As important as it is to hire the most successful candidate for a job, how you integrate this new employee into your business can make or break their performance. Through proper onboarding and regular engagement, you can ensure that your employee embodies positivity and takes their contributions seriously.
Because these new employees are a huge investment, every business owner needs to think about nurturing the individual successes of new hires and supporting their role as part of a team player that drives the company forward.
Here are some clear steps to transform your new employees into team players, ensuring they bring out the best in their co-workers and managers from their first days on the job:
1. Incorporate a Mentorship Program into Onboarding
Did you know that 56% of new hires want a buddy or mentor when they start a new job? Mentoring relationships are pivotal to the onboarding process — they serve as a foundation of personal and professional support. When new employees don’t know where to grab a sandwich or how to navigate a company process, they can turn to their mentor. Plus, research shows that mentors can decrease stress levels among employees, minimizing the likelihood of burnout.
The most effective mentorship programs incentivize mentors to take the initiative in connecting with the new employee. Create a guide that’s explicit about the intention of the program and outlines the number of times a month the pair should meet. Ideally, informal weekly or bi-weekly catch ups give the new hire the opportunity to discuss any challenges at work.
2. Foster Engagement at Work
Right now, 70% of employees are not engaged at work. These workers don’t feel an emotional connection to their employer and experience a lack passion for their job. This disconnect impacts every business metric from productivity to retention.
In fact, research indicates that engaged employees who benefit from positive support have 51% lower turnover and 18% higher productivity.These four management techniques foster engagement and transform your workforce to a happy team:
Create Team Building Opportunities
You can jumpstart employee engagement to work by increasing the sense of connection to your business. Start with planning a team-building game every quarter. Go beyond the ping pong table or traditional trust exercise with a scavenger hunt or even a blind drawing. Think about fun, creative ways to encourage employees to collaborate and solve problems.
Support Friendships at Work
Most employees spend more time with their coworkers than their family, so it shouldn’t be surprising that these relationships are the backbone of a strong business. When employees have a best friend at the work, they’re 43% more likely to have received praise for their work in the last seven days. Support these relationships by encouraging people to take healthy breaks together: walks, Friday lunches, and post-work yoga sessions.
Plan Company Events
Meaningful company events that reflect the interests of the group can transform a business into an engaged community. For example, volunteering in the local community brings a deeper purpose to working together. Peer-to-peer recognition programs like Yammer and formal award ceremonies can also underpin a culture of engagement and appreciation.
Offer Professional Development
Businesses that spur the professional growth of each employee through tuition reimbursement, hands-on training, and career support foster passion on the job. By giving employees opportunities to grow, business owners open up the door for above-and-beyond contributions at work.
3. Provide Constructive Feedback
In addition to supporting employee engagement, the best managers and business owners give feedback on a regular basis. A study released in 2012 revealed that individual reviews increase performance by approximately 25%. Imagine the impact regular feedback can have on your bottom line?
Boston University distilled the process of giving feedback into six steps that can translate to any business scenario. Take note for your next review with an employee:
- Share the purpose of the feedback.
- Explain what you observed.
- Describe the consequences of the action and your response.
- Create space for the other person to respond.
- Offer specific suggestions for a change in scenario.
- Summarize your feedback and voice support.
Supporting the growth and positive attitude of employees also depends on praise. Something as simple as a handwritten thank you note or day-to-day appreciation goes a long way to balance constructive criticism.
Motivate Employees to Be Their Best Selves
Employers can have a meaningful impact, transforming employees’ growth into team players. To round out our suggestions, we asked six experts to give us their advice on transforming new employees into dynamic team players:
“Harness the power of autonomy and trust. People given a task and told exactly how to do it will look for obstacles. However, people involved in developing the plan and turned loose to execute it their way, they will run through obstacles to ensure “their” plan will succeed.” – Todd Dawalt, Founder of The Construction Leading Edge Podcast
“I motivate my team by example. I work hard, and push myself. I believe employees replicate what they see on a daily basis. Leading by example is the best way to motivate.” – Chris Dessi, Founder and CEO of Silverback Social
“Create a healthy workplace culture that inspires employees to live healthier, successful and significant lives and lead by example.” – David Bush, Chief Energizing Officer and Founder of Extraordinary Health Coaching
“I solicit feedback and input from my team that will help us make good decisions for the business. Having a say in important decisions is a source of pride and motivation.” – Brandon Rivard, VP Customer Success at Passport Inc.
“Let the employee come up with solutions to everyday problems or innovative changes that can be made to improve a service or business process and then let them come up with a plan and lead the implementation of it. Employees want to feel valued.” – Chantal Bechervaise, Take It Personel-ly
“Give them a purpose to be passionate about. Help them understand the important role they play in the business and how they personally make a positive impact on the customers and their community.” – John Spence – Thought Leader and Consultant
These ideas bring out the best in your new employees and encourage them to can contribute your business as a team player.
If you want to take your initiative these ideas to the next level, ask your team members for their feedback. They can help you to recognize additional ways to engage and support new employees as they join your team, setting a solid foundation for shared success.