Right person hired – check! Successful onboarding – check! Good work first 3 months on the job – check!
Breathe a sigh of relief? Fugetaboutit!
A recent survey by BI Worldwide found that only 40% of employees are still engaged after 6 months.
This same study reported that 70 – 84% of employees are currently looking for another job.
Now that the job market has opened up and there are more jobs opportunities, people are less likely to stay in a job that is not rewarding or in an environment that is disempowering or stifling.
There’s a lot of talk these days about “employee engagement.” To me, that’s just a trendy term for talking to your employees.
There’s another trend about managers having “fierce conversations.”
It seems that many managers haven’t mastered the basics about what a meaningful conversation would be to engage an employee. So why jump into a advanced “fierce conversation” if the basics are missing?
The Basics of Engagement
The “basics” of employee engagement are not about talking about college or pro sports or the latest movies or families and kids. While it’s nice to build rapport, express interest and find areas of commonality, people want to know what’s expected, how they’re doing and what’s next.
During the onboarding process and first 3+ months on the job, communicate the role and purpose of the position, how it fits into the department and the organization; how it serves internal and external customers. Communicate job expectations and measures of success.
Engagement During the Training Process
During the training period, touch base with new employees regularly to monitor progress. A periodic “how’s it going?” isn’t enough. Managers can delegate the training of new employees to a co-worker but they can’t abdicate that responsibility. Managers need to be sure that new employees are not only being trained on the right things but also the right way to do things.
Some people learn faster than others, so frequent conversations about learning progress will help a manager and new employee be on the same page as to whether a person can go at a faster pace or take on more complex work, or needs assistance or more time to learn.
The first 3-6 months can be enormously frustrating if the training is inadequate and/or if the manager is disengaged.
Many times, it’s not the employee who is disengaged… it’s the manager.
I remember many years ago, as a vice president of human resources, a senior leader said to me: “We have to get rid of the bad people!” I remember wanting to ask if the people were “bad” when we hired them or was there something going on among the management ranks that made good employees become bad employees…
Of course, I couldn’t ask that question directly, because then I would have been labeled a bad employee.
So, before you jump to the conclusion that employee engagement is a problem, take a close look at your management engagement. That same study by BI Worldwide also indicated that by removing unproductive managers, employee engagement will improve.
Marty Stanley is a national speaker, consultant and executive coach on organizational change. If you want to get a better return on your investment in people, call Marty today for a complimentary consultation. 816-695-5453 firstname.lastname@example.org