(July 24, 2017) – Believe it or not, the heat of summer is almost over. Kids are getting ready to go back to school, and families are squeezing in their summer vacations before fall. And at work, you may be preparing for a major hiring season. Next to January and February, the most common time for businesses to fill roles is immediately following the lull of summer. So what should you be thinking about now to pave the way for a positive employee experience, from hiring to onboarding and beyond?
Whether you plan to hire for a new position or backfill an existing role, it’s tempting to put new employees to work as quickly as possible to produce the outcomes you need. Yet studies show you’ll actually see better outcomes when employees are intentionally onboarded and feel comfortable getting and giving feedback. In one study of over 65,000 employees, researchers found that workers who receive feedback on their strengths actually have 14.9% lower turnover rates and are stronger performers than those who do not receive feedback.
Organizations can use these final summer months to gear up a positive employee experience, starting with the upcoming recruitment cycle. A culture of feedback will encourage employee engagement throughout the entire employee lifecycle. When a new employee feels comfortable giving feedback, they will more actively participate in surveys and other opportunities to enhance their employee experience and will be more inclined to stay with your company long-term.
Prepare for the after-summer hiring boom by putting these five practices in place:
#1: Measure employee engagement from day one
Measurement is crucial to the success of individual employees. If you fail to measure an employee’s baseline engagement level from day one, it’s impossible to chart their future engagement (or disengagement) levels. Try segmenting new employees in your employee engagement survey to see if they retain similar levels of engagement as they progress through the company. Disparate data across varying tenure levels might indicate gaps in engagement.
#2: Design the employee experience
Map out what the ideal experience looks like for existing employees and new hires. Our CEO recently blogged about how to design the employee experience and chart ways employees will engage with your company at various stages of their career. Consider how every touchpoint of an employee’s career path, from onboarding and compensation to learning and career advancement, might impact your company’s overall experience.
#3: Reverse the “exit interview”
Take time to sit down with each new hire and ask about their initial observations from working at your company. Ask them about their experience with your interview process and onboarding strategy. Take their ideas to improve the employee experience at your company seriously—it can go a long way in showing the new employee how their own feedback is handled when they give it. Ask if they’re finding resources and making friends or what they think about your PTO policy.
#4: Create multiple channels for feedback
From surveys to regular manager one-on-ones, be sure you have thoroughly planned how employees will give and receive feedback. This is how you can truly inspire a feedback culture. You should even talk about opportunity for feedback—positive or negative—during the interview process so the recruit understands the expectations before he or she even accepts a job.
#5: Be inclusive of all employees
Most leading companies recognize that employees might have different preferences for how and when they get their work done. In some cases, a company might need certain employees to work at a desk and others to be in the field. Some employees are regularly checking their email, and others rarely do. Be sure to cater your employee experience to all employees. Consider deploying mobile-accessible employee engagement tools so workers can access company information, surveys and more no matter how or when they work.
No matter when you hire and onboard, the employee experience should remain a top priority for your business. Regularly measure and analyze employee feedback and processes to ensure you’re providing the best possible employee journey. Take advantage of these last few summer months to prepare your company for success at the top of the next recruiting cycle.
If you’re ready to get buy-in on your employee experience plan, check out our latest guide about presenting engagement ideas to the C-suite. Want to learn more about Emplify’s open positions this summer? Check out our Careers page.
A version of this post originally appeared on the Techpoint blog.