Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Anke Doerzapf

Make the First Day Count – Jumpstart Employee Engagement with Onboarding

There’s nothing like the first day on a job. You’re excited about all the possibilities

that lie before you. You’re nervous about whether you’ll meet everyone’s expectations.

But more importantly, you’re hopeful that this new work environment is right for you –

one that will help you develop and grow and appreciate your skills and contributions.

Unfortunately, the “honeymoon” period at a new job doesn’t always last as long as

we’d like it to. Whether it’s the lack of hiring manager invovlement or the employer/job

failing to meet expectations, a different reality – one that doesn’t always align with

new employees initial expectations – starts setting in.

In fact, an Aberdeen study found that more than 80% of new hires decide whether

(or not) to stay with a company within the first six months. And approximately 25% of

employees choose to leave within those first six months – all before they are able to

contribute productively to the company’s mission and goals.

Onboarding quality can mean the difference between staying and leaving

At many organizations, onboarding processes involve loads of paperwork, missed
details, unanswered questions, and busy managers who fail to make new hires
feel welcome. As you can imagine, this new-hire experience creates a poor first
impression and slows down time to productivity.

To creat  the strongest onboarding experience, HR and hiring managers need to work
together to combine critical, compliance-driven processes with more strategic
onboarding activities that connect, inform, and empower new hires with the right
people, tools, and content. Not only does this approach help ensure that the
new hire is contributing in record time, but also encourages new hires to apply
their personal strengths to the job and become more connected with their fellow
colleagues, more engaged in their work, and more likely to stay.

Here are four ways hiring managers can turn a new hire’s “Day 1” excitement into
long-term employee engagement:

Prepare themselves and the new hire for Day 1.

Nothing beats being prepared for the first day. New hires could be given a portfolio

of their team members that includes helpful information such as names, headshots,

profiles, and contact information. In the meantime, the hiring manager can become more
knowledgeable about the new hire (right down to knowing how to pronounce their
first and last name), send a welcome postcard, and even pick a co-worker as the
new hire’s buddy. On the surface, these activities may seem small, but they go
a long way towards making everyone in the process – especially the new employee.

Get guidance.

Let’s face it, the onboarding process can be rather tedious. This is true for both the

new hire and the hiring manager, as well as HR and IT departments.

However, the hiring manager is the one who can really make or break new-hire e

xperience. By giving the hiring manager step-by-step guidance to what they need to

do before the first day, on the first day, and beyond, they are better equipped to give

new employees everything the need to become a productive and engaged member

of the team quickly and efficiently.

Create richer, stronger connections.
As part of the onboarding process, socialization and connection can directly
influence critical organizational outcomes, such as job performance, job satisfaction,
organizational commitment, employee referrals, retention, and turnover. New
hires who feel connected and accepted by their new colleagues have less initial
anxiety when joining a new organization. They are then more likely to take more
risks, ask more questions, and learn
about their new job, role, colleagues, and organization.

Develop new hires faster and at their fullest potential.
The first day on the job is a great opportunity to set up a learning plan. At
this time, new hires are open to suggestions from their hiring manager and view
the development plan as an opportunity to grow and be accepted into the
workplace community. To take advantage of this situation, hiring managers
should assess and set performance goals, consider coaching or mentoring
program, and select learning activities that will enable the new hire to reach
first milestones and start contributing in record time.  


Even though the onboarding process is created to introduce employees to the work
environment and corporate culture, it’s a great opportunity to lay the
foundation for long-term employee engagement. Of course, there’s a long list of
human resources forms that need to be filled out. But taking the time to get
new hires excited by showing them what makes their new employer and
organization so special can go a long way.

Interested in learning how your business can build an onboarding program that nurtures an
environment of engaged employees – accelerating new-hire productivity and
minimizing attrition?  Join us on March 12th for our Webinar “
from Day One
. Register here

Assigned Tags

      1 Comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Well done, Anke, nice to read you and to see what kept you so busy all these months!!!! Great feedback and great step forward for any engagement and recruiting process.