It’s your new employee’s first day. Walking through the door of your business or logging onto Teams for the first time may be a nerve-wracking experience for them.
New people to meet, systems to learn, clients introductions to make and personalities to get used to!
Your new starter’s first day can be nerve-wracking for you as an employer, too. Onboarding statistics suggest 17% of employees leave their new job between the first week and third month of being employed, so you might be worried that your new future star will vacate their role if they don’t settle in quickly.
There are numerous factors at play when it comes to making a success of those initial few days and weeks. Effective systems onboarding, training, introductions and mentoring all help. But to truly help settle a new starter, some early level of interest and engagement is needed. And as data shows, one of the most effective ways to support engagement is through recognition.
Building recognition into the onboarding process
To reduce the chances of your new employee feeling unwelcome or even disengaging early on, you should build recognition into your onboarding process. You can do this by making sure they are given a pleasant welcome when they start work in your business and by giving them all the support they need as they settle in.
You should also value your new employee for the contributions they bring to your business. You can do this by openly thanking them for the work they are doing and by incorporating any good ideas they have into your business strategy.
Employee recognition ideas
There’s a lot going on during the onboarding process, but how you show a new starter that they are seen, appreciated and recognised is important. It’s also key that these recognition touchpoints aren’t few and far between. They should be early on and regular – and they don’t always have to be a ‘well done’ or public form of recognition.
Recognition can be shown in the form of support, dedicating time to help them settle in, or making sure they have all access to all the bells and whistles that help make your company a great place to work.
Just some ways you can show appreciation in those early weeks include:
Provide an employee welcome pack
A welcome pack containing a company t-shirt, coffee mug, desk decorations, and other recognition gifts will make your new employee feel right at home on their first day in your business.
Give your new employee a mentor
Your new employee will need extra support during the first few days of their employment so provide them with a mentor that can guide them around your business and show them the ropes. This mentor could be a manager or another employee who has the time to be there for your new employee whenever they need them.
Make a public announcement
You don’t need to stand on top of your office building with a loudspeaker to announce the arrival of your new employee. But you can recognise their arrival with a post on your employee recognition program or a short article in your company newsletter.
On their first day in your business, you should also announce their arrival to the other employees in your business, either through email, on Teams, or a quick hello during an all-hands.
Recognise early achievements
If your new starter has settled in really well, is already delighting clients or has shown how they’re living up to your company values early on, then recognise it!
Whether your organisation runs a dedicated recognition program, or employee of the month, a shout-out system, or offer rewards, make sure that new employees feel seen for their efforts and early achievements right from the outset. It sets a great tone that your organisatsion sees great contributions… and doesn’t let them go unacknowledged.
Benefits of employee recognition
We have already touched upon a couple of benefits above, but let’s go into further detail of how recognition – especially in those early weeks – can be so impactful.
Better retention rates
Recognition begins with the employee onboarding process. By taking time to support and encourage your new employee in those first few weeks, their experience of your business will be a positive one. This is important because as mentioned earlier, they will be more likely to stick around for the long term.
Your new employee will feel better about themselves if you acknowledge the contributions they bring to your company early on. The encouragement you give will benefit you too, as your employee will have a greater incentive to ‘keep up the good work’ that they have been doing. Studies have shown that employees are more productive when they are valued so your business will thrive if you continue to show encouragement.
Improved company reputation
Your company’s reputation matters. If it has an excellent reputation, you will attract the top talent and encourage more people to use your products or services. But if you regularly lose employees because they don’t feel valued, your company’s reputation will suffer. This is because your disgruntled former employees are likely to spread bad words about your business to people they know, future colleagues, and on job forums online.
This is another reason why recognition is important during the employee onboarding process. When you make your new employee feel welcome, they are less likely to leave and more likely to say positive things about working for your organisation.
We have touched upon a few ways to show your new employee recognition but there are so many ways you can support and encourage new starters through ensuring they’re supported, seen and appreciated.
Critical to supporting longer-term engagement is to build a culture where recognition is rife. Think strategically about how your organiastion can maintain those recognition levels for all employees, from their first few weeks as a new starter right through to the company loyalists who have been on the journey with you for many decades.