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Employee Engagement Starts Before Hiring with Onboarding Programs

August 25, 2014

Many companies today are aware that a critical mass of their employees is simply marking time. These employees aren’t engaged with their jobs, they don’t much care about their performance or outcomes, and they don’t have a lot invested in the future success and growth of the company.

This is a real problem. Lackluster performance by employees leads directly to lackluster performance by the company and tepid customer loyalty (at best). Reams of case studies have been produced that conclude decisively that an increase in employee engagement offers a company numerous benefits, from better customer engagement to a healthier bottom line.

Boosting customer engagement, however, is far easier said than done. According to many experts, it’s a process that needs to begin even before an employee is hired. Talent acquisition solutions provider iCIMS, Inc. recently published a new e-book titled, "Increase Employee Engagement & Retention."  The publication focuses on how businesses can create an onboarding program focused on career development and mentoring.

Personal goals and priorities influence everything about an employee’s performance, from their decision to apply to a job at your company to their decision to stay and grow with you over time, according to iCIMS. Employers need to be aware of these priorities to create an onboarding program that will keep new hires engaged and position them for success.

Other techniques include tying employee performance to organizational success in a very tangible way, so employees can see how their own success is inexorably linked to that of the company. Employees will feel like they’re contributing more. It’s also critical to recognize employees for their efforts in attaining both career and organizational goals. Nothing disengaged an employee faster than not being appreciated. Professional mentoring inside the company can help, as can a supportive work environment.

Getting this right is critical for a company that wishes to succeed, according to iCIMS CMO Susan Vitale. High turnover costs companies money, so hiring and retention efforts should be made to attain the highest quality employees.

"With consistent job growth throughout this year, the fight for employers to attract top talent is fierce," she said in a statement. "Our research indicates that job and skill training is ranked one of the top workplace perks by employees – yet half of employees feel that development programs at their current employer are subpar. Focusing on career development and mentoring during the new hire onboarding experience could be a great opportunity for an employer to stand out with talent."

iCIMS based the research on interviews with more than 850 talent acquisition professionals and employees to examine the types of programs that keep employees engaged. “Increase Employee Engagement & Retention” is currently available for free download on the Hire Expectations Institute’s Web site here.

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