New employees have an outside perspective that should be tapped in to from day one. When you do so they'll have an engaging experience, and you'll learn something! In this video, Don Phin provides two great tools to help you learn from and engage with your new employees.
- So do you think you have some pretty good ideas? Do you value being listened to? Well, guess what? So do new employees. Unfortunately, most companies don't respect a new employee's ideas until after they've worked there for a while. When it comes to new employees, we're much better at telling them we are listening, and companies are missing out. The fact is, new employees have an outside perspective that should be tapped into from Day One.
When you do that, they've have an engaging experience and you'll learn something. To help you become a more engaging boss, I'd like to give you two easy-to-use tools that will help you to listen to new employees. The first is the Entrance interview. We're all familiar with the idea of an Exit interview. I began to wonder why don't we do Entrance interviews as well? Isn't that just as important? Don't you want to know why they want to be engaged with you in the first place? What types of questions would make sense to ask somebody in the first few days? Maybe questions like, "What are you most excited about doing here?" And, "What was your main reason for joining us? Was it the pay, the work to be done, the location, the fact that you have friends or family working here, or was it something else?" Add any additional questions that make sense in your situation.
Even if you've asked these questions during the hiring process, ask 'em again. You'll probably hear something different now that the pressure is off. The second tool is the 60-Day New Employee Survey. So, after doing the Entrance interview, give your new employee this survey to take with them, and ask them to think about the questions on it for the next 60 days. The survey should ask questions like "How can we do things either faster, better, or cheaper at our company?" Or "Give us three suggestions that would make your job better." Again, add more questions related to the things you want them thinking about.
I've put templates for both these tools in the Exercise files. Download a copy, and then revise them to fit your circumstances. Make these forms work for you. Let me share a quick story. I received a phone call from one of my clients that used the 60-Day New Employee Survey. They're a medical device manufacturer that uses state-of-the-art robots. These robots work in clean rooms that are very brightly lit, and they work that way all day long, with no humans in the room except to make an occasional repair.
One of the new employees, who had just had a 60-day interview, walked by that room every day, and on his form he asked, a simple question. "Do the robots need bright lights on 'em to do their jobs?" And of course, the answer was no. So, they dimmed the lights, set an example, and saved money in the process. A classic example of a new employee being able to see the forest for the trees. These tools and the conversations they generate help set an expectation early-on in the employment relationship that you proactively seek out ideas from your employees.
And that has a powerful impact on employee engagement. Try using these two tools with your next new employee. Not only are you guaranteed to learn something, you'll be improving employee engagement in the process.
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- Exercising discretionary effort
- Attracting engaged employees
- Assessing the fit of employees
- Making onboarding more engaging
- Learning from new employees
- Provide opportunities for career growth
- Clarifying objectives
- Measuring engagement using surveys
- Being present for employees
- Driving engagement with fun