New hires play a crucial role in a company’s short-term production and long-term success. However, 31% of employees quit their job within the first 6 months.
By acknowledging six common areas that new employees may be struggling with during their first few months and implementing strategies to combat these challenges, leaders can successfully encourage and hold onto their most valuable assets – their people.
1. Sense of Belonging
During the job-hunting process, candidates often prioritize certain values and characteristics when applying to a specific company. They may even apply to a company just for recognized merits like being a certified B-Corporation. As a leader, it’s crucial to remind your new hires of your organizational values such as authenticity, resilience, entrepreneurship, honesty, and courage.
While these don’t have to relate to the product or service you offer, they’re driving forces for success and can keep employees motivated and feeling as though they’re part of something bigger than themselves. If you completely implement them, these shared values also help create a healthier, smarter organization with “working trust.”
2. Emotional Stress From Relocating
While many companies still have work-from-home or hybrid options in place, the changing status of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to alter timelines for returning to the office. If you know employees are relocating for their job before, during, or after onboarding, consider assisting them in creating a plan of action for their move. Generating a support system for your staff and their families can help ease the burdens of such a significant transition.
If they’re young adults, help them identify a reasonable budget, the cost of living in this new city or state, and how expensive a house they can afford. If they have a family, some important aspects to keep in mind include what school district they want their children to be in and what the graduation rates look like.
3. Social Isolation
In recent months, we’ve all missed the regular social interactions of the past because of remote work accommodations. For new hires, though, experiencing a full office or in-person meetings may not have happened at all. To help them combat this isolation, recognize whether your team is introverted or extroverted and create fun activities to socialize online. Some virtual social events might include trivia of the company’s history or a happy hour where employees guess two truths and a lie about each other.
Or, if you recognize that employees care about a similar cause or initiative, use this commonality as a way to bring people together to interact. For example, let new hires help organize a fundraiser or host a virtual activity-a-thon.
4. Work-Life Balance & Physical Health
As a new hire, it might be challenging to create a healthy routine, especially when dealing with the other stressors of juggling new responsibilities. As a leader, make your team aware of your company’s different employee physical health benefits. Although some may be difficult to implement, analyze what funds you have available to dedicate to these initiatives and what solutions can be quickly implemented, so employees can immediately start using them.
For example, if an onsite gym isn’t realistic, opt for gym stipends so they can select where, when, and how they work out. What’s more, you could screen virtual cooking classes or invite local chefs in from your employees’ favorite restaurants to show them quick, healthy recipes they can make at home during the remote workday.
5. Mindfulness During New-Job Anxiety
Although nerves and new-job anxiety can last just a few days or the first month for some, for others, it can take more time to feel completely comfortable and confident in their role. As their leader, you must be vulnerable with your employees and ask them how they’re genuinely doing during this transitional period. One leading example of new-job anxiety is catastrophic thinking.
As a leader, you can combat this by encouraging your newer employees to keep a gratitude journal recognizing their achievements. You can also ask them to write down positive affirmations and possible outcomes before starting a task. As a leader, pay attention to any symptoms of new-job anxiety, such as isolation from other coworkers or excuses to leave work early.
6. Loss of Community
Last, although new hires may be welcomed by an onboarding class and a group of existing employees at their company, they might feel the loss of their old community. Recognize that they may have left behind old coworkers with whom they bonded or other groups that may have fulfilled them professionally. You can help by encouraging them to keep these relationships strong while fostering new ones.
For example, if they’re a recent graduate, allow them the flexibility to attend nearby chapter events for their alumni association or give them time to take off of work to present at their school’s or university’s networking events. Other communities that new hires can find a connection in include parents working during the She-Cession or veterans. Ultimately, a key component to the 5-Stage Employee Engagement Spectrum is a high level of personal satisfaction, something driven by employee engagement and connection.
Overall, the best way to know how you’re doing with your new hires is to ask them yourself. Facilitate a constant pipeline and flow of open communication between all tenures and positions. Remember, people who are trained, coached, and empowered to help leaders add value to the business even when they’re not themselves crucial in its succession plan.
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