With increasing mobility and job fluidity among the younger generation, the hiring and onboarding process takes on added importance. And once someone is on the job, a manager needs to be intentional about engaging that new staff person and quickly helping them connect with the organization.

Some strategies to do this include:

  1. Provide meaningful work right away. You may be tempted to give new staff members easy tasks or have them “observe” for an extended period before they “do,” but the sooner you can give them a meaty project to work on, the faster they will become engaged.
  2. Consider your project team composition. Committees or task groups should include those who can both “give” and “get” on project teams. Those who “give” are contributors by way of their position, experience or expertise. The organization will benefit if it also routinely includes one or two who can “get” – junior members who gain from learning the complexity of the organization, seeing the bigger picture and building relationships with those who have greater stature in the organization.
  3. Capitalize on their newness. Employees who have just seen your organization from the outside have a fresh perspective that will soon fade as they become immersed in your culture. Ask them for observations about strengths and weaknesses. Allow them to share their opinions and have a voice.
  4. Acknowledge more than their tasks. Make the time for small talk and really getting to know new employees as people. Researcher Nancy Schlossberg reports that people need to feel they “matter” – that someone would notice if they weren’t there or that their contribution makes a difference. Show new employees that they matter as a person, not just because of the work they do.

Hiring someone new is a big investment in time and resources – and it is an even greater opportunity to shape your organization for years to come. Consider your onboarding experience to last a full year as you intentionally and strategically help your new employees become long-term ambassadors for your organization. Watch for more strategies tomorrow!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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