How To Engage And Set Boundaries For New Employees
Onboarding and new hire engagement are aspects that management teams and HR professional across industries strive to get right. However, it is also critical to set boundaries early on to ensure that new employees are integrated smoothly without running the risk of unknowingly stepping on toes and as a result ruffling feathers.
A research study conducted by the Hay group states that highly engaged employees are 50% more likely to produce high quality results and exceed their managers’ expectations than those who are not engaged at all. What’s more, the same study reveals that companies with highly engaged employees are miles ahead of those with disengaged employees especially in the areas of customer satisfaction and revenue growth. It is, therefore, not surprising that HR professionals and managers tend to often bend over backwards to ascertain that their new joiners do not feel out of place even for a minute in their new office. The unwavering goal is to make new entrants comfortable right from the word go. While measures taken by organisations to smoothen a new employee’s transition may, by and large, prove to be beneficial, sometimes a lack of clear boundaries may lead to unpleasantness later. Here are some tools and techniques that can help improve the effectiveness of onboarding processes as well as set boundaries well in time to avoid unmanageable outcomes in future.
- Create A Structure For Regular Interactions. As much as we all would like to eschew them, impromptu meetings and lunch chats cannot be completely avoided. However, relying on only these unplanned discussions is a foolhardy choice especially if you want to assimilate new hires without blurring the boundaries. Schedule structured recurring touch-base meetings which have clear goals and agendas. These one-on-one interactions can help you understand the new employees better over time as well as give them a forum to voice their concerns or questions. You can also use mobile apps like the one offered by Office Curry to engage employees who work remotely or who operate in shifts that are different than yours.
- Listen Keenly, Talk Sparingly – It is normal for employees to want to share personal stories with their managers. Such sessions are okay as long as they are few and far in between. During such a discussion, give your undivided attention but avoid sharing similar personal experiences or life events so that your authoritative image stays intact. Using a communication app that allows team members to interact with each other and their managers is a good idea. It helps keep discussions to the point while also ascertaining that there is a robust internal communication channel that can be used at all times and at all places.
- Establish A Buddy Program – By assigning a co-worker as a buddy to every new employee, you can ascertain that they have the proper handholding that they require in their first few months at the organisation. At the same time, such programs are excellent when it comes to establishing boundaries with the supervisor as employees do not feel the need to reach out to them for every little thing. They can seek guidance from their buddy instead. Google goes a step further in this direction and delegates the task of effectively onboarding a new employee to the team that he or she is going to join, thereby making each team member responsible for helping the new teammate gel in.
- Create An Exceptional Experience From Day 1 – A good example of this is Twitter which is known for planning every little detail for each new hire. From the equipment required to the phone to various accesses that will be required by the new employee to the work space, everything is pre-arranged even before the employee walks into the doors of the organisation for the first time. An internal mobile app that helps connect various departments effectively is a great tool that indirectly facilitates such a plan especially since it allows different teams to work together to get every piece together for the new employee on time.
Many studies have proven that when it comes to new hire integration and boundary setting, the first 90 days are most crucial. Therefore, it is vital for every organisation, big or small, to pay close attention to how new employees are being managed and how their experience can be made better so that they perform at their highest possible potential.