By Derek Irvine
The transition to a new job, either at a new organization or just a new department, can be a stressful time. Although new employees are often prepared for the sheer amount of things to learn, they are often far less prepared for the time it takes to ramp up.
Part of the challenge is the level of enthusiasm and energy that new employees bring, which can be at odds with the downtime between the initial onboarding activities and achieving full utilization.
Filling in these moments with meaningful recognition can help keep the level of energy and motivation high, as well as provide useful feedback to the new employee that they are on the right track. Ultimately, it can provide a much stronger new employee experience.
There are a number of different ways you might get an employee started off on the right track, and even speed up the time it takes to get to that fully utilized state.
Immediately connect work with core values. As a part of the initial onboarding, new employees often learn about a company’s core values and culture. But it shouldn’t stop there, to be forgotten among the all of the packets and introductions. Instead, as new employees begin working on their key responsibilities, managers have ample opportunity to communicate how and why those tasks and behaviors align to core values. Recognition offers the new employee better insight into expectations and priorities, as well as a sense of the purpose.
Build social relationships. Although the direct manager is a crucial source of information and guidance, other members of the team can play an equally important role in the socialization and onboarding experience. They offer opportunities to build important relationships, both interpersonally and through collaborative work. Peer recognition from the team can reinforce these opportunities to create a greater sense of belonging, as well as more quickly increase knowledge of the skills and abilities across the team.
Encourage proactive participation and engagement. A crucial transition for new employees is the gradual transformation from a learner to a contributor. Ensuring that new employees are not only recognized, but have the opportunity to recognize others can speed up that shift. It creates a collective mentality where everyone is empowered to contribute and recognize the contributions of their colleagues.
Organizations that successfully leverage social recognition as a key solution within the onboarding and socialization process will not only minimize the time it takes for new employees to be brought up to speed, but perhaps more importantly, create a stronger and more connected employee experience right from the start.
How has your own company incorporated recognition in the socialization process?
About Derek Irvine
The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.