Everyone remembers their first day at a new job. You don’t know many people. Faces and names blur together. You’re a little uncomfortable in the new setting.
This can be a stressful time for your new hires.
They deserve to feel welcomed and supported. When they’re happy and comfortable, they’re more productive, healthier, more likely to stay with the company, and more engaged in their work.
This is why the employee experience is so important to focus on. The employee experience, in its simplest terms, is the sum of all interactions your employees have with you and your company. It's influenced by three aspects:
- The tools and technologies you provide
- The environment in which your employees work
- Your commitment to the health and success of your staff
Delivering an excellent employee experience starts once the offer letter is signed. How new hires are treated by you and senior leadership is top priority from day one.
Here’s what your new hires want to hear when they join your team.
On top of starting their new job and getting accustomed with your company, your new hires also have lives outside the office. Their kids might be sick from school. They could be acting as a caregiver for their elderly parents.
Whatever their situation, it's always nice to feel understood when life events, like car problems and medical conditions, occur.
Bottom line: employees want work-life balance, and they want employers who support them in all facets of their life, including their personal health.
In fact, more than half (53%) of employees say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is “very important” to them, according to a 2017 Gallup report.
Let's say your new event marketing specialist has to leave town unexpectedly for a funeral during her first month of employment. Sure, it puts more work on your marketing team to cover for her while she's gone, but she doesn't want to be lectured or scolded for tending to unfortunate life events.
When they reach out to tell you what happened, tell them that life happens. These two simple words emphasize that leadership views employees as people, not just assets.
Wish them well. Emphasize that they should not be concerned while they're away, so they return refreshed and ready to take on their new work duties.
“Ready to Get Started?”
Training is obviously one of the first things new hires jump into. But as we all know, onboarding can be a bit dull, especially if it only consists of training videos and slideshow presentations.
Don’t just sit new hires down for training modules. Instead, encourage them to dive into their tasks and learn through hands-on experience.
When they hear you reach out and ask them to get started on their responsibilities, they're going to feel enthusiastic to jump in. Once you give them a little guidance, encourage them to work on their own.
Here at Bluleadz, our new hires earn certifications and complete courses within HubSpot Academy, but that's not all they do during their first several weeks. They jump in on calls, create their own campaigns, and tackle other relevant tasks specific to their role.
By teaching new hires to be independent from the get-go, you're helping them get comfortable doing their work autonomously. This is a breath of fresh air, especially if they've been victims of micromanagers. Plus, hands-on learning helps them better understand and retain information on how to manage their responsibilities.
“This Is Where You Will Be In Time.”
Your new hires don't want to be stuck in a dead end role. They want to know where they fit in the future of the organization.
Unfortunately, most employees (56%) don't think they have any career advancement opportunities, according to Officevibe's 2018 poll.
Reinforce your belief in their future with the company. Explore their potential career paths, and show them where you expect them to grow.
For example, tell your product marketing specialist how they can advance to management roles within the marketing department. Explore what specific areas they can further specialize in and how these specializations can lead to senior leadership roles, like marketing communications director.
But don't treat it like a one-sided conversation. Request their feedback and help them reach where they want to go in their career.
“Here’s Why We’re Doing This.”
When you're showing new hires the ropes and demonstrating how to accomplish certain tasks, don't forget to describe the why. Employees who fully understand why they're performing a task can see the impact their efforts are having on the big picture.
Let's say you're training your new content strategist on how to conduct keyword research. While you're showing them how to use your keyword research tool, describe how optimizing for targeted keywords makes an impact on search rankings, which can drive more organic traffic to your website.
As they're learning, you can also encourage them to share what they think the ultimate goal behind each task is. Alternatively, ask them, “what’s the goal of this initiative?" This helps them think through their why on their terms, which is a great habit to adopt.
“How’s Your Day Looking?”
Another major issue in many workplaces is the manager-employee relationship. Officevibe's 2018 poll found that 31% of employees wish their manager communicated more with them. What's more, 37% of employees say they don't feel close to their manager.
This is why you should commit to checking in with employees, especially new hires, on a regular basis. Not only does this help build a positive rapport, but it also keeps them on task.
Structure your check-ins in a way that best fits their schedule and yours. Make sure the purpose is clear for both parties. Essentially, you're using these check-ins to coach them and help them grow in their role and in how they communicate with you.
For example, ask about their goal progress, what they're learning from training, what they want to see more of in their onboarding, and indicate action items at the end so their takeaways are clear.
It's always fun hearing praise from your boss, and a simple high five takes minimal effort. But unfortunately, as Officevibe's poll found, a whopping 63% of employees feel like they don't get enough praise, and 72% say they get praise less than once per week.
Make time to review your new hires' work, give them honest feedback, and celebrate their successes. At Bluleadz, our culture thrives on recognition. Whenever we see results from our efforts, like boosting lead generation for our clients or creating an awesome new content offer, we praise teams and individuals in our Slack channel or dole out celebratory fist bumps.
Make employee recognition fun and integrate it into the fabric of your culture. For example, host Weekly Wins sessions where you get your team together and publicly praise everyone's efforts for specific accomplishments. By showing praise in front of your whole team, you're sending a clear message: you notice and value their work.
When your new hires hear these phrases, they feel valued and respected on a human level, which transcends the employee-employer relationship. And that's when the employee experience is at its best — when your staff feels appreciated not just as a cog but as a person.