Employee engagement continues to be top of mind for business leaders, and for good reason.
Actively disengaged employees are not as productive or happy as their engaged counterparts. If they’re not feeling motivated or willing to give 100%, that’s not good for your bottom line. Checked-out employees aren’t great for company morale or recruiting talent, either.
What’s the solution? It’s clear that when you work to develop a highly engaged workforce, they’ll be happier, healthier and more dedicated to making your business thrive.
But did you know that the link between employee engagement and your bottom line starts long before an employee begins their first day at your company?
The way you handle hiring and onboarding – from interviews, to the offer, to their first day – sets the tone for how engaged employees may be down the road.
In other words: engage them from the start and keep them engaged by creating a culture of learning, development, purpose and high performance.
1. Show job candidates their value
It’s easy to feel like just a number in a sea of job candidates, especially at a large organization. But no one wants to be an anonymous cog in a machine.
In particular, millennials and Gen-Z workers, perhaps more so than preceding generations, crave purpose in their work.
Show them how they can make a meaningful contribution to your company’s mission. Tell them about the ways your company supports employee development, such as trainings and leadership pathways.
Plant the seeds of employee engagement early.
2. Guide them step by step
A lot of time may pass between that first interview and the first day at work.
Don’t leave your job candidates hanging and wondering what’s going on – that’s a recipe for anxiety and may give future employees the impression that your company doesn’t care much about them as individuals.
Communicate often to keep them in the loop about the process. For example:
Once hired, greet new employees on their first day, in person or on the phone if they’re working remotely, and guide them step-by-step through the transition.
It pays to take the onboarding process seriously. When you show job candidates you value their time and are looking out for them, they’re likely to carry those feelings on with them into employment.
3. Keep it going with a high-engagement work culture
Once candidates successfully make the transition to employee, it’s important to keep up the momentum.
A growing body of research shows that organizations that engage their employees have: