Companies understand that employee engagement has an impact on their business, but the majority of today’s employees are not engaged at their work. Only 30% of employees described themselves as highly engaged in a recent Gallup report. The other 70% are either neutral or “actively disengaged”—willing to jump ship and/or do damage to their company.
These statistics present a challenge to organizations. Low employee engagement decreases productivity, profits, growth and the quality of customer service. In fact, companies with low levels of employee engagement see a 33% decrease in operating income. Low engagement also increases employee turnover, which costs companies an average of $20,000 per employee. With so many bottom-line impacts to worry about, companies are looking for ways to improve employee engagement and beat the national average.
Employers need to consider how they are engaging their people throughout each stage of their career at the organization:
# Recruiting and hiring
# Development and retention
# Promotion to management
Let’s take a closer look at how to engage employees during the first stage, recruiting and hiring. Start employee engagement before day one with these three tips:
1. Hire the right person for the job
Studies have shown when employees are well-suited to their position, there is a positive impact on employee engagement levels: 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas, while only 3% of disengaged employees say the same. A diligent selections process can help ensure that the right people are matched up with the right positions.
Selecting the right person for the job lays a solid foundation for employee engagement throughout their time at your company. It may sound simple, but we all know hiring can get complicated. Here are a few ways to drive engagement from the start:
* Keep job descriptions straightforward and realistic
* Prepare the right questions to ask during the interview process
* Make sure the applicant’s career goals and passions are in line with the position
* Determine if the candidate is a good fit for your company’s culture
HR tools like Paycor’s HR Support Center provide checklists, templates and quick guides to help companies through the hiring process.
2. Manage the hiring experience
Set positive expectations for potential new hires by demonstrating efficiency, organization and respect during the hiring process. A proven way to engage applicants from the beginning is to keep them informed of where they are in the process, making them feel important and cared for.
Another way to keep applicants engaged is to keep the hiring process moving quickly. This can save you time and money, and also guarantee that you hire the best talent. With such high competition for talent, speed is of the essence—don’t lose great candidates to a lengthy hiring process. In addition, a streamlined process ensures the right talent gets to the right position at the right time, making hiring managers, supervisors and other internal customers happy.
Using an Applicant Tracking solution gives you visibility into where candidates are in the process and allows you to automate communication, so it’s easy to keep them informed and engaged. Recruiting dashboards allow you to view and manage everything in real time, and analytics and custom reports provide you with insights to continuously improve the process.
3. Ensure adequate “pre-boarding”
“Pre-boarding” refers to a set of actions that take place before new hire onboarding begins. Driving engagement before a new hire’s first day at your company doesn’t take more than a simple gesture:
* Send an email welcoming them to the company
* Have their manager give them a phone call or invite them to lunch
* Share an interesting article, book or piece of information about the company with them
* Create a short, personalized video to welcome your new hire to the team
Any one of these small touches can help your new hires feel more prepared and excited for their first day, which sets the stage for increased engagement throughout their career.
Want to learn more about employee engagement? Visit our Employee Engagement page, where you’ll find more resources to help you understand engagement’s impact on your bottom line and how to increase engagement within your organization.
Sources: Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, Towers Watson, Lendio, The Social Workplace
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