When your company is running full throttle, the last thing you want is a resignation notice hitting your desk–especially if it’s from a valued employee whose leaving will slow things down. Unfortunately this scenario is happening way too often these days as construction and real estate companies compete for a shrinking pool of workers.
Retaining good employees is never a guarantee, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of holding on to the best talent—starting with an employee’s very first day on the job. In fact, Aberdeen Group research, as cited by the Center for Competitive Management, shows that 86% of new hires make their decisions to stay at a company within the first six months.
So it pays to make sure your employees have a positive onboarding experience. And we’re not talking about just showing a new hire where the supply cabinet or the tools are. A solid onboarding process takes a long-term view of both the company and employee’s needs and helps the new person start out on the right foot for success.
Basic components of any onboarding program include introducing the new employee to coworkers and colleagues, filling out HR and employment verification documents, and reviewing company benefits. But these common steps do not represent the crux of a successful onboarding program. Here are ways you can add greater value to your onboarding process:
- Introduce the employee to your brand. By simply discussing your company mission, vision, brand image, and profile, you can engage new hires and sufficiently immerse them in the brand to prepare them for meaningful work.
- Use social media to welcome and familiarize them with the company, its people, and its culture. Social media provides an interactive, personable, and casual environment for new hires to interact and build relationships with other employees. This is especially relevant to millennials who are used to using social communication tools outside of work.
- Bring in your best trainers. Some staff members may be excellent at their craft or job but may not be good at training others. Especially when training new hires, use instructors who can also answer questions about the job and the company and who can ease any worries.
- Provide hands-on training where the new person can go through the motions themselves and see the connection between what they are learning and how it will apply to their job. Provide supporting materials that the employee can use as a resource long after the training is completed.
- Connect with the new employee by discussing their own strengths and skills and how they can be applied to the job. This helps the new employee feel valued while providing insight into the employee’s abilities and motivation. (An MIT Sloan Management Review outlines some of the ways companies can engage employees through onboarding).
- Assign the new person a buddy or mentor who can help answer questions and, most importantly, make them feel welcome.
Finally, don’t forget to follow up regularly with new hires specifically to see how they are doing once they are settled into the job. Scheduling check-in points, particularly during the first vulnerable six months, will help get new employees onboard quickly and keep them engaged for the long-term.