Employee Engagement Starts with Hiring the right People

Employee EngagementMany companies plan to add new employees this year, while at the same time, employee engagement around the globe is decreasing.  Highly skilled and valuable employees in your company could be tempted to jump ship if they do not feel a high level of engagement.  Employers, concerned about high voluntary turnover rates, have begun adopting strategies and techniques to increase engagement.  The first step is to acknowledge that high employee engagement levels start with the people you hire.

Hiring people who are good fits for the company, the job, and the culture, is key.  Well-known workplace psychologist, David McClelland, said, “They say you can teach a squirrel to fly, but it is easier to hire the eagle.”  During the recruiting and interviewing process, look for those “eagles” who have an inner enthusiasm for the field of work.  Someone who thinks about, reads books about, and joins clubs related to your field outside of working hours is someone who is engaged.  An employee with this type of energy will be a positive, contagious influence on those around them.

A prospective employee should also be someone who shares the values of the company.  If they are driven only by monetary gain, while your company values personal growth and customer service, they won’t be a good fit for your company.  David McClelland’s motivational needs theory says that people are motivated by three factors: the need for achievement, the need for authority and power, and the need for affiliation.  Every person has a mix of these motivators, but a bias towards one is a good predictor of behavior on the job.  Someone who is achievement driven will be a great goal setter and very results driven.  Someone who is affiliation driven thrives on relationships and interaction.  They will be good team players.  Fit the person’s needs to your company’s needs, and you have fertile ground for high employee engagement.

Once you have found the right person for the job, be sure the onboarding process makes them feel welcome and needed.  Showing up for the first day of a new job is very exciting.  Nothing can kill that buzz quicker than discovering the job is very different than expected.  Clearly communicate responsibilities and assignments.  Make sure human resources is ready for new employees.  Make sure other employees are friendly and welcoming.  This will pave the way for a smooth transition.  Over time, high performance teams develop within your high performance company.

How engaged is your workforce?  At NBRI, we recommend using employee engagement surveys to establish your employee engagement baseline.  Then, resurvey periodically to gauge the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives.  Check out our free whitepapers about employee surveys.   Contact us today to discuss how employee engagement affects financial performance.