired at a marketing firm. He knows very little about marketing, but knows he needs a job. Have him meet with others at the company who are doing the professional work. Those who are working with clients, those who write copy. Let the new employee see a glimpse of what others are doing to fulfill the organizations mission. This may also help him to understand portions of his job better. It may also give him a career goal to shoot for.

6. Offer Development Training

Does your employee know their personality type? Do they know how to interact with others with completely different personality types? Do your employees know how to work in a team and the benefits of working as a team?

Training your employees on the soft skills of business will not only help them, it will help them help you fulfill the mission of the organization. On-going training helps with continued employee engagement.

In Conclusion…

An organization can only do so much to ensure the employee is engaged. It does take effort on the part of the employee as well. However, when an organization is healthy, it can create a culture that encourages employee engagement from Day 1.

If you are a leader, how are you engaging with your employees? Do you think they are engaged with their work or doing the minimum to get by? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

6 Responses

  1. Steph, having worked at the county, in the worst department, LOL, it’s hard to think this could work in all places. Maybe not your department, but there is definitely a culture that is hard to change. The enthusiastic new comers are in constant friction with the ‘old timers’ that don’t like change or don’t want to put forth an effort. Maybe if you didn’t have a job for life after passing probation people would actually work and care about the quality of their work. There’s red tape you have to constantly over come to get anything done. ‘Supervisors’ that are not trained in supervising anyone, lack of training. Lack of communication. Lack of desire to work. Hiring just anyone. Maybe if they were a bit more selective in who came in things would be different.
    Sorry! total rant here!
    But I love these 6 things. #2, #4, and #6 are especially crucial in keeping employees vested in their work.
    Good job!

  2. Thanks for the reply Priscila! Yes, government work is, well, special. But I have found this in other areas as well or have had discussions with friends who have quickly become disengaged with their job.

    If employers understood that engaged employees lead to a higher productivity rate which leads to a better return on investment (ROI), organizations may rethink their on boarding process. And how they treat employees. Often organizations don’t realize people are their biggest asset.

  3. My parents have their own company and I discussed this with them last night during a meeting. Thanks!!

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