Before we tackle a few key specifics that make employees feel cared for, let’s look at the foundation. The perception of each employee around four key issues is what helps each of us build trust with those we lead. Those 4 issues are Security, Trust and Value, Acceptance, and Belonging.
As a manager, things that help our employees attach and engage, especially during the first 120 days of employment, should be viewed through the lens of these 4 key perceptions. They form the bond that will cause our people to stay longer, and be more engaged!
What are some of the specific ideas companies and managers do to build these 4 key perceptions? Let’s look at a few.
Improve the candidate experience coming in. Treating candidates like people, rather than like they are a resume unattached to any human emotions, is a key as they come in the door. If you stretch out the hiring process over weeks (or months), with spotty feedback and poor communication, they may still take your job when it’s offered. But, you have done little to create trust and communicate they will be valued.
Be intentional during the first 120 days of onboarding. Those 120 days are the Critical Attachment Period, when they are deciding just how much effort they will put in to their new role. Have clear communication around expectations for both the manager and their new employee as they get started with the new organization, check in regularly during those first 4 months, and ask them how their onboarding is going from their perspective, are all keys to making them feel secure.
Help them bond with the team. Assign a buddy or mentor/coach who will help them establish contacts and friendships that make people feel more comfortable in their new employment home. When we make friends we feel like we belong.
Give feedback, both good and bad, on a regular basis. Coaching employees through problems and failures is a basic management function. But pointing out what they are doing well, thanking them for specific accomplishments, and recognizing the strengths they bring to the team are all ways of indicating that both sides made a good choice when they got joined at the paycheck. Those positive comments that help them feel accepted also pave the way for the necessary corrective conversations without making the workplace seem negative.
Conduct Stay Interviews. We’ve talked often about the power of this tool. Once someone has been on our team for six months we need to begin these conversations on a regular basis. They keep the open communication going well. They help reinforce we care about them and their careers. They are a powerful way to continue the right communication between an employee and their manager
The EAI is a powerful onboarding survey that measures how well your new employees are doing. Reach out and let me set your organization up with a free trial on this amazing tool!