Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Robert Morris. His opinions are his own.When you succeed at finding the best person for a role, you experience a moment of glory and satisfaction. But actually, you now have more important things to do. Do you know that it takes new employees up to six months to feel part of the team?
You need to find a way to keep your new employees motivated and make this on-boarding period shorter.
New employees often lack confidence because they are in a totally new environment. You can prevent this by showing your new team members that you trust them. Give them challenging tasks and treat them in the same way you treat your other employees.
Expect them to do their job well and encourage them when they do.
Here are seven ways to help motivate your new employees.
1. Track their progress
You know how motivated you feel when you have achieved something. You can create that feeling in your employees if you start setting small weekly goals. Making long-term plans is hard but when you define a goal for the week, it is easier to track the progress.
For example, you might incentivise your employees to attract 20 new customers for a week. Reward your team if they succeed with an afternoon off etc. This is one way to show that you have realistic goals and everyone will benefit from working hard.
2. Give a specific purpose to your employees
Providing an individual with a purpose is the way to show this person that working hard really makes a difference. Having a purpose makes the employee understand the general company vision better. Also, this allows everyone to understand how they actually fit into this big picture.
You should help the new employees understand the whole business picture and see how what they are doing contributes to the company goals. If your new employees are really talented and hard-working, they will perform far better than you may have initially expected.
3. Be positive
It might sound easy but it is not. However, it is essential for the success of your team. Show everyone that you are never out of energy or lacking enthusiasm. Encourage them if they have difficulties and offer to help them. Make sure not to create any conflicts in your team and resolve them on time if there are any.
4. Be transparent
During the initial job interview both sides present themselves in the best possible light. Later, however, problems may start to appear. Be honest with your new employees what the real conditions in your company are. Let them know what the difficulties in their future job are.
Being transparent with all employees about what is going on at the highest level is the best strategy. There will be no surprises and this reduces the stress. Give everyone the chance to ask questions about the work of the company and its results.
Trust the ‘open-door’ policy and encourage all of your employees to give suggestions and ideas. This will help the new team members feel confident about their position and role in the company.
5. Communicate individually with your team members
This is not always possible if the company has lots of employees but you should definitely pay specific attention to the new ones. You should be aware what work they have and how they cope with it. Ask them regularly what they’re up to and what problems they may be experiencing.
If you succeed in developing a strong relationship with your new employees, you will know better what they are really good at and how to encourage them. Also, they will trust you and will be more motivated to work for you.
Consider having a “coffee Friday” where you spend time meeting with an employee over a coffee. You do not need to talk about work at all and it is even better to choose another topic. It’s just a chance to get to know each other better. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. The opinion of your newer employees will help you know how they need to be motivated.
Building a connection with your new employees is essential. However remember you’re not having a conversation with a friend. Your tone has to be friendly, sincere and open, but not too personal. You should break the ice but still keep some distance.
6. Create a pleasant work environment
It is encouraging for new employees to see their colleagues feeling comfortable in the office. Since your employees spend a major part of their lives in the office, you need to create a working environment that is as friendly and comfortable as possible. This will make your employees eager to go to work every day and will reduce stress levels.
You should give enough space to everyone. All of you need some room to walk around, relax and breathe but not feel imprisoned in a small place. When you are free to move around, you feel better and more motivated.
Create a nice atmosphere through lighting. Try putting some lower-wattage bulbs which are easier on the eye. Having a soft light in the office definitely makes a difference when you spend many hours there. You should ensure that your employees have lots of natural light.
If your office environment is generally not that official and more casual, it is a good idea to put some relaxing furniture around the place. Allow your employees to work there from time to time. This will reduce the stress and make the work more pleasant.
Always treat your team as a group and work for creating a team spirit. Although you need to treat your employees as individuals, you need to remind them that they should be team players and work well together. Feeling a part of a successful team motivates the employees and makes the office atmosphere more pleasant.
You need to hold regular meetings to discuss the company as a whole. You have to show how the joined efforts contribute for achieving the goals of the company. This helps everyone and lets them know that they are contributing to something valuable. It also shows the newbies that their work really matters and the team relies on their good results.
Create some social events involving the whole team. Having such events on the calendar is a great way people in your office to get to know each other. Your employees will become more excited to come to work and perform better if they are friends with some of their colleagues.
You should organize your employees going out to lunch together once per month. Also, think about other options for team building activities.
7. Reward your employees when they perform well
Having a system of rewards for a good job is a great way to motivate all of your employees. You have many options to decide who needs a reward.
You can reward your employees with small gifts.These could be tickets for a movies, theatre, sports games; a voucher for a cosmetic or book shop, and others. You can consult with your employees about what they consider to be a good reward in advance. Thus, you will make sure that there is a real motivation.
You may reward the good employees with some time off. You will be surprised how quickly your employees will be working if you offer to let them leave 20-30 minutes earlier, or to come to work an hour later the next day.
Give your best employees the option to work from home for a short period. That employee who performs the best could be allowed to work for one day from home if he or she wishes.
Reward an your employee with a lunch from and with you. The person who wins the contest with a great work will earn a free lunch from you. Thus, you will get to know better your best and most ambitious employees.
Some people quickly fit to a new environment but for most of the new employees it is a real challenge. Try different strategies to motivate them but still remember that it will take them some time to feel as a part of your team. Show the new team members that they have their places and roles in the company and you trust them. Pay attention to how they perform and rewards their achievements.