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Onboarding Journey and the Importance of Employee Engagement

“Hiring is the opportunity to build the future of your organization. Not a problem to be solved. Julie Zuho. The Making of a Manager.

I’m passionate about the topic of onboarding employees. A good onboarding program helps to develop staff to be the best they can be. Some may argue that employees will at some point leave an organization. They will. But what is to ponder? What we invest in our employees is a direct reflection of what we invest in our organization.

Onboarding is not an action but is a long-term journey. It is a cycle that has a start and a finish. Statistics show that employee engagement sits at an all-time low at just 33% (Gallup). The workforce has changed in recent years, but I would argue that the workplace has not. Most leave a job because they seek things like professional development and growth opportunities and flexibility. Most in the workplace today want to align themselves with companies that have similar values they honor. Therefore, how can organizations shift their attitudes to attract and foster the growth of those in their organization?

Can you shake the old thoughts about work?

The pandemic pushed the fast-forward button on a future of work people craved. Employees craved flexibility and the pandemic gave it to us. Quickly. We had to adapt because there was no choice. Now, cities, states, and nations are getting back to daily life and people are expected to return to “normal.” Normal doesn’t exist. It’s time to embrace the cultural shift that has occurred for a working nation. What can organizations do to attract new talent in this “new normal?”

  • Can your organization offer a flexible working schedule?

  • Can you evaluate what vacation or time off looks like?

  • Can you offer more mentoring and professional development opportunities?

Side note, I’m in the process of reading the book, “Think Again” By Adam Grant. The book is focused on challenging the way we think to grow and innovate. I’m really digging it!

Talk to your people

Managers have the most interaction with their employees and set the tone for how employees feel about the work that gets done in an organization. It’s important to constantly engage with employees to understand their needs and how you can continue to help them grow and invest their knowledge in your organization. As mentioned in Julie’s book, “hiring is an investment in your organization.” I believe engagement is as well.

  • Take your employees or team to coffee or lunch every so often to discuss projects.

  • Make time for team building.

  • Laugh and have fun with your team. We are people, not robots.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

It’s a part of business life. Employees leave your organization. We want them to stay, but the fact is that people will leave for various reasons such as

  • New opportunities.

  • Moving.

  • Death. (It’s a sad reality that is close to home for me)

Make your employee’s departure something that you can both benefit from. Their departure from your organization is not an opportunity to burn bridges. Use their departure as an opportunity to have them share their knowledge and grow future leaders in your organization.

Are you looking to improve your onboarding and employee experience? Start small, evaluate your needs and ask your employees for help. Once you know your gaps, you can implement a plan that will work for your organization.

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