Before Onboarding: How to Integrate New Leaders for Quick and Sustained Results

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Instead of hiring employees to bring engagement to a role, proactively work with them to create roles that are engaging in the long-term. Todd Raphael of ERE media says that engagement is a two-way street:. Too often leaders get bogged down in process-driven managerial tasks that are not only monotonous, but time consuming. For instance, modern talent management technology can help you do everything from onboarding new starters, to keeping track of their ongoing development activities and professional goals.

It can free you up to spend more time engaging them in new opportunities and recommending the tools and learning they need to perform in their role. That might be a challenge given the structure of your company. However, one thing that can be done is to sit down with each employee and truly learn how they like to be communicated with, then do it. Adapt your style to their desired way of communication. This will be more effective than making them change their way.

If you truly want to customize their experience, you have to work at it. Find out how they like to learn and then structure their opportunities to learn around that style. Seeing you adapt to their ways should increase their engagement because you have shown that you listened to what they said. As the arbiters of change, leaders play a crucial role in creating meaning for your people. Conduct a degree feedback process to get a sounding board for the pain points in your organisation, then develop a plan to action these changes.

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Employees will be judging their supervisors on what they do, not what they say, in response to their feedback. Your existing workforce tells an important story about how effective your current talent management approaches are. Take a hard look at your employee turnover figures: retention is a litmus test for whether your employees feel engaged in their work. It may seem simple, but acknowledging and treating each employee with respect is one of the most meaningful things leaders can do to boost engagement.

Engaging employees is as much about giving them meaningful work as it is about creating an environment where they experience engagement on a daily basis. Higher-ups should lead by example and bring the same passion and energy to their roles as they expect from their employees. Employees need to constantly be challenged and upskilled in the workplace to keep them engaged.

Embrace a holistic approach to professional development — from attending conferences to meetups and hackathons, let employees hone their skills in the way they learn best. Instead of offering rigid learning opportunities, the key is to provide employees with the tools and opportunities for self-directed development.

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Succession plans make employees feel like they are headed somewhere, which is crucial to keeping them engaged in their role. Addressing these leadership roadblocks has been proven by industry-leading organisations to dramatically increase employee engagement. Starting off on the right foot has a huge role to play in whether an employee feels engaged in their role.

Onboarding and training is when employees learn how to properly do their job, and provides an important chance for them to engage with you, ask questions and clarify concerns. One SHRM survey reports that one-third of new hires leave their jobs after six months, which highlights the need for meaningful, engaging onboarding processes in organisations of all sizes.

Properly training new hires is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure employees are engaged at work. Consider implementing learning modules into your onboarding experience that walk new hires through everything needed to upskill in their role, through to important but dry compliance processes like Health and Safety training. You can use off-the-shelf learning courses for this, or create your own learning modules uniquely tailored to your organisation.

This will not only help new starters assimilate into your company culture faster, but it will also help foster employer brand allegiance from the beginning. Technology is one of the most powerful tools an organisation can leverage to develop employees and keep them engaged. Investing in developing your talent can make employees feel far more valued in your organisation than a bonus would. In a recent survey that looked to identify the drivers of employee engagement, close to half the respondents said they found meaning in their sense of personal achievement and thrived on personal challenge.

Identify your high-performing employees and set them weekly, monthly or yearly challenges.

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Gaining buy-in from employees can be the difference between a collaborative, agile business and an organisation stagnating in its old ways. The employees were energized, including some benefits:. Employees are being recognized without any Starbucks gift cards needed. Providing networking opportunities can encourage your employees to bring fresh ideas and best practice knowledge into the workplace.

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Introduce your employees through formal and informal networks both within and outside the organisation. Ideas include bringing together teams from different departments for a workplace lunch, organising internal hackathons or sending chosen employees to industry conferences or expos. Through access to social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Slack or Yammer, people can support each other in knowledge sharing and problem solving at the click of a button.

This increases overall job satisfaction and the ability to cultivate strong professional relationships. Recruitment coach Ross Clennett identifies a trifecta of factors that lead to employee engagement:.

Then look at ways in which you can increase autonomy, ensure everyone is competent and show them the bigger picture. This requires a culture change across leaders at all levels but is hugely worth the effort in increased loyalty and efficiency. These days, companies are a diverse blend of full time, part time, contingent, contract and flexible employees.

What motivates a freelancer will be vastly different to what motivates a full-time staff member.

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A proactive leader might think about it in terms of the virtual talent warehouse , rather than a permanent workforce. With the new capabilities that AI, cognitive computing and robotics will unleash, a new suite of solutions presents itself when it comes to bridging skills gaps. A work relationship is like any relationship. A bit of give, a bit of take. Ensure you have the tools in place that make learning fun and easy to access. Creating comprehensive training programs is not just crucial for keeping employees engaged and invested in their role: it also pays off.

Almost no one washes their rent-a-car before returning it, but we do fill it up with gas. Likewise, leaders need to avoid the short-term temptation to take away employee accountability for their meaning. Employees should feel like they have the agency to make choices that help them reach their desired outcomes. Did I do my best to build a relationship with my boss? To create a positive work environment? To earn my pay? To get along with my peers? Sometimes, all it takes is to find a role for this team member that makes better use of their talents.

Cultivating an environment that promotes deeper employee engagement takes commitment, hard work and courage, but the benefits will deliver the most outstanding results for your people and your business. Organisations can consider implementing the following initiative:.

Healthy minds lead to healthy business performance and productivity. The Australian Government is encouraging employers to invest in employee health and wellbeing. Their belief is that workplaces which adopt health and wellbeing programs often attract and retain employees and are able to drive better business performance.

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Supporting health and wellbeing at work could range from offering staff discounted gym memberships to hosting lunchtime yoga classes in the office. It could be as simple as replacing the biscuit tin in the team room with fresh fruit options. Collaboration is important for employees to feel included and engaged. Studies show teams that share leadership responsibilities, interpersonal interactions and a cross-functional mentality have lower levels of conflict and stress, and higher levels of overall satisfaction.

Encouraging cross-functional collaboration means breaking down internal silos and stepping out of traditional hierarchical team structures. Intrinsic in cross-functionality is the idea that anyone in the organisation can contribute their skills to a problem — regardless of their seniority or tenure. All employees in an organisation play a critical role in ensuring everyone is an engaged and contributing member of the team.

Fostering a culture of teamwork and problem solving encourages employees to think outside the box and solve problems within their teams, rather than relying on guidance from management. Developing good relationships with coworkers is crucial to cultivating a sense of engagement in the workplace. Research shows us that the relationships an employee cultivates with their co-workers and supervisors has a direct influencer on their psychological sense of meaningfulness at work.

This sense of personal meaningfulness and contributing to a team is crucial to foster employee engagement and motivation in the workplace.