Securing Employee Loyalty from Day One

The interview went well, and you’ve made an offer to a new employee. That’s exciting! But now the real work begins: Onboarding. You need to set the employee up not just to be prepared and comfortable in their new position but for success as defined by both the company and the employee. You want to make sure the person feels welcomed, but you also need to establish from the beginning what your company’s values and standards are and how they can be a part of the company’s success going forward. 

Onboarding is critically important for how well a new employee will do and how long they might stay. Spend too much time going over big-picture themes without making them personal to the employee, and they’ll feel overwhelmed and lost right away. Spend too little time connecting their job and responsibilities to the company’s priorities, and they won’t understand the importance of their work. And if it’s not made clear that each person’s contributions are important and each person’s voice is valued, that new hire might be the next person to hand in their two-week notice. 

Here’s how to use your onboarding process to build employee loyalty and confidence. 

  1. Start with a personalized orientation. The first day on the job can feel a lot like the first day of school: Everyone’s new, no one’s sure where the bathroom is, and it’s hard to know where to go. For a new employee’s first day, make sure they feel welcomed and that their team is excited to have them join their ranks. Start the day off warmly and easily with a short introductory gathering or meeting, maybe with some coffee to get the day going. Most of the new person’s morning should be spent with the team they’ll be working with, getting to know everyone’s names, titles, and responsibilities so they understand what their job will be and how their work will fit into this group. The afternoon can be spent with company onboarding, but the morning should be spent with their direct team. 
  2. Follow up with a company overview. Now that the new hire has a better sense of her team, talk about the company. How does this team fit into the company’s overall objectives and success? Talk a little about the company’s history, how it got to this point, what it does, and how it operates. Share information about new and exciting things coming in the short term, along with an overview of the long-term projects and goals the company has. This will provide a sense of excitement and opportunities that can help a person feel like this is a place that’s worth their time and investment. 
  3. Establish regular check-ins. Especially with new employees, it’s important to give them the space to learn but also the support to know they’re not on their own without any help. At the end of the first week, or maybe a few days into the job, schedule a meeting for the new hire and their manager to see how things are going. Do they have all the supplies they need to do their job? Have they learned their way around the office? As the person gets their bearings, the meetings can be less frequent, but it’s important to establish a trusting and honest rapport. Let them know they can always speak up about concerns they might have or issues they’ve run into, but also encourage them to share their successes and to thank people who’ve been helpful to them. Feedback doesn’t have to be negative! 
  4. Give praise where it’s due by establishing a culture of appreciation. Starting a new position is difficult and can feel overwhelming. When a new hire meets an initial goal, make a note of it and share the news with their team. But don’t stop there: make it a regular practice to share publicly good news and words of thanks and appreciation for your team. If they’ve worked hard in difficult circumstances, tell them the company’s success would not happen without their dedication. If a new client is secured or a banner goal is accomplished, give them the credit they’re due. Many employees lose their loyalty to a company because they feel taken for granted or invisible, like they don’t matter; that’s what leads to people looking for new opportunities. A little praise and appreciation can go a long way. 

From the start, a new employee should feel welcomed and appreciated, and the longer they stay with a company, that appreciation and connection to the company’s values and goals should continue to grow. Connecting an individual employee’s success to that of the bigger company can build the kind of loyalty that results in reduced turnover and stronger, more capable, and more confident teams.

If you’re looking to add to your team or if you need to find a new employee to replace someone who left, call SmartTalent. We pride ourselves on helping our clients find great new talent within a short period of time, helping maintain productivity, and alleviating the stress that comes from being short-staffed. Give SmartTalent a call today and see your own stress reduced soon! 

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