Posted on August 29, 2013

The Art of the Quick Win: Setting Goals for New Hires

The majority of company leaders would agree that employee engagement is important to success, but they may not realize the direct financial impact high engagement can have. According to a recent study, a 5% increase in employee engagement leads to a 25% to 85% increase in profits.

Onboarding is critical

So how can your organization reap the benefits of high employee engagement? It’s important to get it right from the start by focusing on new hire engagement. New hire onboarding is a critical time for engagement: according to a Leadership IQ study of 20,000 newly hired employees, “46% of new hires wash out in their first 18 months at a new job.” Ensuring they are highly engaged from the start will pave the way for continued engagement throughout their career at your company.

Set goals to drive engagement

One way to increase new hire engagement is to set goals for quick wins during onboarding. This gives the new hire a sense of accomplishment and validates their decision to work for you. Some examples include:

* Business goals: Work with the new hire to establish their own set of business goals, making sure they align with the company’s objectives.
The quick win: Completion of a written description of goals
* Development plan: Create a detailed individual development plan for the new hire, addressing how they will meet their business goals and any other personal or professional goals.
The quick win: Completion of the development plan
* One-on-ones with key stakeholders: Help the new hire schedule one-on-ones with the team members they will need to work with or other key stakeholders they should meet.
The quick win: Number of one-on-ones completed
* Onboarding Mentor: Establish an Onboarding Mentor for the new hire who will show them the ropes. They can be a peer or someone higher up in the organization.
The quick win: Completion of initial meeting with Onboarding Mentor
* Training milestones: Encourage the new hire to complete all necessary training, such as live classes, online modules or training videos.
The quick win: Number of training modules completed
* Job shadows: Assist the new hire in setting up job shadows within each function to help them understand how the business operates and how their role fits into the bigger picture.
The quick win: Number of job shadows completed

Quick wins for new hires don’t have to stop at the six examples above: tailor them to fit your company and the new hire’s job function. Remember that the activity should 1) be relatively easy to complete, 2) serve the purpose of training and developing the new hire, and 3) not feel like meaningless “busy work.” Using the examples of quick wins given here and your own ideas, you will be able to effectively drive new hire engagement from day one.


For more onboarding best practices, download The First 90 Days: Employee Engagement Checklist, a comprehensive example checklist for a new hire’s first few months on the job.


Sources: People Metrics 2011 Employee Engagement Report, Leadership IQ New Hire Turnover Study



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