How to Keep New Hires Engaged

John Krautzel
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After putting a lot of time, effort and money into hiring high-quality employees, it is important to exert just as much effort on retaining employees. The foundation for a long, successful employment relationship starts with attention to new hire engagement. An engaged employee is connected to the business and is happy and productive in his work. Attention to detail from the start nurtures employees who are invested in the company for the long term.

New hire engagement starts the first day when a new employee reports to work. A properly stocked work area with a working computer, complete with the necessary login information, shows the new hire that he is a valued part of the team and allows him to start the way he hopes to continue, learning about his new assignments and working towards a high level of productivity.

A work mentor or new-employee buddy goes further to increase new hire engagement. Research shows that most new hire mistakes are related to misunderstood corporate culture. A mentor helps acclimate a new employee to the culture and provides a readily available source of information. The best mentors have a sense of fun and are ready to help new hires form professional and social connections within the company.

Involving employees in decision making at multiple levels is an important component in creating a culture of employee engagement. New hires are no exception. Possible areas of immediate collaboration include personal and department goal setting. Managers should avoid excluding new hires from any work-related surveys and should solicit their input in even minor daily decisions that affect the work environment, such as switching brands of coffee or changing the office layout. Valuing a new employee's opinion shows trust and further builds new hire engagement.

Open and honest communication is another way to increase new hire engagement. Multiple communication channels including email, newsletters and meetings with managers at different levels in the corporate hierarchy help a new hire feel connected. Providing feedback and regularly requesting feedback ensures that all questions are answered in a timely manner and minimizes mistakes.

Positivity in the workplace promotes engagement at all levels and goes a long way towards reducing anxiety in new hires. Stressful assignments become interesting challenges with the right attitude. Management encourages a culture of fun by providing desirable rewards, regular breaks and work-related social activities chosen by the employees themselves. Regular positive feedback and sincere thanks for quality work reduce any sting associated with the occasional necessary correction.

Retaining employees starts the very first day new employees come into work. Taking steps to increase new hire engagement leads to productive workers who are happy in their jobs. A mentor program, multilevel communication and a culture of positivity all work together to create a workplace with collaboration and productivity at all levels.


(Photo courtesy of cooldesign /


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